How do you really get red wine out of your clothes and carpet?

Last Updated: November 9, 2021

Red wine can stain your carpet and clothes if you don’t take care of a spill right away. Here’s how to get red wine out with natural ingredients and products — you’ve got this!

Now you’ve done it. The glass of Cabernet that was just in your hand is now on the floor — the carpeted floor.

How it happened is no concern of ours (we don’t judge), but we’re here to help you hit the rewind button and get that wine out of your carpet ... and a fresh glass back in your hand, pronto.

How to get red wine stains out of carpet

What type of stain is red wine?

The remedy for any stain depends on its type. Red wine is a water-based stain, and lucky for you, it’s probably not as hard to get out of the carpet as you think.

What you’ll need to get red wine out of carpet

Step-by-step instructions for removing red wine

Step one: blot

As soon as your red wine hits the carpet, use paper towels or a clean cloth to blot — never rub — the stain. Blot and blot, using a clean section of towel each time, until you think the spill is dry, using extra-heavy pressure to make sure every bit of moisture is out of the stain.

Step two: treat

You have several treatment options to remove what’s left behind after all that blotting, depending on how saturated the stain is, how dark the wine was, and the color of your carpet. Check out “What is the best red wine stain remover?” below.

Step three: treat again (if needed)

If the stain isn’t completely gone after using one (or a few) of our treatment suggestions, you're going to have to break out the paste. Create a paste of three parts water to one part baking soda. Apply it to the stain, let it dry, and then vacuum.

Sustainability Tip

Don't waste paper towels

Have reusable paper towels on hand for such occasions. You can blot with ‘em until the cows come home, and then simply rinse them out, let them dry, and save them for the next carpet catastrophe.

What is the best red wine stain remover?

A few different substances have proven success removing red wine stains from carpet, and most of them are things you probably have around the house.

Removing red wine stains with cold water:

Water dilutes the wine and may be sufficient to completely remove it. Pour a little cold water over the stain and blot. Pour and blot, pour and blot, and repeat until the stain is gone.

Removing red wine stains with club soda:

The carbonation in club soda helps lift out the stain, and the sodium prevents it from setting. Pour a small amount of club soda over the stain and blot. Pour and blot, pour and blot, and repeat until the stain is gone.

Removing red wine stains with vinegar and dishwashing liquid:

Vinegar neutralizes purple pigments, and dishwashing liquid helps lift them out of the carpet. Add one tablespoon of each to two cups of warm water. Pour a small amount over the stain and blot. Pour and blot, pour and ... you know the drill.

Red wine removal tips & tricks

Does salt get red wine out of carpet?

This red wine stain removal hack works best with fresh, damp stains (as opposed to old ones), but can be a simple way to beat a red wine spill with a common kitchen ingredient. After blotting the carpet stain (did you catch our note above about blotting and then blotting some more?), cover the entire surface of the wine stain with salt — don’t skimp! The salt will absorb the wine as it dries. Once the salt is dry, run a vacuum over the area to suck up the granules for a stain-free result.

Does hydrogen peroxide get red wine out of carpet?

Yes, but you’ll want to be careful — and give it a little boost by combining it with dishwashing liquid. Hydrogen peroxide is a weak bleach, so only use it on white carpet — and even then, you’ll want to test it in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it’s safe. Combine two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of dish soap. Dip your towel or reusable paper towel in the solution, and blot. Dip and blot, dip and blot ...

How do you remove old red wine stains?

It’s often easiest to tackle red wine stains when they’re fresh, but if you’re dealing with an old stain (say, one you didn’t notice until the day after a dinner party), don’t despair. Rehydrate the stain by saturating it with hot water, spray or treat with a spot cleaner or stain remover, and then apply an oxygen-based cleaner for a few hours before vacuuming.

How do you get red wine out of fabric?

Spilled on, say, your trusty couch or favorite tablecloth instead of the floor? The technique for triumphing over a red wine stain remains largely the same, and involves dabbing the affected item with water or soda water and a clean cloth. Add on a carpet & upholstery stain remover for particularly stubborn red wine stains. Note: If your stain is on an item you plan on laundering, make sure that the stain is completely gone before throwing it in the dryer, which can cause the stain to set.

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