Careful, Don’t Spill! Getting Holiday Drinks Out of Your Rugs

The first step to getting red wine out of your area rugs is to blot the area with a towel.
Uh, Oh!!  The first step to getting red wine out of your area rugs is to blot the area with a towel.

You’ve put up the tree and trimmed it, hung your wreaths and stockings, and sent out your Christmas cards. You’re even planning a Christmas party this year, serving red wine, white wine, champagne, and egg nog. But have you prepared your area rugs for your party guests?

Holiday wines and other drinks should stay in your glass, not end up on your floor! But with dozens of people crowding your home for a holiday party, spills can happen. Whether you’re enjoying red wine with Christmas dinner or white wine with a savory fish dish, learn the best ways to get drinks out of your floor coverings, no matter what the material. As a bonus, these recipes are all natural methods for getting wool or contemporary throw rugs clean without toxic or harsh chemicals. Easy to find household items will keep your fibers, both natural and synthetic, from permanent holiday beverage stains.

clean-rugsRed Wine

The first step to getting red wine out of your area rugs is to blot the area with a towel. This will remove most of the surface spill. After that, you have several options for removing the stain. One of the most popular, simple, and inexpensive is using dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to a shallow dish. Stir in a teaspoon of dish soap, preferably an organic soap to prevent toxic chemicals from getting into the wool rugs fibers. Take a sponge, dip it into the cleaner, and wring out the excess liquid. Then dab the stain firmly over and over, taking care not to rub the rug fibers. Rinse with warm water. Repeatedly switch between dabbing and rinsing until most of the stain is gone. You may still have a faint pink area where the red wine spilled. Wait for the rug to completely dry, and the stain will fade and disappear altogether. No more red wine stains!

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White Wine

White wine is certainly an easier holiday beverage to remove, but it does leave that distinctive grape-y odor. Just like with red wine, the first step is to blot the stain and remove the excess liquid with an absorbent cloth or towel. One basic cleaning solution without any toxic chemicals is white distilled vinegar and warm water. Add one cup of each into a shallow dish, stirring to mix. Dip a clean cloth in and dab the white wine stain firmly to remove. Dip a second cloth into plain warm water to rinse the stain. You might think vinegar would leave an odor, but it rapidly fades and the white wine stain is gone!


After the holiday toast, someone may accidentally knock over a champagne flute – and it  is now soaked in the bubbly liquid. How do you remove it? Plain club soda is another fizzy drink that will easily lift this stain out. After blotting up as much of the champagne stain as possible with paper towels, pour club soda over the entire area of the stain. Immediately blot again with fresh paper towels. Repeat as often as needed, since club soda should not damage your fibers. The club soda not only cleans the stain, but gets rid of the smell, too.

Egg Nog

Egg nog is a different beverage than wine or champagne, since it is made with creamy dairy ingredients. This creates an oily stain with the yucky potential to smell like rotten eggs. Before you clean up the stain, grab your nail polish remover. It will cut through the oil. Apply a small amount of the nail polish remover to a fresh cloth and dab the stain, taking care not to rub the fibers. Rinse by spraying with warm water. Wait one hour for it to dry. Dab with the nail polish and rinse with the warm water again, repeating the process until the egg nog stain disappears.

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So, whether you’re serving red wine, white wine, champagne or egg nog, you’ll be well-equipped to keep your wool or synthetic rugs in great clean shape. Using common household items like club soda, dish soap, white distilled vinegar, and nail polis, these basic cleaning methods are safe, non-toxic, and inexpensive as well.  You’ll be well prepared for holiday parties this year!

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