I'm a lover of both good red wine (I'm looking at you, Malbec) and crisp white shirts. This has proved a hazardous combination, so I thought I would try the most popular wine removal methods to see once and for all how to remove wine from clothes. Precious wine was spilled and white wash rags were stained, but it was for a good cause!
I felt like I was back in elementary school science class while setting up this experiment. I laid out the four generic white cotton wash rags, labeled them with different methods, and popped open the wine. I decided to test salt on the stain, baking soda followed by white vinegar (Apartment Therapy readers were all about this one), boiling water (which involves pouring boiling hot water directly over the stain and then leaving it to dry), and this fancy shmancy new (and really affordable!) product called Château Spill.
Wired magazine raved about Château Spill's red wine removal abilities in an article published this January, claiming "No matter what the type of fabric you've spilled on or how long the stain has been there, Château Spill is easily the best at cleaning it up." I generally trust Wired, but that review seemed impossibly good. As a DIY or die girl, I had to test this mysterious store-bought method to see if it really would beat out all the others.
(Château Spill, $8.99, Château Spill)
Here's what happened!
This method recommended by Huffington Post entails pouring salt on the red wine stain, leaving it overnight, and then rinsing it off in the morning with hot water.
I mean, did anything even change? I feel like maybe the salt absorbed something??? But not really.
2. Baking Soda & White Wine Vinegar
Apartment Therapy readers suggested dabbing the red wine stain with paper towel, sprinkling it with baking soda, and then covering it in white wine vinegar. Rinse, leave to dry, and then vacuum in the morning.
This was a freaking smelly, vinegar-wasting disaster. I had to just straight up through the rag away.
3. Boiling Water
Martha Stewart and my granny both claim pouring boiling water directly over the red wine stain will rinse it right off. Then you're supposed to just let it dry.
I've never seen a stain on my granny's tablecloth, so I assumed this method would work best. Stewart and granny wouldn't lie, right?!
Ohhhhh granny. So the stain was visible, BUT definitely reduced! I feel like I could easily strategically hide it at this point since enough of the stain is pretty much gone.
4. Château Spill
I followed the instructions on the bottle, which say to cover the stain in Château Spill, rinse with water, and then proceed to launder as usual. For me, this meant tossing it with a load using generic sensitive skin detergent. Then I left it to dry.
I kid you not, y'all. The stain is freaking 100 percent gone. I wanted to root for granny, but Château Spill knocked it out the park and then some.
I'd say first and foremost, get Château Spill if you can! The far second place (that did still help!) was definitely good old boiling water. I will, however, never reach for salt or baking soda.
Image Credit: Author's Own; Courtesy of Brand