If you enjoy sitting back and relaxing while sipping on a glass of red wine, you probably already know about red wine stains on clothes. No matter how much or how hard you try to prevent them, if you have ever enjoyed a glass of wine, you have become a victim of a red wine stain. Most of the time, it comes at the worst possible moment, but there is no sense in letting a glass of spilled wine ruin your evening.
The good news is whether you spilled wine on the carpet or if you dumped a full glass on your favorite shirt, there is a way to get that stain out. Most people assume that because it’s a red stain, it will be impossible to remove. The truth is, as long as you move quickly, you can remove red wine stains from clothes.
Before you can use any of our methods for removing red wine stains from clothes, you must blot up as much of the liquid as possible with a paper towel. No matter how tempting it is to scrub at the stain on your clothing while blotting, please don’t. Scrubbing the stain creates more problems than it solves. Once the excess liquid is blotted up, pick one of our highly effective methods below.
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1. Try Using Salt to Remove Your Red Wine Stain
Although this method tends to work best on rugs or carpets, that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective at removing red wine stains from clothes. Even if it’s not 100% effective at removing the stain, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. Before you can use salt to remove the stain, you will need to take off the article of clothing and lie it out on a hard surface.
Cover the stained area with salt. It’s highly recommended to use kosher salt in place of table salt. Either will work, but kosher salt is bigger, so it can absorb more liquid. Use as much as needed until you can no longer see the stain. Allow the salt to soak into the stain. Leave the salt in place until it dries. This is what pulls the stain out of the clothing. Once the salt is dried, you can shake it or brush it off into the garbage can. This is one of the best ways to remove red wine stains from clothes before the wine dries.
2. Make a Red Wine Stain Remover Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Dishwashing Liquid
To be 100% honest with you, the best dishwashing liquid for removing any kind of stain will be Dawn. However, you can use any brand of dishwashing liquid that you have on hand to make this simple stain remover. Making this stain remover requires you to mix together one part dishwashing liquid with one part hydrogen peroxide, so mix things in equal amounts. How much you mix together depends on how large the stain is. Remember, hydrogen peroxide acts similarly to bleach, so only use it on light-colored clothing!
Once mixed, simply pour the stain remover directly onto the red wine stain. You want to saturate the stain and allow the stain remover to sit there so it can really soak in. Almost immediately, you will see the stain start to disappear. After allowing the stain remover to set in for several minutes, proceed with washing the clothing. However, do not place clothing in the dryer until the red wine stain is entirely removed. Drying before the stain is gone causes it to set in, making it nearly impossible to remove.
3. Use Bleach on Whites To Bleach Away The Red Wine Stain From Your Clothes
You never want to use regular bleach for any colored clothing items. While this effectively removes red stains from clothes, it only works on white-colored fabrics. If you are sensitive to bleach odors, we recommend wearing some kind of face mask and doing this in a well-ventilated room. You want to dump a small amount of bleach in a bucket and then allow the stained clothing to soak directly in the bleach for ten minutes. After the ten minutes is up, wash immediately in hot water. If the stain is gone, go ahead and toss the clothing into the dryer. If it’s still there, simply repeat the soaking and washing exercise to remove the red wine stain from your clothes..
4. Use Boiling Water
When removing red wine stains from clothes, this method was first used on tablecloths, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective with clothes. When trying this method, you want to remove the clothing and stretch it tightly across a bowl so that the stain is directly over the bowl. Secure the clothing to the bowl with string or a rubber band. Securing it is to prevent the clothing from falling into the bowl.
Start boiling water on the stove in a pot or a tea kettle. Once the water is boiling, remove it from the stove and carry it over to the bowl. Keeping your arm about a foot above the clothing, slowly pour the boiling water onto the stain directly. As the boiling water passes through the clothing, it should wash out the wine stain. The bowl will catch the water. Once the stain is gone, remove the clothing from the bowl and pour the water down the sink.
