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!

  16. Michele says:

    Within seconds of spilling red wine, I was at the sink and started treatment on my new linen shirt. The salt did not work; hot water did not work. I had no white wine or Dawn dish soap, but organic dish soap did not work. Mom to the rescue – hydrogen peroxide with a soft toothbrush took it right out, with a water lavage. My guess, anything with peroxide is a better bet – don’t waste the time with beloved material.

  17. Balasundram says:

    Thanks; very informative.

  18. Emmie says:

    This worked like a charm on an expensive white table cloth and a week old red wine stain I forgot about. I poured on hydrogen peroxide, drizzled soap on it, and wet it again with hydrogen peroxide while tapping it into the material. I threw it in the wash, and volia! Good as new!

  19. Patrick says:

    Dish detergent!!!!!!
    That is the cure.
    That is all.
    You’re welcome.

  20. Jennie says:

    I had a massive red wine stain which I could not attend to at the time because we were in the middle of a dinner party when the glass fell over and so I put it in to soak with Vanish overnight and whilst some of the stain came out, there was still a definite stain remaining. I tried again with more Vanish and eventually found this advice and it seems that the hydrogen peroxide works. I haven’t taken it off yet, but it’s looking good.

  21. Janet says:

    My stain is on the carpet and it is a little bigger than baseball size… It is brand new multi-colored (brownish black) carpet… the stain is about a week old. I did not want to touch it, as I thought it would make it worse. I called carpet cleaning people, but to no avail; they did not work on stains, nor have advice.

    Please give me specifics as what to do. Some comments use shaving cream, others hydrogen peroxide, or? … I do not want to touch it unless I think it will really work. Please help… Thank you, Janet.

  22. Melanie says:

    Janet,
    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Red Wine from Carpet.

  23. Jose says:

    Totally works! I had a dried red wine stain and this remedy totally did the trick! I will most definitely be careful next time.

  24. Laure says:

    I did the peroxide dishwashing liquid stuff. It removed the stain, but my table cloth turned yellowish. Any help there?

  25. Lizzie says:

    Phew!! Talc worked!

    Here I am with hubby, babies are asleep, we’re enjoying a rare glass of vino, and bam!; I splashed it all over my couch, which is normally forbidden from food and drink (due to such occurrences!)…still reeling from the ‘oh my god, if this were him there would be hell to pay!’

    I did a quick Google search and found this site, saving myself from a disapproving look whilst he’s (quite deservedly) thinking ‘ha ha ha, ha ha ha!’…talc straight on the stain, no bolting before or after, just baby talc. I was working in a darkened room so all I could see was talc, all over my beloved couch. I went to the kitchen for something to remove the talc and found a bank card. Feeling somewhat like a drudgee in a movie, I started scraping at the talc to remove it. It had changed consistency and when I took it out into the light, it seemed pinkish. All talc removed, I got a damp dishcloth and wiped* it clean. *More to be thought of as a scrubbing action as opposed to gentle blotting.

    It worked – yay!!

    …Remaining wine passed to hubby, as I’ve obviously had enough!

  26. Chana says:

    I had a dried large wine stain on my white challah cover. It’s been there for a few months and I just mixed Palmolive with peroxide and blotted it. The stains disappeared! Now I need to figure out how to get it out of the lace trimming.
    Thank you!

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