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Red Wine Stains - How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet and Other Surfaces

Updated on June 7, 2011
Seems like parties always end up with red wine stains
Seems like parties always end up with red wine stains

Red Wine Stain Removal to the Rescue

Nothing ruins a nice party quicker than red wine stains on the carpet or a favorite outfit. And it seems that Murphy's Law dictates that wherever red wine and fun congregate, there will be a disaster in the near future.

I don't know which is worse, spilling the wine yourself and causing a red wine stain or getting a red wine stain on your heirloom carpet or expensive dress that you saved for a special occasion.

Either way, spilled red wine usually creates panic, as red wine stains are notorious for hanging around for life. Or until you throw out the stained item.

Never fear, here are some time tested techniques that will show you how to remove red wine stains, whether it is a stained carpet or some other fabric. You see, I have lots of wino friends, and they have taught me a thing or two about removing red wine stains from just about anything.

By the way, most of these stain removal tips work on other similar stains, such as orange flavored soft drinks, stubborn Kool-Aid brand drinks, and similar beverages.

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Red Wine Stains Removal 101

First up is how to remove red wine stains from carpet. This is where people panic the most. A stained carpet can be mighty expensive to replace, and sometimes an area rug to cover the stain just doesn't cut it. So, here is how I was shown to get rid of wine stains from carpet:

The most important rule for removing red wine stains is to do it immediately! No other stains sets so stubbornly and hangs on for dear life more than red wine. You have a much higher success rate at removing the stain completely if you attempt to remove the red wine stain as soon as it occurs.

One extra tip about red wine stain removal: If you have a wet vac, keep it handy. This can save your carpet, even your clothing, from red wine stains easily if you use it quickly enough! It's worth it to buy a small wet vac if you are a regular red wine drinker or entertain often.

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Carpet Basic Method

If you are planning on being around red wine, keep club soda handy. The effervescent bubbles help bring the wine to the surface away from the fibers, so that it can be quickly soaked up before it absorbs deeper. In a pinch, plain carbonated water works almost as effectively. If you're really desperate, 7 UP or Sprite will also do the job pretty well. This stain removal method works on white wine stains, too.

To remove red wine stains from carpet, first gently blot up as much of the stain as possible. Then pour the club soda or carbonated water onto a sponge. Sponge the red wine stain carefully. Then GENTLY dab at the stain with paper towels, absorbent cloth towels, or a sponge. Don't press down hard or rub at first. You will push the wine deeper into the carpet. Also, work from the outside of the stain and blot toward the center. This prevents the stain from spreading even more.

Next, use a clean sponge or cloth that is wet with water and just a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid with no added bleach. Blot it well again. Finally, go over the area again, this time blotting and rinsing with plain, clean water.

After you can no longer absorb any more liquid easily, then start using more pressure to soak up the red wine stain. When no more wine appears on the towel or sponge, then lay a thick, light colored absorbent towel folded a few times directly over the stain. Weigh them down with several books, a rock or something else heavy.

Check the towel every few hours. Replace it as it gets damp. Let it sit overnight weighted down. Keep replacing the towel with a clean, light colored one when it gets damp. Do this until the towel no longer gets damp. The red wine stain should be gone.

Commercial Red Wine Stain Remover - For Next Time!

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet After They Have Set

For old red wine stains on carpet or stains that refuse to go away, use hydrogen peroxide after the final rinse above if the stain hasn't disappeared. This is a last resort, as the hydrogen peroxide may lightened the stained carpet spot. Test an inconspicuous area or try to use it diluted first to see the effect.

If that doesn't work, mix up the hydrogen peroxide with some liquid dishwashing detergent. Use a ratio of about 2 parts peroxide to 1 part dishwashing detergent. Use the method above for sponging and blotting. Then use a final rinse of plain, clean water. Blot well.

Don't let red wine stains ruin an expensive carpet or rug.
Don't let red wine stains ruin an expensive carpet or rug.

More Tested Ways to Remove Wine Stains From Carpet

I know someone that keeps a cheap bottle of white wine handy to remove red wine stains. She says it works every time, on either carpet or fabric. She just blots up the stain first as best as she can. Then she pours white wine directly over the red wine stain. Don't get it too wet it if it's carpet. Then she blots up the white wine. If it's washable, she then throws it in the washer. If not, she finishes by blotting with clean water.

I have a friend who swears that shaving cream foam is the best way to remove red wine stains from carpet. Just point the shaving cream directly over the red wine stain. Then use a plastic spatula to lift away the wine by gently scraping it off. Rinse with cold water for a clean, stain free carpet! But I have never seen it done, so I don't know how well it works.

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Clothing and Other Fabrics

There is an excellent way to remove red wine stains from clothing or other fabric, if it is shrink resistant. Heat milk to the boiling point, then turn off the heat. Add the fabric with the wine stain to the pot of milk. Let it sit in the milk for a few minutes. Then remove the item and wash as usual. This should remove the red wine stain completely.

An easier way to remove wine stains from clothing, tablecloths, or other washable fabrics is this: Blot the stain as quickly as possible. Then use club soda and sponge the stain. Use warm water if no club soda or carbonated water is available.

Hold the stained fabric tightly over a metal bowl or pan. Then pour boiling water over the stain. This takes two people. Be careful and protect your hands, arms and face in case of splashes.

Wash it normally immediately after doing this. Check it after washing. You may have to repeat the procedure to completely get the wine stain removed. This method should remove white or red wine stains from most fabrics.

Remove Wine Stains From Upholstery and Non-Washable Fabrics

For non-washable fabrics and cloth furniture, you follow the same steps that you use to remove red wine stains from carpet above. Basically, blot the stain well. Spray the stain with club soda or carbonated water. Blot well again. Keep repeating until the stain is gone or no more of the stain will lift. Then spray with plain water. Blot dry.

If the stain persists, try blotting it with water with a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent added that contains no bleach. Spray it on and blot it off. Repeat until the stain is gone. Finally, rinse with plain water and blot well. Keep spraying the rinse water and blotting until you have removed all of the detergent from the fabric.

For extremely stubborn wine stains on non-washable fabrics or upholstered furniture, try the above steps first. Then spray with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit on the wine stain for a few hours. Spray with more hydrogen peroxide and blot well. Rinse with water. Blot dry. The red wine stain should be removed.

Using hydrogen peroxide should be a last measure, as the hydrogen peroxide could bleach the fabric. So, decide which is worse- the stain or a bleached out spot. You can test an inconspicuous area first to see the results.

Video Showing How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet With White Wine

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Carpet and Other Surfaces Comments

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    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 

      5 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      were years that I wanted to meet someone to give me some tips on how to remove wine stains from my white table cloths that I use for lunches and dinners. Thank you very much, I will try this weekend to practice your valuable advice!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great information on carpets. Thanks for sharing.

    • TycoonSam profile image


      6 years ago from Washington, MI

      Very informative hub. I've used the soda water method and the white wine method. Both work.

    • andrebreynolds profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow very informative, thanks for sharing.


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