Removing Red Wine Stains

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 your most expensive carpet or that brand new shirt/skirt your kids bought for you, the one you love so much.

 

In talking to customers over the years and doing a little research these are some of the best methods I have heard to help you in this disastrous event. Please note that I am not guaranteeing any perfect results, my intentions are just trying to help when commercial products are not available.

 

First of all, a golden rule. Red wine stained “dry-clean” only fabrics should not be pre-treated at home. These fabrics must be taken to the dry-cleaner as soon as possible. Attempting to remove the stain can cause irreversible damage.
 

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 very difficult to remove.

 

Water or club soda is always the best choice for diluting a stain.  Apply using a spray bottle or by pouring.  Always blot the fabric from the outside edges of the stain in, to prevent it from spreading. 

Wine Stain Removal Using Peroxide and Soap

A simple household remedy to remove even the worse red wine stains combines hydrogen peroxide and soap in equal parts. Sponge or pour the mixture over the red wine stain and let stand for a minute. If you have stained only one side of a garment, place a towel behind the stained layer so the stain does not spread to the other side.  Try to test one small area first to make sure not to discolor the fabric. Next, gently blot the stained area and when done to your satisfaction put it in the laundry machine on cold. Be sure to check care labels for special instructions. When trying this method on “Carpet” make sure to give it a few minutes to penetrate the carpet fibers.

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. Do not use a coloured cloth as this may only add to your problem. Combine one tablespoon of dish soap or detergent with one tablespoon white vinegar and two cups warm water. Apply the water, vinegar and soap mixture to the stain using a clean towel.  Then, blot the stain with a clean, dry towel and once the stain is gone, blot the area using a clean rag with cold water.

White Wine to the Rescue

When it comes to red wine stain removal, white wine is actually 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 towel. Be sure never to rub or wipe as this will spread or go deeper and make it worse. 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.

“Dry” Red Wine Stain Removal

Dry red wine stains are tough and may never completely come out. The first line of defence for a tough dry red wine stain is the peroxide and soap solution. Then 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 and every once in a while adding some water.  Clean up this mess with a wet towel followed by a dry towel when done.

Commercial Red Wine Stain Removers

If you enjoy wines and have gone through this in the past, which by now, I’m sure we all have, it might be prudent to have on hand a good commercial product to help out, much like having a fire extinguisher to help put out a fire or bandages for cuts. It just can’t hurt to be pro-active. There are many great products available; some of these include OxiClean, Resolve, and Wine Away. 
 
Best of luck and keep blotting.
 
. . . A good customer recently shared this story with me, whereby he spilled a full bottle of red wine on his light blue carpet and happened to have baking soda on hand. After a short panic period he poured 4 to 5 containers of baking soda on the wine stain and left it for days. At the end, the baking soda soaked up the red wine from the carpet and he scraped and vacuumed the remnants of the baking soda up. This he felt saved the day after a minor steam clean.