Spilt wine glass
Photo: Mike Hargreaves/Getty Images
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Wine Spills

Murphy's Law states that the one day a year you use your best linens is the same day someone will knock an entire glass of red wine onto them. And onto the carpet or your favorite blouse. The key to fixing the red-wine-spill problem is speed. Immediately treat the stain. Start by blotting the stain (don't rub!) and pour cold water on it. Then, sprinkle it liberally with salt. For fabrics, it's ideal to sit the stain in a small bowl, then pour boiling water over it and let it soak until the stain is gone. If that doesn't work, steep the stain in diluted white vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). See more in this video on removing a red wine stain from our friends at Real Simple.

For a carpet spill, blot first to remove as much liquid as possible. Then, make a paste of baking soda and water, and set that on the stain. Let it dry in place, then vacuum it off. If this doesn't work, follow up with an oxy cleaner. Check out How to Remove Every Type of Carpet Stain for tips to help you take care of other messes.

Last-minute shopping item: Bissell Stomp 'n Go stain lifting pads are damp cloths preloaded with oxygen cleaner; you place them on the spill and step on the pad to soak and clean at the same time. They're about $5 for a pack of five.
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