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How to Remove Red Wine from Fabric

Three Methods:Removing Wet StainsRemoving Dry StainsRemoving Stains with Cleaning Products

Red wine is a party and dinner staple, found at almost any special occasion or relaxing night in. Although considered one of the most loved beverages, this delicacy produces the most dreaded stain. There is much discrepancy in the realm of red wine stain removal. Some swear by certain methods while others call the same remedy a sham. This article will help to sort out your best option for stain removal. Quickly assess your household supplies and follow the instructions below, before it’s too late!

Method 1
Removing Wet Stains

  1. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 1
    Work as quickly as possible! Run as fast as you can to whichever solution you have near by. Search the bullet points below for a product currently available to you. Further instructions for each product will be listed in the subsequent steps.
    • Table Salt (Best quick option!)
    • Club Soda
    • Milk
    • Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Kitty Litter
    • Hot Water
  2. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 2
    Sprinkle a thick layer of salt over the stained area. Make sure to completely cover the stain and let sit for an hour. The salt will absorb the wine and can be easily brushed off afterwards.
    • Salt is the preferred stain removal method, but works best when applied within two minutes of spillage. If the wine has not yet completely soaked into the fabric, the salt crystals should easily absorb the red wine. [1]
    • As most natural fabrics, such as cotton, denim and linen, absorb faster than synthetic materials, stains on natural fabrics should be tended to with more haste than synthetic. [2]
  3. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 3
    Pour club soda over the stain. Let the liquid bubble up. Continue pouring the soda over the stained area until the color fades away. Once the stain is removed, let the fabric dry. Use paper towels to clean up any spilt or excess club soda.
    • There is much debate over the club soda remedy, some arguing tap water would work just as well. However, the general consensus believes the soda’s carbonation to have stain lifting agents. [3]
    • Club soda also has a lower pH than regular water. As weak acids (those with low pH values) are known to help in stain removal, this trait could be a contributing factor.
    • Be advised not to use any flavored club soda when removing stains, even those clear in color. Dyes as well as sugars and additional ingredients can contribute more to the preexisting stain. [4]
  4. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 4
    Use club soda and salt together. Quickly cover the stain with a thick layer of salt and pour the club soda on top. Let the stain sit for an hour before brushing off all salt into the garbage. Blot up any excess liquid.
    • Both agents can work on their own, but using the two together may double your chances of completely clearing the stain. The salt absorbs as much wine as it can, while the club soda will lift out the stain as you blot.
  5. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 5
    Pour milk heftily over the stain. Let it soak into the fabric, blotting the stain with a tea towel or paper towel. Do not rub, as this will settle the stain into the fabric. The stain should be gone in an hour or less. Wash as usual to remove excess liquid and odor.
    • Another option is to completely soak the fabric in a bowl or bucket of milk for an hour or so, depending on the size of the stain. If the stained fabric is easily movable and the stain is rather large, this is a more thorough and efficient method.
    • Milk works similarly to club soda, soaking up the stain. However, milk’s thick white consistency can essentially override the red color.
    • Milk is one of the least popular methods in red wine stain removal, though some still prefer it to the salt and club soda method.
  6. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 6
    Combine soap and hydrogen peroxide. Mix equal parts into a container. Pour on, sponge over or spray the solution generously onto the stain. Blot with a paper towel.
    • General opinion deems Dawn the best soap to react with hydrogen peroxide and get the job done. [5]
    • If available, using a spray bottle is suggested. The resulting bubbles should help lift the stain out of the fabric, much like the carbonation in club soda.
    • If your stain has only soaked through one layer of a two-sided piece of clothing, be sure to place a towel between both sides. This will prevent any leakage as you spray and blot.
  7. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 7
    Use kitty litter. Sprinkle a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) layer over the entire stain. Press down the kitty litter with your hands softly to absorb the wine. Once the stain is removed, vacuum the kitty litter off the fabric.
    • Kitty litter contains highly absorbent chemicals that will quickly soak up liquid, much like salt, though slightly more powerful.
    • Timing is especially crucial with kitty litter, as it was with salt. Work quickly — preferably within two minutes of spillage.
    • Vacuuming is the easiest method of kitty litter removal as the litter can clog drains or add unwanted odors to standing trash cans.
  8. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 8
    Use boiling water as a last resort. Once you have a heavy boil going, stretch the stained fabric over a pan in the sink. Stand on a chair and pour the boiling water onto the fabric from 3-4 feet (.9-1.2 meters) above. Pour the water generously over the stained area until it is removed. Dry the fabric of excess water with paper towels. [6]
    • Though hot water sets in some stains, it has proven successful with red wine stains because of its fruit based ingredients.
    • Avoid using water on wool or silk as water weakens these fabrics.[7]

