by Amy Gordon
(last updated November 23, 2015)
A glass of port makes an excellent after-dinner drink, but it can be difficult to avoid a bit of port wine dripping onto your white tablecloth, or perhaps somebody splashing a bit onto your carpet.
If you have white wine available, try quickly dabbing at the wine stain with white wine. Do not rub the stain. Use a clean cloth to blot away as much of the port wine and white wine as possible. Then take the shirt or linen and blot the stained area with a mixture of about a cup of water and a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. Blot for about five minutes, and then let the stained area sit with a paste of dry laundry detergent and water on the stain. Wait about ten minutes, then gently dab at the stain with a clean cloth. Continue dabbing at the stain with some liquid dish detergent until you have removed as much of the port as possible. Pre-treat the stain with a stain remover, and put the shirt into the washing machine (if the shirt is machine washable).
If the port wine has spilled onto the carpet, first blot up as much of the wine as possible with a clean cloth. Next, sponge a bit of white wine into the stain. Use a clean cloth to blot up more of the wine stain. Once you have removed as much of the port as possible, dab at the stain with a mixture of one tablespoon of dish soap added to a cup of water. Dab away as much of the stain as possible. If some stain still remains, spray the stained area lightly with vinegar. Dab at the mark with more vinegar. This should lift more of the stain. Continue blotting with a clean towel until the stained area is dry. If the stain is still there, try rinsing the area gently with warm water. This should allow you to blot more of the port out.
You could also try spraying any port wine stain with hairspray. Spray the stained area with hairspray until saturated, and then quickly rinse with tepid water. If the stain is on a shirt or linen, saturate the stain with hairspray, and then flush the spot by running water through the back of the stain.
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