How to Remove Red Wine and Other Stains from Your Clothes

A red wine stain doesn't mean the end of the party.

Don't let your holiday party clothes succumb to spills. Take quick action as soon as the accident happens, then follow up with the right tactics when you get home. Use these cleaning tips to keep spilled wine from ruing your event this holiday season.

Related: Don't Skip These Important (And Easy!) Cleaning Tips Before Company Arrives

The culprit: Red Wine
At the party: Blot stain with a clean damp cloth. Pour white vinegar onto a sponge or a clean cloth and blot stain. (If stain is still wet and you don't have vinegar, use white wine instead to neutralize.)
At home: Apply liquid laundry detergent to stain and let sit five minutes, then rinse in cool water. Apply laundry stain remover and launder.

The culprit: Oil
At the party: Sprinkle some cornstarch or baby powder onto the stain to absorb; shake off excess.
At home: Apply stain remover and wash in the hottest water appropriate for fabric. Inspect before drying and repeat process if necessary. Do not put an oil-stained garment in the dryer; the stain will set.

Related: Keep a Clean Home

The culprit: Chocolate
At the party:
Brush or scrape off any excess. Then, if possible, flush with club soda or cold water from the back of stain.
At home: Pretreat with a laundry stain remover and let sit for a fewminutes. Wash.

The culprit: Cranberry Sauce
At the party: Scrape off excess and apply cold water to remove remaining sugar.
At home: Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar with ½ teaspoon liquid detergent in 1 quart of cool water. Soak stain for at least 15 minutes. Then rinse, sponge with rubbing alcohol and launder.

Related: Keep Your Smile Party-Ready This Holiday Season

The culprit: Lipstick
At the party: Apply a piece of masking tape to stain; tear off. Sprinkle talcum powder to help absorb any residue.
At home: Place garment stain-side down on paper towels; sponge back of spot with stain remover. Rub mild liquid detergent into area until outline is removed, then launder.

The culprit: Tomato Sauce
At the party: Spoon off excess, being careful not to spread it around. Blot stain with a clean cloth or towel. If possible, run some cold water through back of stain and apply some dishwashing liquid to it. Let it sit until you get home.
At home: Soak for an hour in a solution of ¼ cup detergent per gallon of cold water. Spray with a prewash solution and launder.

Related: The Best Way to Pack if You're Traveling This Holiday Season

Bonus! Remove Candle Wax from a Tablecloth
1. Freezing the wax makes it easier to remove, so place the tablecloth in the freezer, or put some ice cubes in a sandwich bag and hold the bag against the wax.

2. After the wax has hardened, gently chip it off with a butter knife.

3. If dye or oily residue remains, pretreat washable fabrics with a spot remover and launder. Take non-washables to a dry cleaner and let the staff know that the mark is candle-wax residue.

How do you remove stains from clothing, tablecloths and other parts of your home?

Photo credit: Flickr/Dinner Series