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Red wine stains can often be extremely annoying because everyone knows how stubborn they can be. Clumsily grab the wine glass once or even knock over the bottle and the mishap has happened.

In this article you will find out how you should react in such cases in order to get rid of red wine stains as quickly as possible. You will receive valuable tips and advice to avoid mistakes and thus protect your textiles.

We will also explain to you what the best home remedies are and how to use them.

Essentials in brief

  • When it comes to red wine stains, it is always important to act quickly because once they have dried, they are more difficult to remove.
  • To pre-treat red wine stains, you should use cold water, or better still mineral water, as this is the best way to remove the stain from the fabric fibers due to the carbonic acid.
  • You don’t have to resort to aggressive cleaners straight away. Simple home remedies such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, gall soap, etc. often have the same effect. You just have to be a little patient!

What you should know about red wine stains

Have you ever had to deal with stubborn red wine stains and wondered how to get rid of them? Here you can find out what immediate measures there are and also what to do if red wine stains have already dried.

We will also give you tips on how you can avoid sources of error in order to achieve a clean end result.

Red wine stains are a pain, but they can be fixed with the right tricks.

Are these red wine stains fresh or dried?

If you have fresh red wine stains, you need to act quickly to prevent the stain from drying out. The best way to do this is to take a white cotton cloth and use it to blot the liquid away from the stain. To avoid making the stain bigger, you should carefully dab from the outside inwards.

You can also moisten the affected area with mineral water, as red wine dissolves even better thanks to the carbon dioxide. The more carbonated the mineral water is, the better it is for removing stains.

Then continue dabbing the moistened stains. You can also spray the red wine stains with glass cleaner, but you should test first whether it is compatible with your fabric. The glass cleaner must be colorless!

To remove older, dried red wine stains, you need to use home remedies or professional cleaners.

Art Occurrence
Fresh red wine stain Moisten with cold water and dab the area with a white cotton cloth
Dried red wine stain Professional cleaners or suitable home remedies must be used.

What should you consider when removing red wine stains?

Red wine stains on clothes

You need to be especially careful with your clothing! These are often delicate fabrics such as silk, wool or viscose that are not particularly durable. Therefore, excessive rubbing or aggressive agents can more easily damage the fabric of sensitive clothing.

Especially with colorful clothing and patterns, you should always carry out a compatibility test in advance on a hidden area. This will prevent the fabric from discoloring during cleaning and leaving light spots in place of the red wine stains.

Red wine stains on non-washable textiles

Fabric covers on sofas, armchairs and other pieces of furniture should also be tested before cleaning. Such materials are often not colorfast and discoloration would occur, which you definitely want to avoid.

If you now notice that this is the case, you should definitely use milder remedies to treat the red wine stains.

Red wine stains on the carpet

For old red wine stains on the carpet, you can use dishwashing liquid, liquid soap or laundry detergent that you dissolve in cold water. Then put the mixture in a bottle with a spray head and spray your red wine stains with it.

After leaving it on for 30 minutes, start patting the affected area dry. The best way to do this is to use kitchen paper or a white, dry cotton cloth. Always work with the dry, clean side from the outside in.

Great care must be taken when treating red wine stains on carpets and non-washable textiles. (Image source: / 65571410)

You can also use the same method on upholstered furniture, car seats or other non-washable textiles. Of course, it may happen that the red wine stain doesn’t go away straight away. In such cases, you will have to repeat the cleaning process several times.

Why are red wine stains so stubborn?

As we know, red wine stains are probably some of the most stubborn. But why is that so? Red wine contains tannins that it gets from the grapes. The best known of these are the tannins, which give the wine a strong, intense taste.

Tannins occur naturally in the grape skin and seeds, but they can also be produced artificially. They also play a major role in the preservation of animal skins because they help to prevent the decomposition process.

For example, leather can be made durable by tanning.

Another reason is the pigments in wine, also called anthocyanins. The aglycone, which is not particularly soluble in water and therefore causes stubborn stains, is responsible for the intensity of the color of the wine.

Removing red wine stains: The best home remedies and tricks

Here we want to give you good tips that will help you remove red wine stains quickly and efficiently. We will explain to you how you can remove stains in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way using home remedies.

You’ll also get advice on how to protect your clothes when cleaning and the benefits of professional cleaners.

How can I remove red wine stains using professional products?

If you have a particularly delicate favorite item that is stained with red wine, you may want to consider taking the item to a dry cleaner.

It doesn’t have to be that expensive, of course it always depends on the textile and the stain. However, it would be worth it for a piece of clothing that was already expensive.

Many professional remedies for red wine stains can be very expensive. You always have to consider whether the purchase is worth it or whether you want to use proven home remedies. 

For cleaning at home, you can use stain devils or other cleaners, for example. The instructions are simple and quick to follow.

After a short period of exposure, you can wash the fabric straight away, but care is required again with sensitive textiles.

Which home remedies are suitable for removing red wine stains?

Mineral water

Mineral water is the all-rounder when it comes to red wine stains. Especially if there are fresh stains, you should moisten the area with it and pat the stain dry. Mineral water is a suitable pre-treatment for older stains, as the carbon dioxide makes it easier for the wine to be released from the fabric fibers.

So: the more carbon dioxide, the better!


Salt works quite well for a dry form of stain removal. To do this, simply add enough salt to your red wine stain until it is completely covered.

Now let the salt work for a few minutes or longer. You can also gently massage it into the stain with your finger.

Then vacuum the salt from the stain with your vacuum cleaner. If the stain has not yet disappeared, simply repeat the process one more time. However, make sure that the salt is not suitable for every fabric as it cleans very aggressively.

