Red wine has a tendency to escape its glass and spill onto carpets, furniture, and anything else that's expensive and prone to staining. If you drink red wine or serve it to your guests, this common faux pas is bound to happen sooner or later. Fortunately, those stains don't have to become a permanent part of your home's decor. With some common household products, you can remove merlot, cabernet, and any other dark wines that end up where they're not supposed to be.

No matter where the drink spilled, Good Housekeeping recommends that you start by immediately blotting as much of the liquid as possible. Removing most of the wine before it has the chance to set is the best way to prevent staining. You can use a paper towel, an absorbent cloth, or a clean sponge for this step.

Once you've soaked up all the wine you can, treat the affected area with the best solution for the job. For carpets, spraying a wine-specific product like Wine Away and allowing it to sit for up to five minutes before blotting will eliminate stubborn residue. If it's too late for you to stock up on cleaning supplies, make a DIY solution using one part baking soda and three parts water. Apply the mixture to the stain, and once it has dried, remove the paste with a vacuum. Doing the same thing with a mixture of one part white distilled vinegar and two parts salt also works in a pinch.

For furniture, attack the stain with a half-teaspoon of liquid dish soap mixed with two cups of cool water. After applying the solution with a sponge and soaking up the liquid, rinse it a second time with plain cool water and blot again.

If the wine splashed onto your favorite white shirt, you'll want to remove most of the stain before tossing it the washing machine. First, spray or roll on a stain remover, or blast it with hairspray if you don't have a stain remover on hand. Allow it to sit for several minutes and then blot it dry with a cloth or paper towel. Alternatively, you can try stretching the stained piece of fabric over the top of a bowl and holding it in place with a rubber band. Sprinkle the area with salt and then pour hot water into the bowl through the material. With either method, finish by washing the garment on the warm setting of your washing machine with fabric-safe bleach if you have it.

Abstaining from red wine won't necessarily keep your belongings safe from spills. Your house is likely filled with products that can leave nasty stains. Here are more tricks for removing them.

[h/t Good Housekeeping]