Removing Red Wine Stains

Tips on how to remove red wine stains

Red wines contain a pigment found in grape skins which is part of a family of food-coloring chemicals called anthocyanins.Similar to fabric dyes, anthocyanins quickly and easily attach themselves to fabrics and fibrous items. The following household remedies have been proven to work best on fresh red wine stains and while the fabric is still “wet” with the red wine stain. In all instances, no matter what remedy you choose, it is important to keep the stain wet. Once the stain dries, it will be more difficult to remove. Water is always the best choice for diluting a stain, but if unavailable, soda water or white wine can be used. Apply using a spray bottle or by sprinkling or pouring on by hand. Next, blot the fabric from the outside edges of the stain in, to prevent it from spreading. Try to blot up as much of the red wine as possible.

Removing Red Wine Stains

Red Wine Stains. Photo courtesy of By: ME Photography(CC ShareALike)

As with every stain, time is of the essence when removing red wine stains. The sooner you can work on removing the stain, the easier it will come out. The following remedies work best on cotton, polyester and blends. Red wine stained dry-clean only fabrics should not be pretreated at home. These fabrics must be taken to the cleaners as soon as possible. Attempting to remove the stain at home from dry clean only fabrics can cause irreversible damage.There are many methods for removing red wine stains, but depending if its a wet or dry stain your methods should change.Here are wet and dry methods:


  • Soda Water and Salt
  • Salt
  • White Wine
  • Milk
  • Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Hot Water
  • Kitty Litter


  • White Wine and Baking Soda
  • Shaving Cream
  • Vodka

By far the most effective substance for treating red wine stains is soda water or white wine. Put the soda water or white wine on the spill as quickly as possible and dab the stain inwards to prevent spreading it, don’t try to rub the red wine stain out with the cloth or you will smear the stain.If you are using the Salt method, put some salt on the stain as quickly as possible, applied in the same manner as the method above and wait until the salt has soaked up all the stain and turns pink, then hoover the salt up.

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