We’ve all lived the horror of a red wine stain at one point or another. We’ve all lived the horror of a red wine stain at one point or another. 

Maybe you’re in the living room, catching up with old friends and showing off the new carpet you splurged on, when all the sudden a glass gets knocked over. It can feel like slow motion watching the glass topple toward the carpet, with a massive dark stain sure to follow.

But fear not: Many have come before you, and with that comes plenty of timeless wine stain removal tricks for nearly every surface.

Before you kick out your friends and burn your new carpet, take a deep breath and follow to these handy tips to remove wine stains in a pinch.

Why Does Wine Stain So Easily?

What is it about wine that makes it such a dream with a good cheese platter but a nightmare if it spills?

Red wine contains a pigment from red grape skins called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the coloring in foods, and are used for many different types of dyes because of its ability to cling to various materials and substances.

The best way to tackle a stain is to know about the fabric it landed on and how to safely remove the residual anthocyanins.

Getting Wine Out of Carpet

Between foot traffic, play time, pets, and life’s “oopsies” like wine spills, your carpet goes through a lot. And with how pricy and time consuming it can be to replace your carpet, chances are you’d like to preserve it as long as possible.

Next time you encounter a wine spill on your carpet (or if you’re the culprit of spilling a glass at a friend’s), start with the tried and true trick: baking soda paste.

  1. First, you’ll want to blot the stain with a clean white paper towel or rag — but don’t rub it!
  2. As you continue blotting, dilute the stain with a bit of cool water and blot with a new, more dry paper towel or cloth.
  3. Next, create the paste by using a 3 to 1 ratio of baking soda to water. Apply it liberally to the stain, and wait for it to dry completely.
  4. Once it’s all dry, you can vacuum it up. Most (if not all) of the stain should life with the powdered paste.

Pro-tip: This handy, inoffensive method can also be used on most countertops!

If you don’t have time to fully clean the stain right away, blot the area and sprinkle salt on it to help soak up the stain. Don’t wait too long, though, as you’ll want to catch the stain while it’s wet.

Getting Wine off Painted Walls

When it comes to painted walls, wine stain removal can be a bit trickier. That is, unless you’re looking to put on a few new coats anyway.

But if you’re looking to save time and get rid of that stains with little to no damage to the painted surface, the following steps can help you out:

  1. Wipe the stain with a damp sponge and gently remove what you can of the wine.
  2. Using a clean, dry sponge, pour around a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Dab it gently onto the stain, avoiding any scrubbing motions.
  3. If any of the stain remains, mix a solution of 1 part bleach with 4 parts water.
  4. Using a new cloth or sponge, wash the stain with the bleach mixture followed by rinsing it with clean water.
  5. Dry the area with a clean, dry towel.

Getting Wine Out of Clothes

Maybe after a wine spill you’re able to save your rug, but that new blouse wasn’t so lucky. Don’t head to the mall just yet, because there are a couple quick tricks to try first.If your clothing is lighter colored to white, try out a combination of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Simply mix the hydrogen peroxide and clear dish soap with a 1:1 ratio, pour it over the stain and let it soak. Afterwards, launder the piece of clothing how you normally would.

For clothes that are a bit darker or multi colored you’ll want to avoid hydrogen peroxide as it can create a “bleaching affect. Instead, try using boiling water:

  1. Gently dab any wine you can from the item of clothing.
  2. Put a bowl under the fabric, pulling the stained area taut over it. Coat the stain with salt and allow it to soak for 5-10 minutes while you boil water.
  3. From a height of at least 8 inches, pour the boiling water on the stain allowing it to be flushed into the bowl.
  4. Launder as usual, although do not dry the clothing unless the stain is removed as it can cause it to set.

Getting Wine Out of Upholstery

Add furniture to the list of items home owners tend to like to hold onto for a while…as long as it stays stain free, that is.

Much like any other red wine stain, you’ll want to cover it with baking soda or salt while it’s still wet to help soak up the pigment. After that, you can begin the rest of the stain removal:

  1. Vacuum up the powder once its dried.
  2. Combine a tablespoon of liquid with 2 cups of cool water.
  3. Sponge the area thoroughly.
  4. Blot dry the area with a clean paper towel or towel.
  5. If the stain remains, go through the sponging and blotting process again.

While the tips above are all proven to help remove wine stains and be fairly gentle on all surfaces, no wine stain removal trick is 100% guaranteed. Sometimes, you need some back up to get your carpet as clean as it used to be.

Don’t feel bad if you have to call in the pros for some help. GSC’s professional carpet cleaning services will help give your carpet new life »