How To Remove Red Wine Stains

It is not uncommon to have animated discussions with friends when drinking your favorite red wine, and moments later, realize its stain on your recently-bought couch? Chance is that you probably took it too lightly and later found out that the stain was going to remind you of your carelessness permanently. Relax! Because today we are going to tell you how you can spill your red wine (accidentally, of course) and not end up hyperventilating. 

Like all other coloured liquids, a red wine stain will quickly seep into the porous fibers of your clothes and upholstery. Red wine contains a primary substance called chromogen, which is responsible for its color. Spilled red wine will move down into the fabric and move outwards, creating a bigger stain than the original one. This is precisely why you shouldn’t delay treating stains. You may wait till your guests leave but no more than that. 

Can I scrub on the stain?

Scrubbing is never a good idea. It will help the stain to spread outwards and create a bigger stain. Then there is also the risk that the stain will go deeper into the fabric.

Step 1:

Keep the area of the stain as taut as possible. 

Step 2:

Use a dry cloth or a paper towel to lift off the wine as much as you can gently. Do this gently by pressing on the stain without any rubbing motion

Step 3:

Use any one of the dry powders to dust on the stain generously:

  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Sodium percarbonate (granulated hydrogen peroxide)
  • Any dry soap powder
  • Talcum powder used for body dusting
  • Kitty litter

The dry powders will help take out the red wine from your costly upholstery or clothes. Nine out of ten times, the dry powder method successfully removes the stain completely, provided you have acted swiftly. You will need to remember that you must never once scrub; use the blotting method even when you are trying to clear away the dry powders and salts. If you notice that the dry powder has effectively lifted off the stain, you can also gently vacuum the powders away.

Here is what you must do if your strain has dried up:

Boil water and use hot water to cover the stain slowly. The water will wet the area and dilute the red wine causing its molecules to loosen their cohesion on the fabric. Clean away by the blotting method. Next, pour milk on your red wine stain and let it sit for about a quarter of an hour. Blot it all up with a dry washcloth or an absorbent sponge. 

Are you still seeing the ghost of the stain?

Use the vinegar trick. Mix white vinegar and club soda in a ratio of 1:1.This is a powerful agent that helps to breakdown the remaining molecules of wine. Use a similar blotting technique to clean up. Club soda is a better solvent than just plain hot water when it comes to pulling out stubborn stains from costly dresses and furnishings. However, experts believe that hot water treatment must precede it to be more effective.

Market bought Oxy-cleaners is also helpful in removing stains if you prudently treat them before they dry off. Oxy cleaners have sodium percarbonate that gives hydrogen peroxide when it mixes with water. Mix a small part of an oxy cleaner with the same amount of water and apply it to the stained part. Let it soak for about 30 minutes and blot the stain away. If you do not want to invest in an oxy-cleaner, you can do a similar process with 1 part of your dishwashing liquid mixed with 3 parts of hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for a half-hour and blot it clean.


While every stain is different, what must remain constant are your prudence and your presence of mind. 99% of the time, red wine stains are completely removable if you act quickly. Time is the absolute essence when it comes to claiming back your expensive clothes and furnishings from pesky red wine stains.  

Leave a comment