How to Remove Wine Stains

How to remove fresh wine stains from clothing, carpet, and upholstery

Wine falling out of glass

When drinking wine, sometimes a spill can happen. Whether you over-indulged or have a clumsy spouse, it's important to know a few tips and tricks to keep red wine stains from ruining your carpets, clothing, and upholstery. 

As regular wine drinkers, we've picked up a few of our own favorite DIY methods for cleaning up red wine spills on different surfaces. 

The most important factor in fixing a stain is time. Act quickly by blotting the stain (don't press or scrub, scrubbing will only make it worse!), and then add your cleaning agent if necessary.


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What Cleaning Agents Do You Need?

Depending on where the stain is you don't have to resort to drastic measures immediately. A tablecloth can be soaked, and then laundered. A carpet is a slightly different story.

The good news is that you don't have to have fancy stain removers to get up a spill, although those types of cleaning products can be helpful.  

Wineaway and Chateau Spill are two that we can personally attest to working well, but you can use everyday household items to clean up wine. 

Salt, baking soda, club soda, cold water, vinegar, hot water, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, and laundry detergent can all be used in various ways to lift your spilled wine out of fabric.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Club Soda

Using club soda is the most hands-off method of cleaning. All it takes is a commitment to blotting and waiting. To amplify the effects add white vinegar to your club soda.  

Sprinkle club soda over the stained area. 

Wait overnight, then blot the stain again. 

Repeat as necessary.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Salt

Salt is a common ingredient that every house should have on hand. For red wine stain removal, we recommend using kosher salt over sea salt or regular table salt. Kosher salt is better at absorbing the color from red wine than other types of salt. 

Blot the stain with a clean white cloth. 

Sprinkle salt over the stain and let sit for three minutes.  

Rinse again with cold water and blot.

Repeat as necessary.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Baking Soda

Baking soda is another ingredient common to most households and works in a similar manner to salt. Read below for the instructions on how to use baking soda to clean a stain.

Blot the stain with a clean white cloth. 

Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let sit for three minutes.  

Rinse again with cold water and blot.

Repeat as necessary.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another hands-off cleaning method.  

Wet the area, and then dab with rubbing alcohol over the stained area. 

Wait for a few minutes, then blot the stain again. 

Repeat as necessary.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap

This is a simple combination of two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap that works best on clothing that can be laundered in the washing machine after a soak. 

Hydrogen peroxide can bleach certain colors, so make sure you spot test.

Dab the mixture onto the affected area and wait, checking periodically and reapplying as needed.

Make sure to launder after treating.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine With Laundry Detergent and White Vinegar

This is another treatment that works best on clothing that can be laundered in the washing machine after a soak. 

Dab the vinegar onto the affected area and then rub in detergent. Let soak for a few minutes before adding to the washing machine.

How to Clean Up Spilled Wine On Upholstery and Carpet

Carpet and upholstery spills are tougher to swallow than a white shirt, at least the shirt is washable. It can be bleached and laundered, but cleaning solutions for, stationary objects need a bit more know-how. 

For carpeting, club soda, salt, baking soda, and vinegar are good DIY solutions, but to really get the most out of your cleaning process a professionally made wine stain remover can be very helpful. 

Treating the affected areas with Wineaway, Chateau Spill, and other like products will help you with light to moderate stains if applied quickly. 

For more stubborn stains, it is sometimes advisable to call in professional cleaners.

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