Red wine spilled on a wine glass, featured in a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning red wine off carpets.

Wine stains are as inevitable as taxes if you like drinking red wine and have a light carpet. No matter how careful you are, there’s always that one spill that catches you off-guard.

The good news is wine stains aren’t as difficult to remove as their reputation would have you think. In fact, in most cases, it’s not the wine that ruins people’s carpets – it’s their attempts at cleaning wine stains.

So let’s learn how to clean red wine stains the right way with our step-by-step guide. And remember – always consume alcoholic beverages responsibly.

In this article:

  • Why does red wine leave stains?
  • Immediate steps to take after a spill
  • DIY solutions to cleaning red wine from carpet
    • Absorb the red wine stain with salt
    • How to clean red wine from carpet with dish soap and hydrogen peroxide?
    • Step 1: Prepare your solution.
    • Step 2: Apply the solution.
    • Step 3: Wait for the solution to do its magic.
    • Step 4:  Blot and Repeat.
    • Step 5: Rinse and dry.
    • Red Wine Removal From Carpet with White Vinegar
    • How to Get Rid of Red Wine Out of Carpet With Baking Soda and Water
  • Store-bought solutions
  • When to call in the experts
  • Preventing future wine stains
  • FAQs
    • Q: Can club soda help?
    • Q: Hot or cold water for cleaning?
    • Q: Can I use hydrogen peroxide on a darker carpet?
  • Conclusion

Why does red wine leave stains?

Have you ever wondered why red wine stains like it’s getting paid for it? It’s all thanks to tannins and vibrant colour compounds and oils that think your carpet is the new spot for hangouts.

If “tannins” sound familiar, it’s probably because they are. They’re the same reason coffee and tea stain your precious carpets. It’s the same culprit with different accomplices.

These complex compounds stick to your carpet fibers like magnets stick to iron. But don’t worry – your floor covering doesn’t need to look like it came out of a modern art museum until you replace it. Cleaning red wine stains is quite possible! Here’s how.

Immediate steps to take after a spill

When wine hits the carpet, you need to act fast. I’ve repeated this so many times, Chris, our SEO manager told me he’s tired of reading it (sorry, Chris – it’s true).

Broken wine glass on wooden surface, illustrating the urgency of swift action in response to spilled wine on carpet.

Act quickly and blot the spill as much as you can. Blot gently and soak up as much as you can. Remember, rubbing is the enemy—it’s like inviting the stain to spread out and make itself at home.

It’s best to blot with a clean, dry cloth. You want to absorb as much as you can without giving it the chance to set in. Unfortunately, this will not solve your red wine stain problem, but it’s a good first step to prevent things from spiraling out of control.

DIY solutions to cleaning red wine from carpet

Another thing Chris and our regular readers might be tired of hearing is that I’m a staunch advocate for DIY, eco-friendly solutions. But it’s true. Allow me to share my favourite methods.

Absorb the red wine stain with salt

Caught the spill fresh? Throw salt over it like you’re warding off a wine ghost (if the word “Winchester” just popped into your mind, then you have a fine taste in television).

Salt’s absorbent nature will suck up most of the wine, making it easier to clean up (though I wouldn’t call it a breeze). Throw some salt on it, wait a bit, vacuum, and you’re done with this step.

How to clean red wine from carpet with dish soap and hydrogen peroxide?

A blue bowl with soap, gloves, and cleaning supplies. Use dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to remove red wine stains from carpet.

For those stubborn stains that mock your quick reflexes, mix dish soap with hydrogen peroxide. This duo bubbles through the stain, breaking down the wine’s grip on your carpet fibers.

Caution: This solution only works if your carpet is a light colour since hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent. Remember to test this on a small, inconspicuous area, first.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Step 1: Prepare your solution.

Mix 1 part dish soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.

Step 2: Apply the solution.

Once you’ve confirmed the mixture is safe for your carpet, begin applying it. You can use a small sponge or a clean towel. Dab it into the solution and then blot the red wine stain. Don’t forget – no rubbing. Rubbing will only make matters worse.

