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How To Clean Red Wine From Carpet

19 July 2023

The dreaded red wine stain. We all hope the day will never come but for so many of us, it will. Red wine has been spilt on a carpet. Maybe you were having a fun get-together or you were just relaxing after a long day but somehow a wine glass tipped and now you are left looking at a red wine stain and wondering if there is any way to get it out. All is not lost. We are going to take you through the best tips for getting red wine out of the carpet. If these don't work then a professional carpet cleaning company, like the Carpet Team, can still work miracles.

How To Clean Red Wine From Carpet

Why Does Red Wine Stain So Badly?

Red wine stains are absolutely notorious for being almost impossible to remove. So why is that? Well, red wine contains a variety of substances that essentially make it a fabric dye. These include tannins (which are used to make ink), chromogens (which are used as fabric dyes), and acids.

So when you have a red wine spill, what has basically happened is that you have unintentionally dyed your carpet.

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How To Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet

Get To It Quickly

Potentially the most important trick of all for removing red wine stains is to get to the spill as quickly as humanly possible. If you can start working on the spilled wine before it has started to dry you are already miles ahead when it comes to preventing your carpet from getting stained.

For more learnings, you can also check out our article "How To Clean Wool Carpet".

Dilute The Wine

If you see the spill happen and you can get there quickly enough, you need to dilute it as much as possible. Get some cold water and completely saturate the affected area before you start looking for stain remover products. If you can keep it diluted and wet, this will prevent the stain from setting in.

Use Cold Water

As tempting as it is to reach for the hot water, you should use cold instead. Hot water won't help to get wine out of the carpet. Instead, it will help the stain to set and make it much more difficult to remove later.

The Best Methods For Getting Red Wine Out Of Carpet

White Wine?

You will probably have heard people say that the best method of removing a red wine stain is to pour white wine on it. As fun, as this idea is, it isn't really true.

White wine doesn't contain any of the necessary cleaning agents that would actually lift and remove the red wine. But what you can use it for is to dilute the red wine spill. White wine is clear and cold, just like water, and it will effectively dilute the red wine and buy you enough time to grab a cleaning solution to remove the red wine.

Club Soda?

Again, club soda is another fun idea for how to remove red wine stains. And if you are at a party, these ideas make sense because you can grab some white wine or some club soda pretty quickly.

Just like white wine, however, club soda also doesn't contain any materials that will completely remove the red wine but it can be used to douse and dilute the spill. Some people maintain that the carbonation can help to lift the wine and prevent it from setting in and this may be true but you will still need to go back in with some cleaning products to properly remove the stain. Sparkling water may also have the same effect.

So pour club soda on the wine to dilute it to buy yourself some time but don't expect it to work on its own.


Salt also won't clean up red wine spills but it can also give you some time to get the products you need to remove wine stains before they set in. This is because salt can act as a bugger that will prevent the stain from spreading or setting in.

Sprinkle salt liberally onto the wet wine stain while you go and grab all of the things you need to get red wine out of the carpet.

Dish Soap And White Vinegar

So you've diluted the stain and are frantically searching your kitchen cupboards for a cleaning solution that will work. Thankfully, some dish soap and white vinegar will often do the job.

Mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of white vinegar to create your stain remover. You need warm water, not cold, here for the vinegar to mix in properly. Don't use boiling water, just water that is a little warmed.

Before you use it, take a white cloth or paper towel and blot the spilled red wine. A white cloth is better than a coloured one because you won't run the risk of the dye from the cloth getting into the carpet.

Remember to blot, not rub. If you rub, this runs the risk of spreading the stain out further and pushing it deeper into the carpet fibres.

Try to remove as much of the red wine as possible using this blotting method, rinsing the cloth often, until the excess wine has been removed.

Now pour a small amount of your white vinegar cleaning solution onto the stained area and go back in with the blotting. Then pour a few drops of dish soap directly onto the stain and blot again with a clean cloth.

You may need to repeat this process quite a few times before the stain is removed and the wine is no longer visible.

Once you are done, rinse with a damp cloth and cool water to remove the soapy residue then leave the affected area to air dry.

Dishwashing Liquid

As well as using washing up liquid alongside white vinegar, it is also an effective cleaning agent on its own. You should go back in and clean with dish soap and water solution after using other cleaning methods to ensure that their residue is removed from the carpet.

Mix one part dishwashing soap with 10 parts water and use a damp cloth to blot the stained area. Then go back in with cool water to rinse away the soapy residue.

Use a dry cloth or paper towels to remove excess liquid and then leave it to air dry.

Baking Soda Paste

You can use this method alongside the other methods described here. Baking soda is an effective stain remover because it helps to lift the pigments from the carpet fibres.

Once you have diluted, blotted, and use a stain remover on the stain then grab some baking soda to be doubly sure that it is removed.

Create a baking soda paste by mixing a small amount of water with some baking soda. Aim for one part water to three parts baking soda but adjust this as needed until you get a paste that resembles wallpaper paste.

Apply the paste liberally to the red wine carpet stain to completely cover it and scrub it in with a toothbrush. Then leave it overnight.

When you come in in the morning, the baking soda will be dry so all you need to do is vacuum it up.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a non-chlorine bleach (it's the one you use to dye your hair). If your red wine carpet stain has been left for too long and has stained the carpet, then you may need to bring out the big guns and try some hydrogen peroxide. An old stain is much more difficult to remove than a fresh one.

This substance can absolutely cause carpet discoloration so it is very important that you test it on a small inconspicuous area before you treat the red wine stain.

Create a hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution by mixing two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap. Apply this to the stain then blot. You can use a clean cloth or your fingers but you need to make sure that you work the solution directly and deeply into the red wine stain.

Commercial Products

There are wine stain remover commercial products available, such as Wine Away, which can be effective.

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Call In A Professional

Red wine stains are tough stains. There is no doubt about that. And sometimes all of the at-home methods in the world won't remove red wine from your carpet.

At this point, your best bet is to call in a professional carpet cleaning company, like the Carpet Team. We have access to the highest quality industrial-grade cleaning products and equipment. And we have the knowledge, training, and experience to work stain removal miracles on even the most difficult of stains.

If you need a carpet cleaning company to help you get red wine out of the carpet, or for any other cleaning needs, don't hesitate to get in touch. Our team is ready to help.

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