Best Ways to Remove a Red Wine Stain

Look. You're not going to stop drinking red wine. Remove the stain risk that comes along with it when the worst happens.

Best Ways to Remove a Red Wine Stain

Red wine can be the perfect compliment to a meal or to any dinner party, and there are endless pairings that can make it more enjoyable. But if spilled, red wine can be very likely to leave a nasty stain unless you act quickly and use the right method to lift it out. 

Check out the tips below and you'll be prepared for any red wine stain, no matter where it has been spilled. 

Before you try anything...

Remember not to panic. There are many ways that you can make a wine stain worse, so be sure to have your plan of attack ready before starting to clean up.  It can be very easy to make the stain worse, so no matter what method you are using, keep in mind: 

  • Remember to blot the stain, not wipe or scrub. Your first goal is to absorb as much of the stain as possible, without pushing it further into the fabric or making the stain wider. 
  • Do not use white wine to try to remove a red wine stain. This is common advice that many people give. But remember, white wine also has a color, though it is more faint. Adding white wine will give you more to clean up and will still discolor fabrics.  
  • Have patience. Many of these methods require some persistence, and for you to spend some time lifting the stain. If you don't see immediate results, keep at it! But remember you have lots of stain removal options, so try not to panic 
  • Different methods work best depending on what type of fabric has been spilled on. Make sure you consider the fabric before you select your cleaning solution.

Club soda will work, but no one knows why.

If you've spilled on carpet or your sofa, club soda is the best choice for helping to keep the stain from setting. Absorb as much of the wine as possible, and then continue to blot with club soda until the stain disappears.

Scientists have tested club soda and why it works to dissolve wine stains and though they admit it works, there is still no solid explanation as to why. 

More alcohol might do the trick.

One tried and tested way to remove that red wine stain is to use clear alcohols. Vodka and gin are the most trusted clear alcohols to use on a stain, but any high-proof liquor will do. Luckily, you're likely to have the supplies you need on-hand. 

To clean up, absorb as much wine as possible with a cloth or paper towel, and start to blot with your chosen alcohol. Continue to apply and absorb until the stain is entirely removed. Continue the process until the entire wine stain has been removed. 

Dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.

Using dish soap and hydrogen peroxide is a sworn-by remedy for a red wine stain. You might have heard about it less commonly, since we may not all have hydrogen peroxide at hand. 

Mix three parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap to make your cleaning solution. Absorb as much of the wine as possible before adding this solution to lift the stain completely. 

Rinsing with hot water works for tablecloths and clothing.

If you've had a spill on the tablecloth or on an item of clothing, you can try to use salt and hot water to remove the stain. Pour salt on the stain to absorb the wine, and then stretch the fabric so you can pour hot water through it. 

Get to the stain quickly, and this trick will remove the stain completely and almost instantly. 

Products designed for wine stains.

If you have a set-in stain to deal with, or you're caught with an unexpected spill, there are a couple of products designed specifically to help get the stains out. 

Tide to Go

Tide to Go is a great products that actually works amazingly well. If you're out and about and have a small wine spill, Tide to Go will get it out immediately 

OxiClean

OxiClean is the best choice for removing old or set in stains from fabric. If you've got a set-in stain that you weren't able to remove with the methods above, try OxiClean to save your fabric  

Annie Kiely
Annie Kiely

Annie Kiely is a freelance writer, editor and researcher who lives in the 'burbs of Toronto with her pets and her partner. Annie is an advocate for wellness, mental health support and literacy, and loves animals and gardening.

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