Step 3: Wait for the solution to do its magic.

After applying the solution, give it some time to work its magic. You’ll likely notice some bubbling as the hydrogen peroxide reacts—that’s a good sign. It means the solution is actively breaking down the wine’s pigments.

Step 4:  Blot and Repeat.

Once the bubbling has subsided, take a clean, dry cloth and blot the treated area to soak up the solution and lift the stain. If the stain persists, you can repeat the application process, giving the hydrogen peroxide more time to work.

Step 5: Rinse and dry.

After the stain has been lifted, rinse the area with cold water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution. Blot the area again with a dry cloth to remove as much moisture as possible, and then allow the carpet to air dry completely. You might want to elevate the damp area slightly to ensure good airflow and quicker drying.

Supply:

  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cold water

Tools:

  • Small bowl for mixing solution
  • Sponge or clean towel for application
  • Clean, dry cloth for blotting

This is it. Simple, right?

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Red Wine Removal From Carpet with White Vinegar

White vinegar isn’t just for salads—it’s a stain-fighting champion. Dilute with water, apply, and blot your way to a cleaner carpet. It’s like a reset button for your wine mishaps. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Prepare the solution. Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2 cups warm water.
  • Step 2: Apply it to the stain. Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and gently blot the red wine stain.
  • Step 3: Blot until it’s removed. Continue blotting until the stain lifts.
  • Step 4: Rinse and dry. When you’re happy with the result, rinse the area with cold water and blot with a dry cloth. Then let the carpet air out.

Note: Don’t forget to perform the spot test, first.

How to Get Rid of Red Wine Out of Carpet With Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is another one of the kitchen ingredients I often use for cleaning.

  • Step 1: Create a paste. Mix baking soda with water until it forms a thick paste.
  • Step 2: Apply the baking soda paste to the stain. Gently apply the paste onto the wine stain.
  • Step 3: Let it sit. Allow the paste to dry completely on the carpet.
  • Step 4: Vacuum. Once dry, vacuum up the dried paste.
  • Step 5: Rinse and dry (if needed). In case your vacuum cleaner is not powerful enough to properly vacuum the baking soda leftovers, rinse as you would with any other method.

Store-bought solutions

Sometimes, the DIY approach is not powerful enough. For those times, there’s a whole world of commercial cleaners ready to come to your rescue. Look for options that are as kind to the environment as they are tough on stains. Carefully read and follow the instructions and you should be fine.

When to call in the experts

When the stain decides it’s in for the long haul, it might be time to call in the professionals. They’ve got the tools and expertise to banish even the most stubborn stains. We’re talking hot-water extraction and all other kinds of carpet cleaning methods.

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Preventing future wine stains

The best battle is the one you don’t have to fight. Consider area rugs and keeping the party away from carpeted areas. And remember, a stable wine glass could save the day.

FAQs

Q: Can club soda help?

Yes, club soda can help thanks to its fizzy nature. Just blot the stain, then pour some club soda on it, and then blot some more. Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone. If it doesn’t go away, try one of the other methods in the article.

Q: Hot or cold water for cleaning?

Stick to cold to prevent the stain from setting in. Instinctually, you might be tempted to use hot water (especially if you’ve heard of hot water extraction). However, using hot water if you don’t know precisely what you’re doing runs the risk of ruining your carpet.

Q: Can I use hydrogen peroxide on a darker carpet?

You should not use hydrogen peroxide on a darker carpet. Hydrogen peroxide works as a bleaching agent and it will ruin your carpet if it’s sporting a darker hue. Only use hydrogen peroxide on lighter carpets and don’t forget to perform a spot test first.

Conclusion

Feeling ready to face the next wine spill with more confidence and less anxiety? With these tips and tricks, you’re armed and ready to keep your carpets looking as good as new, no matter what life—or your wine glass—throws at them!  And, as always, if you need us, we’re never more than a phone call away.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.