Method 2
Removing Dry Stains

  1. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 9
    Search your house for an appropriate stain remover. Any on the following list should work. Further instructions for each product will follow.
    • Shaving Cream
    • Vodka
    • White Wine and Baking Soda
  2. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 10
    Spray shaving cream onto the entire stain. Flatten the shaving cream into the fabric with the back of a spoon before washing the fabric as usual. [8]
    • Shaving cream’s thick, foamy texture combined with its cleansing components work wonders on tough stains — saturating and lifting the stain from the fabric. [9]
  3. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 11
    Pour vodka over the entire stain. Blot the stain with a cloth and continue pouring. Allow the vodka to completely soak in and watch the stain fade. Wash as usual.
    • Red wine contains anthocyanins, or color pigments, which can be dissolved by alcohol. Therefore vodka, gin, or any clear alcohol with a higher proof than red wine can remove the stain. [10]
  4. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 12
    Use white wine and baking soda together. First soak the stain with white wine. Some believe white wine dilutes the color while preventing the stain from setting in (warning to follow in the bullets below).
    • Make a baking soda paste using a 3-1 ratio of baking soda to water. Mix together until a paste is formed. [11]
    • Spread a thick layer of baking soda paste over the stain and let sit for an hour. Periodically spray with water to keep the area moist, preventing the stain from settling into the fabric. After the stain is removed, wash as usual.
    • White wine is one of the most common discrepancies in red wine stain removal. Though many swear it dilutes the stain’s color, others say mixing fire with fire only aggravates the stain. Tap water can be used as a replacement if you are weary of this particular option.

Method 3
Removing Stains with Cleaning Products

  1. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 13
    Use caution with powerful cleaning products. Check the label for the fabric’s components, cleaning instructions and warnings.
    • Silk and wool are especially fragile fabrics, weakened by water and not able to withstand chlorine bleach. Alternatively, linen and synthetic materials tend to be more durable, while cotton ranges in the middle. [12]
    • If there are no warnings on the label, search online to make sure your fabric can withstand the cleaning product of your choice.
    • Dry-clean only fabrics should be taken to the cleaners as soon as possible, preferably within the first or second day after spillage. Do not attempt to wash on your own.
  2. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 14
    Choose a fabric-safe cleaning product.
    • Products such as OxiClean, Resolve and Wine Away have proven most successful in removing stains with out harming fabric. [13]
    • Cleaning products work almost identically to the household remedies mentioned earlier, using absorption and chemicals to lift out stains. However, cleaning products may prove more reliable as they have been specifically tested to remove stains in a efficient and consistent manner.
    • Cleaning products contain bleach. Avoid using any bleach products on wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex. [14]
  3. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 15
    Sponge the fabric with hot water. Blot the stain and lift out as much excess liquid as possible before applying the product to the stain.
    • Blotting makes your life easier. It absorbs as much of the stain as possible. The cleaning agent is then able to save its powers for the tougher stains that have already begun to set in.
  4. Image titled Remove Red Wine from Fabric Step 16
    Apply product as directed. OxiClean and Resolve can come in different forms, such as detergent, spray and liquid formulas. For the best results, follow the label’s instructions.
    • Wine Away is packaged in spray bottles and should be sprayed directly onto the stain. Let sit for fifteen minutes before washing as usual.


  • Work as quickly as possible. The longer the stain sits, the harder it is to remove.
  • Always blot, never rub. Rubbing will work the wine deeper into the fibers, making the stain more likely to set.


  • Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so you may not want to use it on colored fabrics.
  • Don't apply heat (dryer, iron) to the stained area until the stain is gone.

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