Wine stains happen to the best of us — that’s just the risk we take for loving red wine so much. Be it on a tablecloth, a carpet, or your shirt, in the midst of a good time, wine may spill and you may to have to deal with cleaning it up. But spilled wine doesn’t have to ruin the night.
While it may seem impossible — can I really get this giant red splotch out of this white rug? — red wine stains are not as difficult to remove as you might think, especially if you act quickly. Immediately blot the area with a paper towel or clean cloth to absorb as much of the wine as possible, taking care not to scrub. Then use one of our favorite red wine stain removal tricks below.
Salt (Great for carpets and rugs)
As soon as you stain your carpet with red wine, blot as much of it as you can with a paper towel, and then cover the entire stain with salt until you can’t see the red wine stain anymore. Let the salt soak into the wet stain and then dry. As the salt dries, it should suck up the stain. Then, simply vacuum everything up.
Dishwashing Detergent and Hydrogen Peroxide (Great for clothes)
Mix together equal parts dishwashing detergent (we like Dawn) and hydrogen peroxide. Pour the mixture over the wine stain and allow it to soak in. You should see the stain begin to fade almost immediately. After you have allowed the mixture to soak into the stain, launder the clothing normally. This trick works best on light colored clothes, as hydrogen peroxide has a tendency to bleach.
Boiling Water (Great for tablecloths)
Boil water in a tea kettle. While you’re boiling the water, find a large glass bowl and place it in the sink. Then stretch the portion of the fabric that has the stain on it over bowl and secure it with a rubber band. The fabric should be taut. When the water boils, pour it from a height over a foot above the stain directly on to the fabric. The stain should wash out.
White Vinegar and Laundry Detergent (Great for clothes)
Cover the stain in white vinegar, which neutralizes purple and red pigments. Immediately after applying the vinegar, rub in liquid detergent, then launder in hot water. The stain should lift.
Bleach (Best for white fabrics only)
While we don’t recommended using bleach for all wine stain occurrences, it is your best bet for getting wine out of white fabrics. Simply soak the fabric in bleach for about ten minutes and then launder in hot water. The stain will disappear.
Baking Soda and Water (Great for clothes and carpets)
As with salt, baking soda is a great way to absorb and break up a red wine stain. Once the area is blotted, cover liberally with a paste of baking soda and a few drops of water (this should be smooth enough to apply, but not too runny). On a carpet, allow the paste to dry completely and then vacuum it up. On clothing, allow the paste to dry completely, then launder in hot water.
If the above tricks don’t seem to work, a chemical product we’ve been told does a great job is Wine Away, it even removes stains that are old and dry, though we’ve never tried it ourselves. And if all else fails, or you seem to encounter more stains than normal, you may want to consider just drinking white wine.