Skip to main content

Home Ec: Remove Tannin-Based Stains

Filed Under: Essential Skills, Know-How

wine stainCorbis

It's time for the fourth and final installment of our stain-removal series: tackling tannin-based stains.

Tannins are naturally occurring vegetable dyes found in many plants, especially grape skin, tea leaves, and coffee beans. They're responsible for that bitter, astringent taste in red wine and tea -- a good thing, as long as it isn't spilled on your clothing, fabric, or carpet.

I've broken down a few easy laundering techniques for tannin-based stains below. But the most important thing to remember? Avoid using bar soap on a tannin-based stain; this will set the stain permanently. Stick to natural stain removers and detergents only.

coffee stainGetty Images

Common Tannin-Based Stains

Tea
Coffee
Red wine
Fruit juice
Soft drinks
Beer

For Lightly Soiled Tannin-Based Stains
If the stain is fresh, soak the garment or material in cold running water, followed by a wash cycle in the hottest water the garment will tolerate. For carpets, saturate the surface with cold water, then follow with boiling water, blotting up the stain with a white rag.

For Heavily Soiled Tannin-Based Stains
Rinse first with cold water, then rub a tannin stain remover into the affected area; this chemical formula (water, glycerin, and acetic acid) is designed to break down the tannins. Follow with a long soak in hot water. Wash as normal, and repeat the process as necessary.

For an Eco-Friendly Method
Rinse garment or material -- or saturate carpets -- with cold water, then apply a generous amount of vinegar to the affected area. Let sit for a few minutes and soak in hot water for twenty minutes. Repeat the process as necessary.


  • john

    How can you remove wine stains from colored floor carpet? What is the procedure for old stains?
    What is the ratio for water_Glycerin_acetic acid, on your above given formula?
    Thanks,
    John
    jove3635@aol.com
    jove3536@yahoo.com

    Reply
  • IRIS REGUEIRO

    I used to have white carpet at my previous home and my hubby dropped red wine on it twice. I used cold water and vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. It worked. Don't know how or why, but I was happy :)


  • Mary

    Get WINE AWAY!! In fact, get several and put them in the car, bathroom, laundry room etc. It woks miracles right out of the bottle!
    http://wineaway.com/


  • carolyn

    Oh Duh! White vinegar IS acetic acid, only "diluted to 5%" like on lable. Look up.

    Reply
  • m320753

    duh- i looked all over the bottle but couldn't find the lable, however i did find a label is that just as good?


  • micky eggs

    if you have a light colored rug, area rug furniture you should have known to have it water proofed or as more familiar scotch guard. that will make clean up a snap. have you ever noticed in most hotels especially in vegas and atlantic city have busy dark carpets and furniture. why? because you can spill what ever you want and it will blend in until there is time to shampoo the carpets or replace them as part of room renovations which is pretty often in those luxury places. as a hotel chief engineer i found the best way to remove stains is to spray your favorite carpet cleaner let it sit a minute or 2 them apply a little more than damp towel preferably white to amaze people. let your iron get good and hot then put it on the towel until it stops sizzling and walla the stain is now on the towel you may have to do it more than once depending on how much was spilt

    Reply
  • VINCENT

    I WAS TOLD TO TRY THIS A WHILE AGO ON RED WINW.......MENS SHAVING CREAM....JUST PLAIN CHEAP ONES. FOAM IT IN YOUR HAND, PRESS IT INTO THE STAIN AND BLOT WITH COLD WATER WITH A WHITE WASHCLOTH. TRIED IT ON GRAPE SODA DROPPED ON WHITE BERBER CARPET AND IT CAME OUT IMMEDIATELY. I ALSO HEARD WHITE WINE REMOVES RED WINE.

    Reply
  • k. porio

    the only thing I know for sure that takes red wine out is white wine!..reallly works!

    Reply
  • sd

    this works everytime on every surface/fabric. 1/2 hydrogen peroxide & 1/2 water with a few drops of liquid saop (i use dawn) dissolved in it. I do it in an old liquid soap bottle to squirt the stain, scrub. rub waterever then rinse/bloat it out with water.


  • lewis

    I do the cooking & always belly up to the prep surfaces, I also get food stains on my Tshirts cos I'm a sloppy eater. Wine, tea ,coffee, sauces, you name it. The stains do not come out in the washing machine so after washing them, my wife immerses 8 to 12 of them in a bleach solution for a long time and the stains are gone. When I have tried it the stains remain, so I think it is also the squishing of the material with her hands that helps to get rid of the stains

    Reply
  • kuulei

    Does anyone know how to get white candle wax out of a (brand new) blue carpet? I was a house warming present from my sister.

    Reply
  • Joe

    Bet your sister was very unhappy getting you as her house warming present huh? lol Then again, who knows???


  • Rick

    Wax is an easy one! Get a brown paperbag (like they used to give in the grocery store instead of plastic), cut the bag open so you have flat pieces, lay the bag over the wax and use an iron over the bag / over the wax. the heat melts the wax and the bag absorbs it.


  • John

    Here is a collection of videos on "How To Remove Stains". I hope you find them useful. - glassman96.com/list.php?q=how+to+remove+stains&Submit=GO

    Reply
  • don

    I am a flight attendant and have red wine on my white shirts many times from opening bottles. I take a can of club soda to the hotel with me at night and soak the shirt in the club soda overnight. Next morning stain gone. Majic.

    Reply
  • brenda

    does anyone know how to get cherry kool aid out of carpet?

    Reply
  • 16 Comments / 1 Pages
Advertisement

Follow Us

  • No features currently available.

  • More Hot Topics The Daily Fix  •  DIY Warrior  •  Home Ec  •  Handmade
    DIY Disaster Doctor  •  In the Workshop  •  Product Picks

    Home Improvement Videos