Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Church Lady Query: Red Wine Stains


Just the other day, I was sitting in my office when the Church Lady red phone rang. It was a call of distress from a seminarian in need of assistance!** The culprit? That most nefarious of stains: red wine on a white surplice.

Ah, red wine. We all love it dearly, until a simple accident can turn it into our worst enemy. The only time I got on the wrong side of a glass of the stuff was a couple of years ago, and my cloth napkins haven't looked the same since (I won't say which napkins, because you probably won't notice if you aren't looking for it).

I thought, given the wealth of combined Church Lady knowledge here, I should ask all of you for your best red-wine removal tips. I've seen detergent and hydrogen peroxide touted as the best thing out there, but I've never tried it myself. Can anyone vouch for it? Or maybe you have your own never-fail remedy. If you have any things that work (or that definitely don't work), let us know!

*Note: Obviously the above picture would be an example of one of the Church Ladies' renowned dinner parties. You will never see a glass wine glass anywhere near one of the Church Ladies' sacristies!
**I may have used a bit of hyperbole here, as it was actually a post-mortem instant message.

12 comments:

Lucy said...

Salt, when the fabric in question is light.

Make a thick paste of salt with a little water. Apply to affected area for 5-10 minutes, depending on severity of spill. As long as you treat the stain immediately, it comes right out.

Mary Liz said...

Funny you should post this today. A dear seminarian friend of our just called me a couple hours ago with this very problem!

Courtney said...

I echo Lucy's suggestion of salt, though strangely enough, pouring white wine onto a red wine stain is supposed to help lighten it as well.

Thérèse said...

Courtney,
I've heard that about white wine, but I've also heard people say that that's a bad idea. Maybe it depends on the fiber? I'd be curious to hear if anyone has actually tried it.

Margaret Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret Mary said...

We could conduct a test ...
;-)

Judy said...

I have used the salt paste on the front of a beige couch and on beige carpet and it worked like a charm.

Catholic Mom said...

I have not tried the salt, but I did soak a white cotton shirt in Oxyclean for several hours and there was not a trace of the red wine stain left. This stain was treated more than 24 hours after the spill because we were traveling at the time.

Quantitative Metathesis said...

My favorite remedy is to soak the stain, as Catholic Mom says, for a long time in cold water. My altar linens have never retained a red-wine stain (or a precious blood stain) when treated in this fashion. The sooner the soak, the better, but I've soaked stains in linen up to three days post factum with perfect success.

Quantitative Metathesis said...

It should be noted that the soaking method works best with natural fibers (linen, cotton, silk), and only works on an untreated stain.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

My washing skills are useless!

nicole said...

There is a product called Wine Away that can be purchased online at myttv.com or you can probably find it in wine shops. It takes the stain out of white in no time.