Written by: Tim Edison

Updated on: September 29, 2018

A Step Guide On Getting Red Wine Out of Carpet Or Clothes

A Step Guide On Getting Red Wine Out of Carpet Or Clothes

We've all had our little encounters with stains. Red wine, in particular, is no exception—you're having a good time with friends when your glass slips from your hand and spills all its contents. That big scarlet stain on your shirt is enough to worry for the night but worse if the splotch has extended its wrath on your carpet. So, here’s a step guide on getting red wine out of carpet or clothes.

Red wine stains are known to be notoriously challenging to eliminate despite their frequent occurrences. The red color in wines come from pigments from chemical anthocyanin.

These chemicals are widely found in almost every plant and are responsible for giving them color. The pigment shade heavily depends on the ph., with some being higher than others.  Anthocyanins also have a reputation for fabric dyes which explains the reason why red wine stains bond with clothes and carpets particularly cotton generated ones.

However, how swift you respond and the manner in which you deal with the stain profoundly determines whether you will successfully get rid of the smudge or you will end up with an unsightly and embarrassing permanent mark on both your outfit and carpet.

Red wine stain removal can be surprisingly easy to remove if done early and correctly. There are a few essential steps to take immediately after a spillage. Here are a few things to do to assist get rid of red wine stains on your clothes or your carpet.

Method 1

  • Kitchen paper towels/sponge
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • check
    Carpet stain remover


  • 1
    Absorb the stain using the kitchen paper towels. This is an essential step on any wine stain. It helps reduce spreading and sops up the wine to prevent the pigments from soaking onto the fiber.  While bloating the stain, never rub it instead, apply pressure on the kitchen towels to ensure you absorb as much wine as possible. Rubbing will only make the condition worse by expanding the stain into other unaffected areas or worse damaging the fiber.
  • 2
    Pour some water directly onto the stain. If you have a spray bottle, consider using it instead to limit the amount of water. This will dilute the wine and weaken the stain and prevent the wine pigments from further soaking onto the clothes or carpet. Continue blotting this time using new clean, dry paper towels. This time the smudge should be getting clearer.
  • 3
    Prepare a baking soda paste by mixing water and baking soda in the ratio of 3:1 and slowly apply to the affected area. Once the paste is dry, wash your garment normally but for the carpet simply vacuum the paste away.
  • 4
    This last step is for the carpet. If the stain is still noticeable, use the carpet stain remover and wait till dry before vacuuming.

Method 2

  • Sponge or kitchen paper towels
  • Salt
  • Water
  • check
    Dish soap detergent


  • 1
    In this method, you will still need to perform the precautionary step or the blotting step.  Always blot the stain because the longer it stays on the fiber, the harder it gets to get rid of. Pick up as much wine as you can from the carpet or the shirt using a sponge or a paper towel, both are efficient. Work from outside to the inside to avoid spreading the wine to other areas.
  • 2
    Treat the stain once more with lukewarm water. Too hot water damages the fiber while too cold will only make the pigments sticky. Too much water will drive the wine pigment on other areas, therefore, pour the water sparingly while blotting out as much soluble wine as possible.
  • 3
    While the stain is still wet, cover the spot with a generous amount of salt. Salt granules will draw the moisture out of the smudge. If the stain seems too dry, wet it with some water before adding the salt.
  • 4
    Let the salt sit for a few hours to absorb the wine, the longer you let it sit, the better the results.
  • 5
    The salt should most likely turn or look pinkish. Scoop out the loose salt and discard. If it's the garment, apply some dish soap on the affected area again and let it sit for some time. For the carpet, vacuum the salt and generously squeeze some dish soap on the affected area and spread it making sure every part is covered. Let it sit and probably dry out.
  • 6
    Wash your garment as usual and vacuum the carpet.

Method 3

  • Kitchen paper towels or a dry sponge
  • Vinegar solution
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • check


  • 1
    Begin treating the stain by blotting. Depending on the amount of wine spilled. This is the first action to take before proceeding to get other cleaning materials.
  • 2
    Prepare your vinegar cleaning solution. In a big bowl mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, one tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of lukewarm water. Thoroughly stir to mix the three liquids. Remember only to use WHITE vinegar—other types of vinegar like balsamic and apple cider vinegar can introduce their own stains.
  • 3
    Carefully wet the stain on the fiber with the mixture using a sponge. Dip the sponge into the solution and dab it on the stained part like a wound. The combination works by seeping in through the fibers of the garment or the carpet loosening the stain.
  • 4
    Use a dry paper towel or an unused sponge and again blot up the vinegar mixture. Keep dabbing and blotting the vinegar solution till you get the desired results.
  • 5
    Wet the entire stain with water—cold water. Soak yet another sponge in clean cold water and press on the stain. You can also pour the water directly and dab with the sponge and then dry with a dry paper towel.
  • 6
    For maximum effectiveness repeat the above step and wait for the area to dry before vacuuming or washing.

