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How to Remove Red Wine Stains

Love red wine but not red wine stains? We can help!

How to Remove Red Wine Stains
How to Remove Red Wine Stains

If you love red wine (and your guests love red wine), then chances are that you’ll eventually have a spill to clean. Red wine stains can be difficult to remove, and time is usually an important factor in cleaning successfully. So, it’s best to know exactly what to do before you have a spill.

It’s important to treat red wine stains as early as possible. As red wine spends time on the fibers of your fabric, it sinks in and becomes difficult to remove.

It’s also important to not scrub the stain. Scrubbing the stain works the red wine deeper into your fabric, making it more difficult to remove.

Begin each stain removal by gently blotting the wine to pick up as much of the excess liquid as possible (but don’t rub or scrub). Paper towels work well for this.

After blotting the stain, here are a few methods of completing the cleaning process. Some of these methods are great for carpets, and others are better for clothing or tablecloths.

Methods for Removing Red Wine Stains

Method 1: Salt

This is a classic method for dealing with red wine stains. This works on tablecloths, clothes, carpet, or furniture. After gently blotting any excess wine with a paper towel, cover the stain liberally with salt. Let it sit for around 5 minutes or up to overnight, and the salt will absorb the red wine. Then, remove the salt and wash with detergent and water.

Method 2: Club Soda

Many people swear by the power of club soda to lift out stains like red wine. Simply pour club soda directly onto your red wine stain, and let it soak. You can also combine club soda with salt for added stain-lifting action. This method will work on clothing, carpet, or furniture.

Method 3: Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

If the stain is a little more stubborn (maybe you weren’t able to get to it right away), then it’s a good idea to try a heftier stain fighter. A combination of liquid dish soap and hydrogen peroxide is a popular DIY method of removing stubborn stains. Some recipes call for a 1:1 ratio of soap to hydrogen peroxide, but that ratio can vary. Pour some of the solution onto the stain and let it sit, then gently rinse and repeat as needed (don’t scrub).

Method 4: Scalding Hot Water

This method for removing red wine might make you feel like you are righteously scorching the stain out of your fabric. Stretch the stained piece of clothing or tablecloth over a sink or bucket. From a height of about 8 inches, carefully pour boiling water directly over the stain. The heat and force of the water will immediately wash the stain away. This method works best on sturdy, colorfast fabrics. It’s a perfect solution for tablecloths!

If your red wine stain persists, don’t dry the fabric. That will set the stain.

Instead, try another of these methods. There are also a number of commercial stain removers and detergents that may help remove red wine stains. Finally, check the comments below to see if our community has some great tips for removing red wine stains!

How do you remove red wine stains? Tell us in the comments below!

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These tips are really helpful. When serving red wine, it's always a fear that it will end up somewhere it's not supposed to. Thanks for providing some guidance when it comes to removing these stubborn stains.

This is so helpful! I like that I don't have to go out and buy a special cleaning product, too. I just started liking red wine, so I will keep this in mind in case I have any mishaps in the future.

I can personally attest that salt picks up most of a red wine stain! A couple of years ago, my boyfriend spilled red wine on. my. bed. (I didn't own a couch yet) After immediately ripping my (new and white) sheets off the bed and frantically Googling how to get rid of a red wine stain, we settled on salt. After letting it sit for the night, I threw them in the wash. There's still a hint of a stain on my pillow case, but it could've been so much worse!

These are great tips. I didn't know that about the boiling water, and I'm almost almost tempted to try it!

Hopefully you won't need to any time soon... but it's good to know just in case! -Kristin, Editor for


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