Don’t Whine: Get Red Wine Out of Your Clothes

cleaning hacks
Don’t Whine: Get Red Wine Out of Your Clothes
Don’t Whine: Get Red Wine Out of Your Clothes

There’s no need to fret. Despite what the neighbours may say, there is a way to get red wine out of your clothes and carpet. But you have to act now!

Rioja, merlot, shiraz, pinot noir… whichever burgundy coloured tipple it is that takes your fancy can cause dread the moment a drop falls. After all, many of us grow up hearing “red wine stains” or “you’ll never get red wine out of your clothes”. But it just isn’t true. It’s just a tough bugger, like chocolate.

There’s actually a ton of fantastic methods you could use to remove a red wine spill on the carpet or on your clothes.

  1. Know Your Stain!

There are two parts that make red wine a frill of a spill. First, it has chromogens. These are plant chemicals that make a great natural dye (hilariously). Then, there are tannins; another organic substance. These are used in ink-based products for their latching and lasting properties.

  1. Act Fast, Don’t Let it Dry!

When you have a red wine spill on the carpet, on the couch or on your clothes, get into gear ASAP. In fact, the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. When a liquid spills, it only goes in two directions; out and down. So, avoid a larger spill and be quick to the scene!

  1. Remove Any Surrounding Fabrics!

Again, liquid spreads. It looks for dry surfaces to latch onto. So, if you’re wearing the clothes the wine was spilled on, remove other items it could seep onto. Or, if you have anything else on your carpet, move them to the side before “red wine spill on the carpet” isn’t the only thing you’re Googling.

  1. Don’t Apply Hot Air!

A dry stain is far harder to handle than a wet one. Which is a rarity. So, to get red wine out of your clothes, don’t put them in the tumble dryer; it won’t help. Likewise, don’t start blasting the hairdryer on the carpet!

  1. Don’t Scrub!

For the love of all things stain-free. Just don’t scrub, rub, snub or dub the wine further into your clothes or carpet. A top rule of how to get red wine out of your clothes is to be gentle so you can avoid spreading it.

  1. Leave the White Wine Alone!

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever been told that white wine nullifies the staining of red wine, you’ve been bamboozled. This is an old wives tale and shouldn’t be taken as gospel if you want to keep your clothes and carpet out of harm’s way. That is, unless white wine is your only option of keeping the stain wet.

  1. Rub Some Salt on the Wound!

Salt is a dry substance that attracts red wine molecules and removes them from carpet. Douse a tub of salt over the red wine spill on the carpet or on your clothes. Then, lightly pat and let the salt do it’s job for around 10 minutes. Alternatives include baking soda, talcum powder and clay-based cat litter.

  1. Blot Until You Can Blot No More!

Again, as there’s a hard stop when it comes to rubbing the stain, the only option is to blot. This means applying pressure in one spot, removing the pressure and repeating. Use a clean and dry paper towel to do this as it should help the - now - red wine-dampened salt to stick and lift.

  1. Grab Some Laundry Detergent

You may be lucky enough to not need this next step. If so, happy days! If not, use a capful of liquid laundry detergent, spread and leave for around 20 minutes. Lastly, use kitchen towel and the blotting method to finally get red wine out of your clothes and/or carpet.

  1. Call in the Professionals!

At Seep, we’re all about being eco-friendly and sustainable. Which often means avoiding buying new, harsh chemicals but we understand that some stains really are that stubborn.

So, a tip for how to get red wine out of your clothes would be to head to a trusted dry cleaner. Then, for the red wine spill on the carpet, call a local carpet cleaner.


If you did spill a bit of red, you may have also dropped a chunk of chocolate; because, let’s face it, they often go hand in had. As in, a glass of red in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other. If that’s the case, you might want to head over to our other article “Seep’s Sweet Treat of How to Remove a Chocolate Stain”.

Alternatively, if a red wine spill on the carpet isn’t the only stain you’re looking to remove, try out “Tut Tut Soot: How to Get Soot Out of Carpet and Walls”.

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