Red Wine Stain Removal Guide for Clothing

Updated April 20, 2021
red wine stain on shirt

Dealing with red wine stain removal can undoubtedly be challenging. However, spilled red wine does not necessarily have to permanently damage the surface that it lands on. To keep your clothing or other fabric from being permanently marked, it's essential to act quickly and use a cleaning technique appropriate for this type of spill.

Red Wine Stain Removal: Materials

Getting rid of red wine stains takes the right materials. From pretreating to washing, you should grab:

Cleaning Agents

Pre-Treat: Sprinkle With Salt

When it comes to red wine stains, it's essential to act fast. So the minute it happens, reach for the salt.

  1. If you catch a red wine spill immediately, sprinkling salt on the stain.
  2. Rinse with cold water.

Even if doing this does not get the discoloration entirely out of the affected area, it can be an excellent way to prevent the stain from setting while preparing to use a different red wine stain removal method.

Removing Red Wine Stains From Clothing With Baking Soda

In some situations, a mixture of water and baking soda can eliminate red wine from the fabric.

  1. Create a paste by combining three tablespoons of baking soda with one-quarter of a cup of cold water.
  2. Dampen the stained area with cold water.
  3. Gently apply the paste without rubbing or scrubbing.
  4. Allow the solution to sit for 30 minutes or longer.
  5. Rinse away with cold water.

If the stain covers a large area, you can increase the ingredients proportionally to create the quantity necessary to cover the affected area.

Soak Affected Fabric in Cold Water

If you cannot eliminate the stain by hand using a baking soda and water solution, the fabric may need to be soaked for a while.

  1. Place the affected item, with the stain still covered with soda and water, in your washing machine and fill with cold water.
  2. Be absolutely certain that the water setting is on "cold", as using warm or hot water can cause the stain to become permanent.
  3. Allow it to soak for a while
  4. Run it through a regular wash cycle.
  5. Check to see if the stain is still there before placing the item in the dryer.
  6. If there is any sign of staining, repeat the soaking process or move on to using a commercial cleaning product rather than drying the affected item.
    Woman hands washing clothes

Clean Red Wine Stains on White Clothes

When it comes to white clothes, hydrogen peroxide is going to be your best bet for getting any remaining wine stain out.

  1. Rinse out the wine stain with cold water.
  2. Mix equal parts Dawn and hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Cover the stain in the mixture.
  4. Let it soak until the stain is gone.
  5. Wash as normal.

Use White Vinegar for Red Wine Stains

When it comes to colored clothing, you don't want to use hydrogen peroxide because it could fade. Therefore, you are going to use white vinegar.

  1. Pour straight white vinegar on the stain.
  2. Add a few drops of laundry detergent.
  3. Work it around with your fingers.
  4. Allow the mixture to soak for 30 minutes or so.
  5. Launder in cold water.
  6. Check before drying.

Use a Commercial Cleaning Solution

A few commercial cleaning solutions are explicitly designed to remove red wine stains from various types of fabrics, including Wine Away, See No Vino, and Wine Out. If you drink or serve red wine frequently, it's a good idea for you to keep a bottle of this specialized type of cleaner in your regular stockpile of cleaning supplies. Otherwise, you may find waiting for you to shop for and purchase a container of wine stain remover is sufficient to allow a stain to set and become permanent. Follow the red wine stain removal instructions on the product that you select to enjoy the greatest chances of cleaning success.

Try Professional Dry Cleaning

Suppose the stain persists even after you use a professional cleaning product designed especially to remove wine stains. In that case, it's time to move on to the last resort for saving the affected item.

  • Take the piece to a reputable dry cleaner in your area, assuming that it is something that can safely be cleaned in this manner.
  • Point out the red wine stain to the employee who accepts your order and ask him or her to note the source of the stain on your ticket.

While there is no guarantee that dry cleaning will remove a stubborn red wine stain, being proactive in making sure that the cleaning company knows exactly what they are dealing with can significantly increase the chances of successful stain removal.

Young woman putting clothes into dry cleaning machine

Red Wine Stain Hot or Cold Water

When it comes to the cold or hot water for a red wine stain, you should always go with cold until the stain is gone. Why? Well, heat can set a stain. Therefore, if you soak it in hot water, you're helping the stain stay within the fibers of your clothing. So, you want to use cold water when soaking a fresh or old red wine stain.

Getting Out Red Wine Stains

Red wine stains can be challenging to get out of clothing, but they are far from impossible. Knowledge is power, and you know have the knowledge to use many stain-fighting agents right in your pantry to tackle that red wine stain. And since wine and pasta go so well together, make sure you know how to remove tomato sauce stains from you clothing too.

Red Wine Stain Removal Guide for Clothing