The Truth About Red Wine Removal




Introduction: The Truth About Red Wine Removal

About: It's all about the smiles!

It is a common issue, white cloth and red wine do not go well together.
I was always told that once spilled, just cover the area with salt and all will be good. I have been fortunate that no one ever spilled red wine on my table (knock on wood!), so I have decided to make an experiment, to know what to do, just in case.
My granny once told be that milk was the better option, so lets see which was is the better to enjoy summer with and with out spills.
So let's start the experiment: Salt vs. Milk

Items used:
* red wine
* ordinary household salt
* ordinary FULL cream milk
* castille soap
* COLD water
* white cotton cloth

Let's get started ;O)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Step 1: Soak White Cloth in Red Wine

Ok, so first we need to get some spillage...
In my case, I decided to give the cloth a proper soak for about 3 mins in the red wine.

Step 2: Step 2: Applying Substances to Remove Stain

Ok, so the wine got spilled, what to do?

We give the cloth a good wring out to get rid of excess liquid.

Step 3: Step 3: Apply Salt and Milk

Now we prepare our salt and milk. I took my milk right from the fridge.
To make the application easier, I cut the cloth in two pieces, which we will be able to compare later on.

Step 4: Step 4: Add Our Two Potential Clensers

Now it starts to be interesting:

1) apply salt to one piece of cloth

2) soak the other cloth in a glass of millk (obviously if you has spilled wine over a whole table cloth, you'd rather use the sink or bathtub and about a lier of milk to cover the stain!)

We leave the cloth soaking and coverred in salt for about 60 minutes.

Step 5: Step 5: Remove Remedies From Cloth

After one hour I removed the cloth from the milk, wrung it out and put it int he sink.
Same thing with the slat cloth, I gave that a good rinse in the sink and left it there for comparison...
The darker red one in the top right corner is the slat cloth.
off to step 6....

Step 6: Step 6: Add Castille Soap

Now the last cleansing step:

*) we add some castile soap (this is an olive oil based, environmentally friendly soap I use in my household)
=> interestingly the stains turned into a greenish color once the soap hit the fabric...


*) so give it a good scrub with some COLD water and a brush.

I scrubbed both clothes for about 3 minutes under running cold water!!

Step 7: Finale: and the Winner Is....

After rubbing and scrubbing both clothes for 3 minutes it seemed that all the color had been removed.
Since the light in the bathroom is not the best, I gave both cloths a wring and took them out into the sun....
And tadaaaa:

The milk cloth looked like new, no stains to find.
The salt cloth was pretty clean too, but you could still see some stains.

If you spill red wine on fabric, forget salt, get some milk, soak the fabric in it and then wash it with soap and cold water.
Scrubbing might support the process.
I am also sure, that the longer you soak the fabric in milk, the better the results.

Also keep in mind:
this experiment was made under the circumstances of a fresh, wet stain!

So happy bbq-ing and if someone spills it, just soak it ;O)

Step 8: Trial With Soap Only!

Following "lakkis69" suggestion to try it out with castile soap only, I did.
And it does not work as well as with the milk soaking before hand.
The soap stained the cloth greenish again and after scrubbing and rinsing with cold water as before, the stain still remained.
Conclusion: still, if you spill, soak it in milk for long and then scrub ;O)

Scientific Method Contest

Participated in the
Scientific Method Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    11 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    When red wine gets on the carpet you can't put it in the wash later. What we do is daub the area dry, pour white wine on it and daub it dry 2 or 3 times until there is little colour left then pour a pile of salt on the area and the salt draws colour and moisture out of the area.

    It would be interesting to see how that works next to your milk method.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this is an interesting technique as well, using white against red wine!

    I have not tried he milk method on carpet, suppose it will still work, but you'd have to make sure to pour lots of water afterwards, and then dab the excess water out of the carpet. Otherwise, I'd reckon, that too much milk residue left in the carpet might start smelling...


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Oh very interesting. I have never heard of using milk before. Thanks for testing this theory I will try it because i'm such a lush sometimes lol :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    ;O) as madame blue said it seems to be the lactic acid in it, so make sure to use full cream and not lactose free one either... I might actually try it out with soy and lactose free one...

    Madame Blue
    Madame Blue

    5 years ago

    The lactic acid in the milk helps remove the stain, is my impression. Definitely putting this in my laundry arsenal :)

    I think the original idea behind using table salt is that it's immediately available and will soak up the wine. I'm curious to see how it would affect a cloth in those conditions.

    I may have to try this but I'm still betting on the milk :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I would even bet on the milk in case of a nearly dried stain, just would need to soak it in there for at lest a night I suggest....


    5 years ago

    Would be interesting to see the result in case of using the soap, only


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Cheers for the suggestion, see step 8 ;) Soap only does not work as well as if you soak it in milk beforehand!