Alternatively, you can use baking powder, cornstarch or potato starch instead of salt. Simply apply it back onto the red wine stain, massage in and vacuum. This variant is milder and therefore also suitable for carpets.

Gall soap

Gall soap actually belongs in every household as it is a real miracle cure when it comes to stubborn stains. You need to moisten your red wine stains with water and then apply the soap directly.

Then you work it in carefully and let it work for a while. Then wash it out and, if necessary, repeat the process until the stain is no longer visible.

lemon juice and vinegar

Lemon juice and vinegar are also among the more aggressive home remedies, but are even more effective. Simply squeeze a lemon and dip a white cotton cloth in it. Then treat your red wine stains with it. The larger your stain, the more lemons you should use.

Lemon juice is therefore particularly suitable for smaller stains. If you prefer vinegar, you can achieve the same effect. Let the lemon or vinegar sit for 15 minutes or longer. Then try to pat the stains dry with kitchen roll.

To remove the wine residue, spray cold water on the stains and dab the rest with kitchen roll until only water comes out. If necessary, you must repeat the process.

Milk, buttermilk and chlorine

These three home remedies are mainly recommended for cleaning white textiles! Simply soak the red wine stain in it and the lactic acid will suck out the stain or bleach it.

Of course, the same goes for chlorine. To do this, you can prepare a cold water bath with chlorine in it and soak the fabric.

Since these are white textiles, you can soak them for an hour or longer. You should generally not treat colorful fabrics and clothing with milk or chlorine because this would most likely cause discoloration.

White wine and sparkling wine

What, fighting red wine with white wine? Yes, this works great because of the acidity in the white wine. You either have to moisten the red wine stains with a lot of white wine or prepare a white wine bath and soak your clothes in it.

After about 20-30 minutes, take the fabric out again and rinse it with cold water. The red wine stains should be gone and you can wash the item in the washing machine as normal.

You can also use sparkling wine , which is often cheaper than white wine and contains more carbon dioxide, which removes the stain particularly well.

Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is also recommended for fresh red wine stains on sensitive fabrics such as silk, cashmere, wool or viscose. Apply enough to the affected area and leave it on for a few minutes or longer.

The shampoo sucks the fresh stain out of the fabric fiber and you can then carefully brush it out. It’s best to use a soft toothbrush or something similar for this.

Here we have a summary for you:

home remedies field of use
Mineral water Suitable for all textiles and particularly recommended for fresh red wine stains.
Salt Possible as a dry form of stain removal for clothing and other fabrics.
Gall soap An efficient home remedy for all textiles
lemon juice and vinegar For old, particularly stubborn red wine stains. For sensitive materials, carry out a compatibility test beforehand.
Milk, buttermilk and chlorine Suitable for white laundry and textiles.
White wine and sparkling wine Generally suitable for all textiles, a test on the fabric is still recommended.
Dry shampoo Suitable for fresh red wine stains on sensitive fabrics such as silk, cashmere, wool or viscose.

How can I protect my fabric fibers when removing red wine stains?

Here we have the most important points for you that matter.

  • React quickly so that the red wine stains do not dry out.
  • Never use warm or hot water for pretreatment.
  • Before using an aggressive home remedy or cleaner, carry out a compatibility test on a hidden area of ​​the substance.
  • Use home remedies such as chlorine, lemon juice, milk and the like mainly on white laundry to avoid discoloration.
  • When blotting red wine stains, never rub, but always gently dab from the outside in.
  • Only use a white, clean cotton cloth or kitchen roll for this.

What else you should know about red wine stains

How healthy is regular consumption of red wine?

Of course, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is far from recommended, but when it comes to wine, studies have shown that it actually has health-promoting properties.

On the one hand, it prevents blood platelets from clumping together, which reduces the risk of developing thrombosis. On the other hand, the anthocyanins in wine have an antioxidant effect. This also protects the LDL cholesterol in the blood from oxidation, which leads to calcification in the blood vessels.

Calcification causes blood flow to slow down because the vessels are partially or completely blocked. This is a primary factor in coronary heart disease.

It has also been proven that cardiovascular diseases occur much less in southern countries such as Italy, Spain or southern France. Researchers have investigated this and attribute this effect to the fact that wine is also often consumed there.

The daily dose for wine varies between 10 g and 40 g of alcohol. So you should drink a maximum of one glass of red wine (200 ml) a day, which contains around 20 g of alcohol.

How do I recognize “good” red wine?

What actually makes a good red wine is not always easy to define. It always depends on what you expect from the wine and what occasion you want to buy it for. It makes a difference whether you just want to drink a glass of wine or whether you want it to be an exquisite wine for a guest gift.

Such differences are then reflected in the price. Of course, the better the quality, the more expensive it will be. Looking at the label is also very important as it contains all the important information about the wine.

You probably want to know where your wine was produced, what the alcohol content is, what quality level it has and how sweet or bitter it tastes. The label provides you with all this information.

But don’t let strategic marketing distract you. A visually great presentation of the wine bottle doesn’t really reveal much about its contents.


In conclusion, red wine stains can best be removed when they are fresh with cold water or mineral water. Older dried stains are much more stubborn, but with the right products you should be able to remove these too.

Home remedies don’t have to be expensive either. Most of the time we have more things at home that are suitable for stain removal than we think. You just have to be patient and, if necessary, use the home remedy more often until you achieve the desired effect.

Consuming red wine in moderation can even be beneficial for your health and prevent heart disease. However, you shouldn’t overdo it and should only consume a maximum of one glass per day.