How to Get Red Wine Out of Carpet

You can clean up a red wine stain from your carpet, but the key is to act fast!

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The horror of watching a glass of red wine spill, spread, and stain a carpet is almost enough to make you vow to never again drink it or serve it in carpeted rooms. But there’s no need to panic once you know how to get red wine out of carpet. “The first thing to do when red wine spills is to act quickly,” says Samantha Hodges of “The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the stain.” For best results, start cleaning as soon as you make or notice a spill. Here’s everything you need to know about red wine stain removal.

But what if you’re in the middle of a dinner party and can’t take the time to get down on the floor and clean it fully? “Stay calm—the stain can most likely be fixed,” she says. “Blot as much of the red wine stain as possible from your carpet then sprinkle with salt before returning to your guests.” The salt will absorb most of the stain and can be vacuumed easily after everyone leaves.”

If the stain is still there later, there are a number of options to try to remove it fully. Here’s how to get red wine stains out of anything. Be sure to read up on these surprising health benefits of red wine vinegar.

RELATED: How to remove almost every type of stain out.

What you’ll need

“Having a well-stocked cupboard with cleaning supplies not only says you are winning at adulting,” says Hodges, “but will give you all the tools you need when red wine spills happen—and they will happen.” These items will also help you get red wine stains out of clothes.

Cleaning experts suggest keeping these basic supplies on hand:

  • Microfiber cleaning cloths or paper towels
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Club soda
  • White vinegar
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • A commercial stain remover

Redwine CarpetEmma Kumer/

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How to remove red wine stains from carpet

There are many effective methods for removing red wine stains, depending on which of the above supplies you have readily available. Before you start any of them, blot the stain with a clean, dry, light-colored paper towel or cloth to pull up as much of the wine as you can. Switch out your paper towels or cloths and keep blotting until no more wine comes up. The important thing is to blot, don’t rub. “Rubbing will move the stain further into the fibers, and you don’t want that,” Hodges says.

Some stains may require multiple treatments so it’s important not to let them dry completely in between treatments. Before attempting any method on the actual red wine stain on the carpet, test it in an area of the rug that’s out of sight, like under a couch, first. That’s good advice when it comes to removing coffee stains, too.

Red wine stains in your carpet and salt or baking soda

Dry, powdery materials like salt (or baking soda, baby powder, or, yes, even kitty litter) actually pull the liquid out so they’re ideal for carpet.

1. Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

2. Apply salt (or other powder) generously, covering the entire stain.

3. Let it settle.

4. Vacuum the area.

5. If you can still see any of the stain, try one of the following alternative methods.

Red wine stains in your carpet and club soda

Although even experts can’t explain why club soda works, they swear it’s a wonder for removing red wine stains from your carpet. Club soda solves so many problems.

1. Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

2. Add a small amount of cool water to dilute the wine and continue blotting.

3. Pour club soda over the entire stain.

4. Leave it overnight.

Red wine stains in your carpet and dish soap and hydrogen peroxide

Neither dish soap nor hydrogen peroxide will get red white stains out on their own but, together, they act as a bleaching agent for white carpet. “Be careful about using this method on non-white rugs and carpet, though as it could discolor it,” cautions Hodges.

1. Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

2. Add a small amount of cool water to dilute the wine and continue blotting.

3. Mix one part dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) and three parts hydrogen peroxide.

4. Apply it to the stain with a sponge or cloth.

5. Let it sit 20 minutes to an hour.

6. Blot clean and repeat if necessary.

how to get wine out of carpetAlaina DiGiacomo/rd.comRed wine stains in your carpet and white vinegar

White vinegar neutralizes purples and reds, making it a good choice for removing red wine stains. White vinegar has so many other household uses, too.

1. Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

2. Add a small amount of cool water to dilute the wine and continue blotting.

3. Cover the stain in white vinegar.

4. Apply a small amount of watered-down dish soap.

5. Keep blotting to lift the stain.

RELATED: Best DIY Carpet Cleaners for All Types of Stains

How to remove old red wine stains from carpet

Although acting quickly is important after a red wine spill, you can still get old red wine stains out of carpet in most cases.

Hodges suggests trying any of the same methods used for fresh stains first. If none of those work, saturate the stain with hot water to help loosen the and then use an oxygen-based cleaner, such as OxiClean, or a commercial stain remover. Continue blotting, be patient, and keep working at it.

“If it’s a very old, set-in stain and nothing you do seems to be working, you may need to bring in professional help,” she says. “Professionals with industrial-strength cleaners may have better results for really stubborn stains.” Check out proven ways to remove other carpet stains and some of the best carpet stain removers.


Lois Alter Mark
Lois Alter Mark is an award-winning travel, lifestyle, shopping and entertainment writer for Reader's Digest, Forbes and USA Today 10Best. Her work has taken her to all seven continents and introduced her to new people, food and—her latest obsession—pickleball! An avid cruiser, she loves introducing readers to the joys of travel.