If you’re a red wine lover, there’s a good chance that at some point in your life, you’ve had to contend with a dreaded wine spill. There are few things that can induce as much panic as spilling a glug of red wine on someone else’s rug or couch, striking terror in the heart of each and every person who witnesses the event.
Luckily, there is one secret weapon that everyone should keep handy, whether they drink red wine or not: Wine Away stain remover, which I discovered after a particularly devastating wine spill while housesitting in my early 20s. It was a lifesaver then and has been ever since.
Sommeliers, bartenders and maître d’s have long sworn by this trusty, never-fail wine-spill solution, which I learned firsthand when I was a hostess in fine dining restaurants right out of college. To confirm that this is still the case, I reached out to my cousin, Pedro Salcedo, who happens to be a wine consultant and former San Diego tasting room manager. He spoke enthusiastically about its efficacy, noting that he finds it is best when used as quickly as possible. “I always had a little bottle for staff and myself, we’d use it if we spilled on our clothes and it worked really well,” he told me. He and his colleagues found it to be so effective that they even went so far as to sell it at the tasting room where he worked.
Before your very eyes, it works quickly to eliminate both fresh or dried stains (critical when you can’t get to a spill quickly) without having to use bleach or harsh phosphates. The active ingredient is methylcyclohexane, an organic solvent, and it has a fresh citrus scent so you don’t have to worry your home smelling funky afterward.
Best of all, it’s a multi-purpose stain remover. It’s just as effective at erasing horror-inducing red wine stains as it is at eliminating all traces of coffee, blood, ink, fruit punch, sauces and even pet accidents. It’s one of those cleaning products that work on even the most unexpected messes. I learned this the hard way after I left my friend’s toddler unattended in my bedroom with a pack of red gel pens on New Year’s eve. Luckily, we were able to save our white linen bedspread and pillowcases with Wine Away, but not before my friend’s soul left her body. But don’t just take my word for it; the thousands of positive reviews speak for themselves.
Promising reviews: "Awesome product! I had an unfortunate accident where a guest knocked over a glass of port wine from an end table which splashed on white window shades, white window sills, white baseboards, taupe-colored painted walls and white with dark beige carpeting. I left it that way for a few days in order to research the best way to hopefully clean it up without negative results. Many 'googled' sources recommended mixtures with bleach and some recommended 'oxy' cleaners. Well, we all know the negative possibilities of bleach use, in addition, as a property manager I've had tenants use oxy-carpet cleaners with actually lifted the carpet's color to the point the carpet had to be replaced. I eventually landed on a source in the UK which spoke specifically about Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover. I thought, I wonder if I can find that product in the US. So . . . as many of us do, I thought if I can find it anywhere mostly likely I'll find it on Amazon. And yep here it was. I used it today, after days of doing nothing, mostly because I was afraid to make it worse. Lo and behold! I completely cleaned the window sills, the window shades, the baseboards, the walls and the carpeting! You cannot even tell it happened. No stains or color change to the carpet or the walls or the white painted surfaces. Before you try or use anything, buy this. It cannot be beat! I was afraid I might have to hire a professional to clean the carpet and that I might have to completely repaint walls, but no. I cannot recommend this product more highly! You will not be disappointed, I guarantee it." — Sharon Hamilton
"Dont know how well it works for red wine since I've never used it for that, HOWEVER it is absolutely the best thing out there for dried blood. My husband has thin sun-damaged skin and small skin tears leave blood spots on the sheets and pillowcases. By the time we strip the bed for laundry, they are dried. Used to soak the spots in cold water for hours to try to get them out, but now I just stray this on any spot and watch as it bubbles and fades within 5 minutes. Put a little OxyClean or liquid laundry detergent on top and put it into the washer. GONE. Over the years it has been harder and harder to find in the grocery store, so now I just order it from Amazon!" — Elizeon
"Totally impressed! The unassuming generic packaging and label left me a bit skeptical but this stuff is almost as exciting as the wine I spilled! This Cabernet stain sat on my ivory faux fur blanket for over a month before I tried this product. Completely gone in one try! Get this. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed." — Persian Tess
"Must-have for red wine drinkers. When you have anything white in your house and you have a love for red wine THIS PRODUCT IS A MUST!!! We had a dinner party of about 15 people in our house so I bought 5 bottles just in case. We didn't need the 5 bottles, but someone did spill red wine on our brand new white couch. I was so mad, but I used this stuff and it was GONE. Not just took most of the red wine out — the red wine was GONE! No trace of it at all! I will buy more!" — Alial