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glass of red wine spilled on white tablecloth

How do restaurants clean up those red wine spills?

The stain removal method to save your best linens

While it’s not a common event, all restaurants suffer from the odd glass of red wine spilt at the table. Here at Christopher’s – as at many other of Torrevieja’s best fine dining restaurants – we use white linen tablecloths to dress the table. Even the odd red wine spot could ruin one of these tablecloths. That would be very expensive over the course of a year.

Here’s our secret to keeping our linen in pristine condition, even after those red wine accidents. And it’s a method you can use at home, too.

1.      Act fast!

This is the number one tip to remove red wine stains. The faster you act, the easier it will be to clean a stain away. The pigment from red wine hangs around. When combined with the wine’s natural acids and tannins, the longer it lingers the more difficult it will be to remove.

(Have you read our article about wines to pair with red meats? It will help to transform your dining experience, whether dining at home or in a restaurant.)

2.      Dab the stain

Dab the stain with a clean white cloth to blot up as much of the excess wine as possible. Never rub or scrub; if you do, you will only push the wine further into the cloth.

3.      Put the cloth in ice cold water… or hot water

A mistake made by many is to put the cloth in hot water. Don’t do it! Instead, put the item in ice cold water. This stops the stain from setting.

However, if you won’t be able to clean the cloth soon, then put into hot (even boiling) water, and stir. Most of the stain will diffuse. Then put into that cold-water bath.

4.      Use washing detergent

When you have time (don’t leave it too long), dab the stain with washing liquid. Gently rub the linen together to create a lather.

5.      Rinse

Now, rinse the linen cloth and send to the launderer.

Will this method work on any material?

Linen is one of the fabrics easiest to stain. As such, this method should work on most materials. Fortunately, I haven’t yet had to test it on a work shirt. I suspect the time will come one day, though…

We look forward to seeing you at Christopher’s in Mar Azul, Torrevieja. Call us on (+34) 600 01 28 24 to book your table and avoid disappointment.

Yours in fine dining,



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