6 Red Wine Stain Removal Ideas Using Everyday Items

6 Red Wine Stain Removal Ideas Using Everyday Items

Picture it: You're at a dinner party enjoying the most delicious glass of Cabernet when suddenly, bam! Someone accidentally bumps into you and now you have a stain all over your brand-new blouse. Now what?

No matter how careful you are, spills happen. (Especially when wine is involved!) From clothing to carpet, tablecloths to furniture, red wine stains can be brutal. 

To help you tackle this splotchy situation, we've created this guide for the best DIY red wine stain removal tips and tricks that don't require any harsh chemicals. This way, the next time you have a spill, you can chill — after following these steps, of course.

A Few Pointers About Red Wine Stain Removal

Before you get started on wiping that wine away, keep in mind that the first line of defense is quick action. The longer the stain has to settle in, the harder it will become to get rid of it. So, stay calm and carry on with the following guidelines:

  • Use paper towels or a clean cloth for dabbing and blotting the affected area, which will help absorb as much wine as possible. The more you soak up, the less stain you have to later remove. 
  • Avoid scrubbing at first — resist the urge to vigorously scrub the stain as this can embed the red wine in the fabric even more. 
  • Add moisture to the stained area as quickly as possible to break up the wine molecules. Use one of the solutions suggested below and you're well on your way to having a stain-free outcome.
  • Don't use bleach — at least not just yet. While bleach can help get rid of red wine stains on a white shirt or other white clothing or bedding, it will discolor anything else. Try the DIY stain removal ideas below before resorting to bleach.

6 DIY Red Wine Stain Removers You Already Have at Home

Red wine stain removal: usual wine on a pillow

When it comes to red wine spills, swift action is key. While you could turn to ready-made cleaning products like OxiClean or Wine Off, you're not necessarily going to have those items ready to go wherever you are. Instead, you can easily use household ingredients that you (and most people) will already have stocked in the kitchen pantry or bathroom. Here are six at-home red wine stain removal ideas that should do the trick. 

1. Salt

While some swear by kosher salt versus table salt, use whatever you have. Salt will absorb the wine and lift the color away from the surface. After you've blotted the stain to remove what you can, try dabbing it with a little cold water and then spread plenty of salt over the affected area. Let it sit for at least five minutes to absorb more of the wine.

If you have a more stubborn stain, leave the salt on for several hours or overnight. Then, rinse the spot thoroughly with cold water. If the stain is still there, repeat the previous steps and gently blot the fabric to remove any remaining wine stains. If you're dealing with clothing, you can then wash the item in cold water with laundry detergent. If you have an upholstery or carpet stain, you can also follow up with some of the other ideas on this list until the stain is gone.

2. Baking Soda (and Vinegar)

For this red wine stain remover, simply follow the same steps as you would for using salt. While you could apply a liberal amount of baking soda directly to the affected area, you may also want to try creating your own liquid solution to remove tougher stains or those on furniture or carpet. 

For the solution, you have a couple of options:

  • Add one part baking soda to three parts water
  • Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon white vinegar

After you cover the stain completely, let it air dry and then blot again. If you're not satisfied with the outcome, repeat the steps until the area is back to normal. FYI, if you don't have any baking soda on hand, you can substitute it with salt. (Isn't it nice how well these DIY solutions commingle?) 

3. Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

For this handy red wine stain removal option, all you need are two basic household items — dishwashing liquid and hydrogen peroxide. Don't forget that hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent (albeit a mild one), so this combo is best for light-colored items. Also, apply the solution to a small part of the stain before covering the entire affected area just to make sure the material is colorfast (i.e., the colors won't fade). 

Since there's no set rule on the ratio of peroxide to dish soap, you may have to do a little experimenting. Generally speaking, you should be good with three parts hydrogen peroxide and one part dishwashing liquid. Apply the mixture to the fabric and let it soak for at least an hour. The stain will likely begin to fade right away. You can dab the solution on the stained area if needed. 

For clothing, once the stain is gone, feel free to put the item in the washing machine and launder as usual. If you cannot wash the clothing right away, rinse off the mixture completely to prevent it from weakening the fibers. 

For furniture or carpet, you can rinse off the liquid solution with a clean wet cloth, let it air dry, and vacuum. 

4. Club Soda

One of the quickest go-to options for removing red wine stains is club soda. After blotting away as much wine as possible, pour the club soda across the stain and let it fizz and soak for at least 10 minutes. The carbonation will help dissolve the red pigments. 

Next, use a sponge, towel, or other clean cloth to absorb the liquid. Soak again and repeat as necessary. We realize this all sounds extremely easy, and that's because it is.

5. Boiling Water

This red wine stain removal method is strictly for sturdy, colorfast clothing or other items you can hold in your hand and stretch. To start, boil a few cups of water. (For added oomph, add salt to the water.) Next, place the stained fabric tautly over a bowl or across your kitchen sink. You may need another pair of hands to help you out.

Slowly pour the boiled water over the affected area, which will dilute and loosen the red pigmentation. If there is still some residual color, try one of the other methods on this list until the stain is completely gone.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

You've heard the old saying "fight fire with fire." Well, the same idea can apply when it comes to red wine stain removal. Except, here, you'll fight alcohol with alcohol — rubbing alcohol, that is. After thoroughly rinsing the stained area with cold water, try dabbing it with a little isopropyl alcohol to remove the stain.

No Pain, No Stains

Red wine stain removal: 3 usual wines on display

Enjoying a glass of red wine is one of life's greatest pleasures. But as with anything worth having, it comes with some risk. In this case, the chance of a spill! But with these handy instructions, you don't have to cry over spilled wine. 

From salt and baking soda to dish soap, hydrogen peroxide to boiling water, there are plenty of ways to remove red wine stains with everyday items. Sure, you might be seeing red for a moment, but before you know it, your stain will be a distant memory. For more ways to make the most of your wine drinking experience, be sure to check out the Usual Wines blog.