To prevent red wine from staining a carpet.
The hygroscopic properties of salt will cause it to draw up and remove red wine from the carpet before the red wine has time to settle in and stain.
Basis for hypothesis:
Something I overheard somewhere.
- Some waste carpet that I found in a skip
- 2008 Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
- Measuring spoons
Two identical 1tbsp stains were created on the carpet; the first was designated the control stain. The second stain, after being left for twenty seconds to simulate the mad oh-crap-I’ve-spilt-wine-on-the-carpet dash was quenched with salt.
Immediately after the administration of salt it was readily apparent that the salt was absorbing the red wine. After being left for one hour the “clean” salt was removed, leaving a behind pile of pink salt.
There was no apparent difference between the treated stain and the control stain, except for the treated stain being surrounded by damp salt.
Whilst salt does absorb red wine, it should not be used in the prevention of red wine stains. Red wine likes carpet more than it likes salt.
In future the author would advise his girlfriend of what was being attempted beforehand.
My parents brought me back this wine holder from their most recent holiday.
It doesn’t look much like a wine holder until you insert a bottle; whereupon it magically “stands up”.
An object balances when its centre of mass is above its base. The base of the holder can be any point along the curved edge; the curved shape allows it to pivot freely. The holder balances when the centre of mass is directly above the pivot.
If the centre of mass is to the left of the pivot the holder rotates to move the the centre of mass right (anticlockwise); if it’s to the right then the holder moves the centre of mass to the left (clockwise).
An object free to rotate will rotate around its centre of mass. In the photograph below (click to enlarge) you can see where the centre of mass is – it hasn’t rotated and therefore isn’t blurred.
An empty bottle works just as well. A bottle uniformly full of air and a bottle uniformly full of water have almost the same centres of mass.
Shifting the neck of the bottle in and out of the holder shows what effect moving the centre of mass has on the balance point. With the neck all the way in the centre of mass is moved to the right and the holder balances further to the right; the opposite is true when the neck is all the way out, moving the centre of mass to the left.
A half-full bottle has a very different centre of mass; the ability of the water to move around causes the centre of mass to move around. In the photograph below the water has settled to the bottom of the bottle, moving the centre of mass towards the left as in the photograph above right.