Red Wine Stain Removal Methods

A glass of red wine stains your carpet or clothing. We’ve all experienced it. That slow-motion moment of horror as the wine glass topples over and spills red wine all over the nearest absorbent surface. The moment everyone’s attention shifts to the carpet, party dress, linen, or other (most often white) surface now dripping with a massive red wine stain. Removing red wine stains from clothing, upholstery, carpet and other materials is possible using the right advice.

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How To Remove Wet Red Wine Stains

The following household remedies have been proven to work best on fresh red wine stains and while the fabric is still “wet” with the red wine stain. In all instances, no matter what remedy you choose, it is important to keep the stain wet. Once the stain dries, it will be more difficult to remove. Water is always the best choice for diluting a stain, but if unavailable, club soda or white wine can be used. Apply using a spray bottle or by sprinkling or pouring on by hand. Next, blot the fabric from the outside edges of the stain in, to prevent it from spreading. Try to blot up as much of the red wine as possible.

Household Red Wine Stain Removal

As with every stain, time is of the essence when removing red wine stains. The sooner you can work on removing the stain, the easier it will come out. The following remedies work best on cotton, polyester and blends. Red wine stained dry-clean only fabrics should not be pretreated at home. These fabrics must be taken to the cleaners as soon as possible. Attempting to remove the stain at home from dry clean only fabrics can cause irreversible damage.

Wine Stain Removal From Clothing with Peroxide and Soap

A simple household remedy to remove even the ugliest of red wine stains combines the stain lifting powers of hydrogen peroxide and soap. First, combine equal parts liquid detergent or soap (Dawn Soap is a good choice) and hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Sponge or pour the mixture over the red wine stain and let stand for a minute to pre-soak. Please note: if you have stained only one side of a garment, place a towel between the stained layer and clean layer so the stain does not penetrate through to the other side of the fabric. If possible, test one small area first to ensure the solution does not discolor the fabric.

Next, gently blot the stained area. The hydrogen peroxide and soap formula help remove discoloration. Continue to blot until the stain can no longer be seen. The garment can then be put in the laundry machine as usual. Cool water is usually best. Be sure to check care labels for special instructions.

Removing Wine Stains From Carpet With Hydrogen Peroxide and Soap

For removing red wine stains from carpet, first apply hydrogen peroxide, giving it a few minutes to penetrate carpet fibers. Next, using a spray bottle filled with one part water and one part carpet cleaner, mist the stain. Blot with a clean cloth until stain is removed.

Water, Vinegar and Soap Red Wine Stain Removal

Similar to the hydrogen peroxide and soap solution above, the water, vinegar and soap method is best applied immediately after blotting the red wine stain with a clean, white cloth or paper towel. Next, combine one tablespoon of dish soap or detergent with one tablespoon white vinegar and two cups lukewarm water. (Some stain removal guides suggest first applying soapy water and then applying a vinegar and water solution. Both remedies work.)

Apply the water, vinegar and soap mixture to the stain using a clean towel. Blot the stain with a clean, dry towel as you go. Once the stain is gone, blot the area using a clean rag with cold water. Finally, blot the area once again with a clean, dry cloth.
If you are unable to completely remove the stain using this method, repeat using the red wine peroxide and soap solution above.

White Wine to the Rescue – Using It On Red Wine Stains

Although two wrongs rarely make a right, here’s an exception to the rule that would put even your mother to shame. When it comes to red wine stain removal, white wine is a valuable resource. White wine counteracts the red wine and makes it easier to remove the original red wine stain.

Simply pour a small amount of white wine over the red wine stain and blot with a clean, absorbent towel. Be sure never to rub or wipe at red wine stained fabric, as this will only set the stain deeper within the fabric. Once you have blotted as much of the stain as possible, treat any stain remnants with the regular fabric or carpet stain remover of your choice. The pesky red wine mark can then be easily removed in the same fashion as any other stain.

Add a Little Salt to Your Red Wine Stain

In a pinch and not sure what method to choose, or short on ingredients? Shake a thick layer of salt over the red wine stain to prevent it from spreading and setting. Then, when you are ready to treat the stain, remove or vacuum the salt. Remember, the sooner you salt, the better the chance it will help stop the stain from setting—making it easier to lift.

Dry Red Wine Stains Removal

Remember, it is always best to treat a stain—especially a red wine stain—as soon as possible. But as life would have it, sometimes it’s just not possible to remove a red wine spill directly after it happens. Perhaps you were out at a party, or a guest spilled red wine on your favorite rug and you didn’t notice it until the next day, what should you do?

The following stain removal methods are best suited to dry red wine stains and should assist in removing stains after they have already set. Please be aware that dry red wine stains may sometimes not come out, no matter how much time you spend and what you do.

The first line of defence for a tough dry red wine stain is the peroxide and soap solution found above. However, if the stained fabric is not colorfast or is very delicate, try one of the remedies below.

White Wine with Baking Soda To Fight Red Wine Stains

First, soak the red wine stain in white wine (or club soda). Next, cover the stain with a thick baking soda and water paste. Leave the baking soda on the stain for a few hours, periodically moistening the solution with water. Once the treatment is done, wash the fabric as normal.

Commercial Red Wine Stain Removers

If you are an avid red wine drinker, or just clumsy, investing in a commercial red wine stain remover is a great idea. There are many great products available for both wine stains specifically and stains in general. Some of these include:


To treat non-wool carpeting with a nasty red wine stain, OxiClean is a great option. Mix the OxiClean powder with water and apply to stained area. Wait a few minutes and blot with a clean, dry towel. Repeat until stain is removed and rinse with water. After the area dries, vacuum. OxiClean now also makes a liquid stain pretreatment formula that is said to help remove wine stains from clothing and other materials.


Resolve is a great brand of all-purpose stain removal products that also can help in the elimination of red wine stains. In particular, Resolve is well known for its effectiveness at removing stains from carpet. For red wine, Resolve Max Trigger is recommended. Follow Resolve spot treatments with regular laundering for best results.

Wine Away

Made from fruit and vegetable extracts, Wine Away is an industry specific red wine stain remover that regularly ranks among the best on the market. Wine away is free of bleach and is safe in households with pets and/or children. To use, spray on affected areas and let sit from one to 15 minutes (depending on severity and age of stain). Then wash off or launder as usual.
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General Wine Stain Removal Tips

- Blot, don’t rub.
- Do not apply heat (i.e. put garment in dryer) until stain is fully removed.
- When using bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide, be sure to first test colored fabrics for colorfastness.
- When in doubt, take the garment to a professional dry cleaner.

Wine Stain Removal from Specific Fabrics

There are numerous other red wine stain removal methods that have gained a following on the internet. These include milk saturation, vodka, shaving cream and boiling water. To learn specific methods for removing red wine stains from specific fabrics and garment types, please check back soon as we’re preparing lots of new red wine stain removal related content!

What causes red wine stains?:

Red wines contain a pigment found in grape skins which is part of a family of food-coloring chemicals called anthocyanins. Similar to fabric dyes, anthocyanins quickly and easily attach themselves to fabrics and fibrous items.

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