How to Remove Red Wine Stains

Whether at a wine-tasting or your neighbor’s dinner party, if there’s red wine, it will end up on someone’s clothing or tablecloth. The key to removing red wine stains is acting quickly – the stain will be much easier to remove while it is still wet.

Removing a Fresh (wet) Stain

It is easiest to remove red wine when it is still wet. Dried wine stains are harder to remove, and addressed further in this article. Also, be sure throughout the process to blot the stain, not rub it, as this will only push the stain further into the fabric. Use the following steps until the stain is removed.

You Will Need:

  • White wine
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Talcum Powder
  • Club Soda
  • Boiling water

How to Remove the Red Wine Stain:

These techniques should be safe for most washable fabrics, but be sure to test a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure there is no discoloring or damage to the fabric fibers.

  1. Begin by blotting with a clean cloth to remove as much of the wine as possible. It’s very important to BLOT throughout this entire process DO NOT SCRUB. Working from the outside of the stain towards the center will keep the stain from spreading.
  2. Dab the stain with white wine and blot with a clean cloth.
  3. If the stain still remains, try dabbing a little bit of club soda on the stain and blot to remove.
  4. If the stain still persists, try pouring either salt, baking soda, talcum powder on the stain and letting it set. The powder should soak up the stain and remove it.
  5. If your fabric can withstand boiling water, try the following method:
    1. Lay the stain across an large bowl
    2. Pour boiling water over the stain and let the water draw it out as it runs through the fabric into the bowl.
  6. When the stain is removed, wash the clothing in cold water following detergent recommendations on the care tag.
  7. You may want to air-dry the clothing to be sure the stain is not noticeable when it’s dry. If you place it in the dryer and it’s not completely gone, it will be set from the heat and impossible to remove.

Removing Old Red Wine Stains

Dried wine stains are more difficult to remove, but not impossible. Again, be sure throughout the process to blot the stain, not rub it, as this will only push the stain further into the fabric.

You Will Need:

  • Non-bleach/Non-alkali dish detergent such as Dawn
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Towel
  • Cloth white cloths or paper towels
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Water

How to Remove the Red Wine Stain:

These techniques should be safe for most washable fabrics, but be sure to test a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure there is no discoloring or damage to the fabric fibers.

  1. It’s very important to BLOT throughout this entire process DO NOT SCRUB. Working from the outside of the stain towards the center will keep the stain from spreading.
  2. Place a towel inside of the garment to keep the stain from transferring to the other side.
  3. Blot the stain with a solution of one part dish detergent and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.
  4. If this does not remove the stain, try applying a paste made of cream of tartar and water.
  5. Let it set for a few minutes and then rinse by blotting with a clean damp towel.
  6. When the stain is removed, wash the clothing in cold water following detergent recommendations on the care tag.
  7. You may want to air-dry the clothing to be sure the stain is not noticeable when it’s dry. If you place it in the dryer and it’s not completely gone, it will be set from the heat and impossible to remove.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Avoid using warm water, as it can speed up the setting process and make the stain more difficult to remove.
  • If you’re traveling, or are in a pinch, try rubbing white Colgate toothpaste on the stain to remove it.
  • If the stain is on a garment that is dry-clean only, do not pre-treat or attempt to remove the stain. Take the item to a professional cleaner as soon as possible to have the stain treated.

Comments

  1. Sue says:

    The hydrogen peroxide and dish detergent solution worked wonderfully! It took some time and effort, but it was well worth it. I used it on a red wine stain that was dry but only a few hours old.

    Thanks to whomever is responsible for this idea!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I agree that the tip about the hydrogen peroxide and dish detergent works. I used Ivory because that is what I have on hand. I just cleaned a dried stain of wine that was from a dinner spill. My husband had put some salt on it at the time. I don’t know if that contributed to the ease of cleaning or not.

  3. Red Wine Stain says:

    I didn’t have hydrogen peroxide on hand so I used OxiClean and Woolite, added a little water to dissolve and make a watery paste, applied to the stain and let sit for while. I checked it every hour and in about four hours the stain was gone. Rinse and reapply if needed.

  4. Susie says:

    OMG, tried this and it actually worked. The red wine splattered all over my favorite white shirt at lunch, and I couldn’t take it off until later that night, long after it was dried. And I think it’s totally gone. It does take a little time, but so worth it. Thank you!!

  5. Pauchu says:

    Peroxide and detergent cleaned my two-year-old red wine stain in a mustard colored cotton shirt.

  6. Gemma says:

    I had a huge red wine stain once on a really delicate, white, woolen-mix dress. Because it was such a delicate fabric I spent loads of time doing research to find a safe way to treat the stain, and eventually found a product that I had to mail order from the US called “Wine Away,” which worked fantastically, and was mild and non-chemical, so it did not damage the fabric at all. I recommend it for red wine stains!

  7. Cheri says:

    The cream of tartar paste worked for my stain better than the hydrogen peroxide. My stain was only a bottle ring.

  8. Lowell says:

    WOW! I’m very impressed with the results. Not sure who came up with this “remedy,” but I am betting on a chemistry student!

  9. LindaLu says:

    Went to a wine tasting, and thought I’d actually come away with no stains on my white Capri pants! No such luck; I got spots on the side and back. I must have sat in some wine. The Dawn and hydrogen peroxide worked wonders! The blotting is also an important part of this, I think. Anyways, thanks loads!

  10. Christine says:

    We had a mishap with red wine and a brand new yellow shirt while traveling and it was more than 72 hours before we could address it. I had low expectations – but I am amazed! The peroxide and Dawn has removed almost every trace of the wine already. I’m going to look like Super-Wife when my husband sees his clean shirt! Thanks so much for the great tip!

  11. Rosa says:

    Great tip! Thank you. I poured two parts of the H. peroxide onto the stain on a white linen tablecloth and then one part of the dishwashing liquid, dabbed it with a paper towel and then let it sit for two hours. The stains are gone.

  12. BJ says:

    Picked up a bottle of red wine at the grocery store today and just kind of rested it on my hip while I looked down at another bottle of wine and crap! – the bottle had been sitting in a puddle of old spilled wine. I was upset, as my shirt was fairly new. Of course it was dry by the time I got home. I poured some club soda over it a couple of times and took some Dawn dishwashing soap and rubbed that on it and viola! – stain gone.

  13. Charlotte says:

    AMAZING! Used the hydrogen peroxide/Dawn on a dress that had a red wine stain that was three months old and had been put through the dryer already. The stain came off no problem!!

  14. Bob says:

    OMG; it totally worked!

  15. Neva says:

    I am so impressed! This worked, first time…HUGE red wine stain completely gone from my very light beige carpet! All I used was the dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide…incredible!

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