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How to Remove Red Wine Stains: 3 Easy Methods to Save Your Clothes

The Sauce Boss
Mar 5, 2024
Laundry Tips

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Clothes:

  1. 1. Blot the stain with a clean cloth
  2. 2. Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda onto the wine stain
  3. 3. After 30 minutes, scrape off the excess powder
  4. 4. Rinse the stained area with cold water
  5. 5. Launder as usual

Picture this: You’re swirling and sipping some fine red wine at dinner when your clumsy friend commits a party foul and knocks your glass over. Suddenly there’s a crimson cascade falling onto your outfit.

Panic sets in. The night is ruined, and so are your clothes—or are they?

Thanks to tannins and highly pigmented compounds called anthocyanins, red wine stains are notoriously tough to remove. The longer you wait, the more time they have to sink into the fibers of your fabrics. Luckily, you can banish that big red splotch with a few simple items lying around your house.

Coming up, we’ll uncork three simple techniques to get red wine stains out of your clothes. Make sure you bookmark this for your next Wine Wednesday extravaganza.

1. Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda works wonders as a natural absorbent—here’s how you can use it for red wine stain removal.

Blot the Stain

As soon as you can, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently dab (don’t rub) the stain to soak up as much wine as possible.

Apply Baking Soda

Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda directly onto the wine stain, making sure to cover the entire affected area. Let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight if possible. Baking soda works to absorb the wine pigments and lift them from the fabric.

Brush Off the Excess

After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently scrape off the excess powder. Be careful not to rub the stain further.

Rinse With Cold Water

Once you've brushed off the baking soda, rinse the stained area with cold water. This helps to remove any remaining residue and wine pigments from the fabric.

Launder as Usual

Finally, launder the garment as you normally would in the washing machine, following the care instructions on the label. Check the garment after washing to ensure the stain has been completely removed.

2. Dishwashing Detergent and Hydrogen Peroxide

Dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide are a dynamic duo for erasing vino stains.

Blot the Stain

Immediately after the spill occurs, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently dab the stain to absorb as much wine as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain.

Make the Solution

In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (3% concentration). Mix the solution thoroughly to ensure it's well combined.

Pro tip: Hydrogen peroxide can have a bleaching effect, so make sure to do a spot test to ensure it doesn’t cause permanent color loss.

Apply the Solution

Using a clean cloth or sponge, apply the dish soap and hydrogen peroxide solution directly to the red wine stain. Make sure to cover the entire stained area and let it work its magic for 5-10 minutes.

Rinse with Cold Water

After the solution has had time to soak, rinse the stained area with cold water. This will remove the loosened wine and detergent residue from the fabric.

Launder as Usual

Once you've rinsed the stain, launder the garment with cool water and an enzyme-based laundry detergent pod. If the wine stain is still visible, repeat the process until your clothes are stain-free.

3. White Vinegar and Club Soda

Combining the acidity of white vinegar with the carbonation of club soda can lift and remove red wine stains in as little as 20 minutes.

Blot the Stain

Use a clean cloth or paper towel to gently blot the stain, absorbing as much wine as you can. Resist the urge to rub the stain, as this can work it deeper into the fabric.

Apply White Vinegar

Pour a small amount of white vinegar directly onto the stain, ensuring that it covers the affected area completely. Allow the white vinegar to penetrate the fabric and work on the stain for about 10-15 minutes. This acidic solution helps to break down the wine pigments.

Rinse with Club Soda

After the white vinegar has had time to work, blot the stain again, this time using club soda. The carbonation in the club soda helps lift the stain from the fabric.

Launder as Usual

Finally, launder the garment as you normally would, following the care instructions on the label. After the wash cycle, check your garment to ensure the stain has been completely removed before you toss it in the dryer.

Common Questions About Removing Red Wine Stains

We get lots of questions from panicked spill victims—here are a few of the most common ones.

Should You Use Hot or Cold Water for Red Wine Stains?

Always use cool or cold water (below 80 degrees Fahrenheit) when washing wine stains out of your clothes. The heat from warm water can set the stain into the fabric, making it even harder to remove.

How Do You Remove a Red Wine Stain After It’s Dried?

If you notice a red wine stain days after the initial spill, follow these steps to remove it:

  1. 1. Pretreat the stain with a small amount of water to rehydrate it.
  2. 2. Soak the garment in white vinegar for 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Cover the stain with a paste made of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide—let it sit for another 30 minutes.
  4. 4. Gently scrub the stain with a soft brush or cloth.
  5. 5. Rinse the garment thoroughly with cold water.

If that technique doesn't do the trick, try a stain remover that’s specifically designed for red wine.

Can You Use Bleach for Red Wine Stains?

Bleach should only be used to remove red wine stains from white clothes since it can discolor or damage colored fabrics. Simply soak the fabric in bleach for about ten minutes and then run it through a normal wash cycle.

Always check your garment’s care label to make sure it’s safe to use bleach.

Get the Sauce After a Spill

There’s only one laundry detergent that’s as classy as a bottle of Bordeaux: Laundry Sauce. With luxurious fragrances like Australian Sandalwood, Italian Bergamot and French Saffron, these pods turn an ordinary laundry day into a sensual experience that rivals a wine tasting in the south of France.

Don’t let those tantalizing scents distract you from our high-performance formula. Each laundry pod is concentrated with 4x more cleaning power than traditional liquid detergents and enriched with bio-enzymes to tackle the toughest stains—even the one from your red wine spill.

Take the two-minute scent quiz to find a fragrance that matches your vibe!

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