You’re laughing it up, having what’s probably too good of a time at a friend’s party, and it happens. You spill your glass of red wine. It’s one of those slow motion moments, too. You start to see it happening, fumble a bit as your friends’ faces turn to panic, but there’s nothing you can do. Your fresh, full glass (which, if you're like us, was probably overpoured to begin with) is now a puddle glaring at you as it soaks into the whitest surface you could have possibly spilled on.
Don’t panic. Sure it’s a serious party foul, but if you keep your cool, move fast, and follow these steps, you’ll dab your way out of danger before your friend has time to freak.
If you’ve spilled on yourself…
Embarrassing, but easy. This is the best scenario for you. No one wants to ruin their own clothes, but at least they're yours. You can only blame yourself. Sallow your pride, poke a little fun at yourself, and follow the steps below for removing a stain from your own garment.
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If you’ve spilled on your friend’s clothes, couch, or carpet…
1. Apologize, apologize, and apologize some more.
Diffuse the situation by immediately offering to pay for a professional cleaning. Whether that means a trip to the dry cleaners or a professional carpet cleaning, their rug, blouse, sofa, or whatever you managed to spill all over deserves it.
2. Soak up excess spillage. Dab, don’t rub.
Quickly grab a damp paper towel or disposable cloth, and dab to soak up the spill. Be sure to blot, not rub, so you absorb without working wine further into the fabric. If the spill is on clothing, it’s best to take it off before you blot.
3. Rinse away what remains.
Adding moisture is the best way to break up the stain before it sets. You can rinse off what's left a variety of ways. From club soda or water to carpet stain remover or liquid hand dishwashing detergent, everyone has their own go-to trick to remove a red wine stain. If you’re at a friend’s place and in a pinch, we suggest whatever solution he or she has handy, depending on the fabric at hand.
4. To dry, use a dishcloth or towel, not a cocktail napkin. Don’t apply heat.
Disguise your blunder by drying with a dishcloth or towel instead of a paper product. Cocktail napkins and paper towels will leave you friend with lint leftovers when dry. Be patient and don’t apply heat, either. It may take a bit for your friend’s blouse to dry, but heat is bad news. A few minutes under a hairdryer, and what remains of that stain will likely be permanent.
Above all else, time is of the essence, and you can’t apologies enough. And, if you seem to be finding yourself in this bind time and time again, you just might want to consider becoming a white wine drinker instead.