Red Wine Stains

Red Wine Stains

Sounds like you had a party. But between you and me, we both know it only takes one brief moment to spill a glass of wine. A glass of red wine is lovely….until you miss your mouth and have to clean up a red wine stain!

Whether it’s on the carpet, furniture or clothing, it’s important to clean up the red wine as quickly as possible.

First get to a sink and blot at the wine with a clean, wet cloth until as much of the wine as possible has disappeared. Don’t rub! And never put any stained fabric in the dryer until you’re absolutely sure the stain is gone.

Red Wine Stain Removers:

White Wine:

In an emergency, and if no other cleaning solutions are available, you can pour white wine into red wine stains. The white wine dilutes the red staining liquid. Of course you still need to remove the white wine but if you’ve gotten to the stain fast you won’t have to deal with a red stain.

White wine has sugar in it, so follow up with washing the garment in cold water or using a portable steam cleaner to extract any residue from the carpet and avoid future staining from the sticky sugars in the wine.

Club Soda:

Douse the stain with plain club soda. Pour and blot until the stain disappears. As long as the club soda does not have added sugar and you blot up all the liquid you shouldn’t need to steam clean if the wine has spilled on carpet.


Pour salt over a fresh red wine stain. Use kosher salt if you have it. The salt will soak up the wine. Brush it off or vacuum in an hour or so. You can also try this with the club soda method above. Pour the club soda on the wine before it dries. Blot up all the liquid you can then pour salt over the spot. Wait an hour or so and brush it off in the case of fabric or vacuum in the case of carpet.

Hot Water:

I preach about always using cold water to remove stains all over this cleaning tips site, but there is just one exception: fruit and berry stains. These stains are best removed with boiling water. If the red wine stain has not come out with the other methods I’ve listed, try this on a clothing stained with red wine. Obviously don’t try it on carpet because you’ll saturate it with water and that’s not a good idea.

Tough Red Wine Stains:

Tough or dried red wine stains will come out with commercial stain removers. “Wine away” red wine stain remover is popular.

It doesn’t use bleach or phosphates. It is effective at removing other stains such as coffee, blood, ink, fruit punch, sauces, red medicine stains, and even pet accidents.

There’s another product called StainRX (Erado-Sol) made by Evergreen labs that has actually been proven by the University of California-Davis to be the number one wine remover above all (even wine away). It works on red wine, iodine, berries, fruit punch, cranberry juice, etc.