How to Clean Red Wine From Anything

Wine Drinking Can Get A Little Messy

Red wine goes great with a meal but does not look great as stains on your clothing. When a sneaky drop of red wine lands on your favorite shirt or jeans, we know the feeling of horror that overcomes us all. But here's the deal: where there is a will, there is a way! Whether you spilled the entire bottle (yikes!) on the tablecloth or had a one-off dribble, red wine spills put in quite a battle, but the good news is they aren't impossible to remove!

Here's the thing about red wine, it literally has all of the necessary traits to stain. It is almost like someone created red wine to stain clothing. Here's why: fabrics are essentially a log of holes, and when liquid makes its way into fibers, it becomes immersed with the material and its pores. But, the reason red wine is a professional stainer, in particular, is due to its coloring being entirely natural. Red wine contains 'chromogens,' also known as the main ingredient in plant-derived dyes; aka, red wine has the same ingredient as many common DYES. And if that's not enough, combine this with red wine's tannins (aka an organic substance used in ink production), and you've created red wine: a substance with staining superpowers! 

Because we're classy but occasionally messy ladies here at Bev, we've put together a list on how to remove red wine from just about anything, if you have a little spillage this holiday season! But let's start with the basics of removing red wine, so we're all on the same page before we dive into the different techniques, shall we? 

The first thing to remember is, like all stains, the longer the stain has had time to settle in and make its new home in your clothes, rug, or furniture, the more significant battle the stain will put up in being removed. A dried stain is going to be way harder to remove than a fresh one. At the very first sign of a stain, you must go into attack mode. 

When the spill or dribble happens, use paper towels or a clean, damp cloth for dabbing and blotting the area that has been affected. This will allow you to soak up and absorb as much wine as possible, meaning you'll have less of a stain to deal with later. Please note that we said dab and blot and not scrub! Resist your primal urges and avoid scrubbing the stain because scrubbing red wine might unintentionally embed the red wine further into your favorite shirt or couch upholstery. 

Alright, now that we know the basic rule of dab and blot and no scrub, let's dive into separate DIY tips on removing stains! 

Method 1: Dish Soap

Method one calls for two basic household items that you likely already have: dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. For this tip, keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent and, therefore, is best used for light-colored items. 

To make this stain remover solution, try to use three parts of hydrogen peroxide, one part of dishwashing liquid. As we mentioned, hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent; therefore, apply the solution to a small part of the stain to ensure the colors of your clothing item or furniture don't fade due to the solution. 

Once you have verified the solution is safe for your clothing item or furniture, apply the mixture to the fabric and allow it to soak for about an hour. There's a good chance the stain will seemingly magically fade right away but if needed, feel free to dab the solution on the area as you see fit. Once you believe the stain is gone to your satisfaction, make sure to put the item into the washing machine and launder as usual for clothing. 

If you can't wash your item right away, simply rinse off the affected area thoroughly. Leaving any of the mixture on your clothing time for too long can weaken the clothing's fibers. For furniture or carpet stains, rinse the solution with a clean cloth and air dry. When it's dried, you can vacuum any remaining solution. 

Method 2: Salt

Another household item that is a low-key professional at removing red wine stains: salt. Kosher salt, specifically, is a flatter-particle salt that provides a surface area to pull stains from fabric. After you blot out the stained area, sprinkle salt onto the stain and allow it to sit for two or three minutes. The salt will begin to absorb the red wine. If you have a particularly gnarly stain, you can leave the salt on overnight. 

Salt is not the only household item that is a secret red wine stain absorber. In fact, there are quite a few dry, powdery materials that absorb the wine. These include baking soda, dry soap powder, talcum powder, or even kitty litter! 

Method 3: White Vinegar

White vinegar and club soda are two household items that combat red wine stains. Minerals in club soda might even offer a better alternative to water and help absorb and break up the red wine molecules. This allows you to blot the wine even more efficiently. 

Method 4: Boiling Water

Hot water is a strangely powerful stain removal agent, but this cleaning suggestion should only be used for items you can hold in your hand and stretch. To carry out this method, boil a few cups of water. Adding salt to it is not necessary but can add an extra cleaning kick. After the water is boiling, place the stained fabric over a bowl or strung across your kitchen sink. Pour the boiling water slowly. This will dilute and loosen the red wine pigmentation. If this does not entirely remove the stain, couple it with another method on this list. 

Method 5: Bleach

If all else fails, bleach is a powerful agent and can swiftly remove a red wine stain. However, this cleaning product should only be used to remove white stains, like a white shirt, clothing, or bedding, because it will discolor anything else. Try one of our other methods before resorting to this method. 

Method 6: Switch To White Wine

Stains, cleaning, and laundering not your thing? White wine is a safe option! Oh, and good news, although we have a new wine variety with our Bev Noir, we also have three white blends that are perfect for you. Check them out in our store and get them delivered straight to your door!