5. Use a Combination of Laundry Soap and White Vinegar
For this method to work, you want to begin by soaking the stain in white vinegar. You can accomplish this in one of two ways. First, you can pour the vinegar directly onto the stain until it is fully saturated. The second way is to pour some vinegar into a bowl or bucket and place the clothing in it. Soaking in vinegar is crucial because the vinegar works to neutralize the purple and red pigments found in the wine. Once the stain is fully saturated, you want to rub in a small amount of liquid laundry soap, such as All or Tide. Wash the clothing immediately in hot water. After it’s been washed, check and see if the stain is gone before drying. If it is still there, repeat the steps again.
6. Using Baking Soda and Water To Remove The Red Wine Stain
For those who are looking for a great way to absorb extra liquid and break up the red wine stain, a combination of baking soda and water does quite well. After you have blotted up as much excess liquid as you can, you want to create a smooth baking soda paste. To do this, combine baking soda with water until you have a smooth paste. Don’t make it too runny because then it won’t be as effective in removing the red wine stain from your clothes. Pro tip here, if the paste is on the runny side, add some more baking soda and mix until you have achieved the desired consistency, do the opposite if the paste is too thick.
Apply a thick layer of the paste all over the stain. Allow the clothing to sit out until the baking soda paste has dried. Once dry, wash the clothing in hot water. And as always, check to make sure the red wine stain is gone before drying to prevent the stain from setting in.
7. Use Club Soda
No matter how tempting it might sound or even if it’s all you have on hand, never use seltzer water or any other carbonated liquid in place of the club soda. For it to be effective at removing red wine stains from clothes, you must use club soda. Place the clothing inside the sink or a container and saturate the stain with club soda. Allow the clothing to soak overnight and then wash as normal.
8. Try Different Types of Professional Stain Removers
By now, almost everybody has heard about the power of Oxi-Clean and similar products. One of the best things about these types of stain removers is they are highly effective on both new and set-in stains, including red wine ones. These cleaners contain sodium percarbonate, which is a powdered version of hydrogen peroxide. When the oxi-clean is combined with water, it becomes hydrogen peroxide.
To use this method for removing red wine stains from clothes, apply the cleaner directly to the stain and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, gently blot at the stain to remove it. You can reapply the cleaner as needed until the stain is gone. Once the stain is removed, toss the clothing into the washer and clean it as normal. One of the top products many wine lovers recommend is Wine Away, as it works on fresh or set-in stains without using bleach or phosphates. Its fresh citrus scent is also a bonus.
9. Rubbing Alcohol
Sometimes the saying fight fire with fire applies to stain removal techniques. Red wine contains alcohol, so by using the second type of alcohol, you can sometimes remove the stain easily. With this station removal method, you will want to first rinse the stain with cold water. Then apply some rubbing alcohol onto a clean white cloth and blot the stained area. Turn the cloth and apply more rubbing alcohol as needed until the stain is gone.
10. Martha Stewart’s Method
Martha Stewart is one of the most trusted people and brands when it comes to household chores, so why not give her red wine stain removal method a try? To begin, you want to first use a diluted dishwashing and soap solution. Mix ten ounces of water with one tablespoon of dishwashing soap. Spray it on the stain and tamp it with a soft-bristled brush and then rinse with water.
Next, pour some vinegar onto the stain and again tamp with a soft-bristled brush. After letting the vinegar sit for 20 minutes, rinse again with cold water. If the stain is still present, pour on some hydrogen peroxide and let sit for 5 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Now, if this hasn’t succeeded in removing the stain, it’s time to apply two drops of ammonia to the area. After this, you want to apply an enzyme detergent and then run the clothing through the washing machine.
Sitting back and relaxing with a glass of red wine are a lot of people’s guilty pleasures. The problem, though, is there are risks involved with enjoying this pastime. The biggest risk most wine drinkers face is spilling their beloved glass all over themselves. If you enjoy a glass or two of red wine in the evening, you shouldn’t let the risk of a spill stop you! You now know how to remove red wine stains from clothes.
In this post, we covered several ways of removing red wine stains from clothes, from boiling water to professional stain removal products. This post goes over the various ways you can remove red wine stains using items you already have in the home. So while you might be mad at yourself for wasting a glass of delicious red wine, at least the stain on your shirt is only temporary.
Enjoyed this article? Read our tips on how to remove oil stains from your carpet HERE.