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Wine spills all the time. Either from a spilled glass or overzealous pour, wine (especially red wine styles) can be difficult to get out of lighter colored clothing. Here are some tips on handling a red wine + fabric disaster.

For fresh spills on the carpet or sofa:

Soak up the red wine immediately with paper towels, but only blot. If you rub or scrub, you may grind the stain into the fabric.

Salt the stain and keep blotting. If the stain is getting dry, keep it wet with club soda.

When the stain is half as dark as it was when you started cleaning, cover it in salt, and we mean a lot of salt, and let it sit and soak up the rest. Vacuum it up when everything is dry.

For fresh spills on clothing:

White clothing: bleach. It worked in the good ol’ days and it still works today. Just make sure you check the tag before ruining your favorite piece of clothing. Not all fabrics are bleach tolerant.

Other clothing: get the stain into a big bowl or sink and cover it in club soda. Keep it wet and keep rinsing the stain away. When the color has lightened, spot treat with hydrogen peroxide and dish soap and launder immediately.

For dried spills:

Oxi-clean is your friend. It’s strong and it essentially has the same effect as the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap tip, but in concentrated form. Dried spills are notoriously difficult to get out, so a product like Wine Away, designed specifically for red wine stains, may help.

If nothing works:

They say if you can’t beat them, join them. So, if your shirt or sofa cushion cover seems to be permanently set to wine colored, just dye the whole piece with some more red wine (preferably not one you’d rather drink than pour on your fabrics).