Essential Tips On Red Wine Stain Removal

Irrespective of where you're, there will always be some first aid stain material removers in handy to help you treat the stain the earliest possible. Sponges and water can significantly save you a great deal. Since this is in most cases pure accident, it is essential to know some of the basic materials that one can use in case of wine spillage. Here are some fundamental tips on how you can get rid of this stubborn yet common stain using the standard home detergents and ingredients.

Damage Control Tips

Wine Yeast

Never let the stain to dry

Just like wounds, red wine stains should never be ignored. They are much easier to remove when wet than when dry. If the stain dries on the garment or worse the carpet, the wine pigments will already have attached themselves firmly on the fiber, and you may have to rely on a professional stain removal company to treat the smudge.

Address the stain immediately it happens

The quicker you are, the less the stain will settle. You can begin by using water and some sponges or device a clean non-reusable clothing to help with blotting. It is only necessary to prevent more wine from spreading and settling on the fiber by soaking the sponge on the wine and squeezing out as much wine as possible.

If it's a garment that you're wearing, remove it and treat the stain. Removing the stains on clothes that you're wearing is not advisable. In fact, it can be dangerous as some of the stain removers like hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous especially if it’s too concentrated. It is also much easier to take care of the stain as you can see it directly or you can place the garment on a flat surface that won't be affected by some detergents or solutions.

Never use too hot water especially if the stain is on the carpet

Most carpets are made from cotton which doesn't quite appreciate hot water. If used, the stain may go, but the patch may look different from the rest of the carpet. We always recommend using lukewarm water or water that is at room temperature.

Stain Treatment Tips

is wine healthy

Use salt

Salt is presumably the primary commodity in every home. Regardless of where you are taking your wine from, missing a few teaspoons of salt may appear daunting. That's is the reason why salt can be the miracle you need to get that stain on your blouse or carpet under control. You can use it to counter the dye from soaking deeper as you wait for a more effective solution.

Baking soda

Another famous blotch eliminator is baking soda or soda water. In most cases, you have to mix water and baking soda to come up with this magical solution. It is also a readily available product that might save the day. The effervescence water help elevates the stain pigments from the fiber.

Use a dishwashing liquid

Another common commodity probably in every home. If you were taking wine from a hotel, a friend's house or even at your own home, you could take care of your red wine smudge using this essential liquid. There is no much chemistry of how dishwashing soap gets rid of the stain, though we can assume that the detergent works on the stain substantially the same way it does on the dishes.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known mild antiseptic that is used as a mouth rinse, soothes minor mouth irritations like colds and prevents burns, scrapes, and cuts. If it's your scarlet red blouse that got stained by the wine, you plausibly wouldn't be here, so we assume your shirt must be white or lightly colored.  The basis of this assumption is because hydrogen peroxide is known to be a mild bleaching agent. Therefore, if your dear carpet or blouse is white colored, you can proceed using the solution. It is noteworthy to note that hydrogen peroxide works best when mixed with soap like dish soap.

White wine

Yes, definitely not a typo. If you're a regular red wine taker or a frequent visitor to the wine shops, you must have come across this witty idea. Most wine shop attendants recommend this tip, but you have to be wise here. Why waste another drink when there are other multiple stain removal methods? Your answer should be close to something like—the first spill is just enough.


If you are that individual who believes that bleach is the king of stains, well, you may not be wrong after all. White clothes and carpets are particularly cumbersome when it comes to stains, but if you have bleach, you can directly pour a small amount after you have completely drained the wine and blotted enough. Bleach works best on clothes and can be an excellent choice as it retains the white color.

More red wine

Another ridiculous yet effective idea. If the blotch dried before you could attend to it, consider pouring more red wine over the stain in case you don't have white wine. The fresh wet wine will freshen the stain and extricate the red pigments so that they're easy to clean with water and soap. In a situation where you cannot remove the stained pants or shirt, you can hold till you get home and try this but only if you have to. Don't forget to carry the wine with you. Note that it is safer to treat the stain early, as you’re not sure how the spill will interact with the garment or the carpet.


Apart from dressing salads, vinegar resumes very many other household duties like freshening the fridge, cleaning sinks, and removing metallic stains. It is hence not unusual that the home care product can clean and remove red wine stains. The ingredient may not achieve much on its own and at one point may need to be mixed with either salt or a dishwashing liquid. If you have used all the other products but have not seen any improvement, vinegar could be the appropriate solution.

Professional help

Sometimes it may be easier to contact your certified carpet cleaning company especially if the spillage it too much. If all the above commodities did not clear the stain, you might need to contact the experts to eliminate the stain for you.

For fabrics, if throwing the garment is not an option, the laundry department may help get your garment back in its former condition.

About the Author Tim Edison

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love of wine and interest in anything related to it ever since his late teens.

Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it.

Tim has travelled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa.

It is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here on wineturtle.com and take you along on the journey for a second time!

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