Grape juice is sweet and tasty, but can leave a serious stain on fabric and carpet, particularly red or purple grape juice. Like other fruits, grapes, particularly purple and red grapes, are loaded with tannins, which are plant compounds that can leave stains on clothing and carpets. With quick action, you can often remove grape juice stains, but let that stain linger, and chances are good that it will set and become permanent. The same is true of wine stains, which after all, is just fermented grape juice.
Here's how to get those pesky grape juice stains—or red wine stains—out of your clothing, your carpet, or your couch.
|Water temperature||Cold and hot|
|Cycle type||Varies by fabric|
Before You Begin
If the fabric item is labeled dry-clean only, immediately blot up as much of the spilled grape juice as you can with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Then, as soon as possible, take the garment or tablecloth to a professional dry cleaner. Be sure to point out and identify the stain. If you decide to use a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag. Treat the garment right away, as otherwise, the stain will set.
If the grape juice spilled onto furniture with vintage or silk upholstery, blot immediately to remove as much juice as possible, and then contact a professional upholstery cleaning service. Don't attempt to remove stains yourself from these delicate fabrics.
Equipment / Tools
- Clean white cloth or paper towels
- Soft-bristled brush (Optional)
- Sink or bucket (Optional)
- Washing machine
Carpet or Upholstery
- Clean white cloth or paper towels
- Sponge (Optional)
- Vacuum cleaner
- Laundry stain pretreatment spray or gel
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent (Optional)
- Oxygen bleach (Optional)
Carpet or Upholstery
- Rubbing alcohol
- Distilled white vinegar
- Oxygen-based bleach (Optional)
Removing Grape Juice Stains From Clothes
Should you spill grape juice on clothing, don't wait to treat the stain. The faster you act, the likelier it is that you'll be able to remove the mark completely.
Blot Away Liquid
Blot the spill with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Blot in an up-and-down motion until you've lifted as much liquid as possible.
Don't rub at the grape juice spill, as that can spread the stain even further.
Flush With Cold Water
Turn the stained garment inside-out, and then flush the stained area from the back of the fabric with cold water. Hold the garment under a sink faucet with the water running full-force for a minute or two.
Apply a Laundry Stain Remover
Treat the stained area with a stain remover spray or gel, like Zout or Shout. Work the treatment into the fabric fibers with your fingers or a soft brush. (An old toothbrush works well for this.) If you don't have a stain remover handy, use a bit of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent, such as Tide or Persil, to treat the stain. These detergents contain enough enzymes to remove the tannins that cause the stains.
Let Stain Remover Sit
Leave the stain remover on the fabric for at least 15 minutes while it lifts the stain.
Rinse Under Hot Water
Rinse the stain from the back side of the fabric under hot water from a sink. Turn the water on full-force to help push the stain out of the fabric.
Check the Stained Area
Examine the stained area. If the mark is gone, you can launder the garment as usual. If a stain still remains, however, further treatment is necessary. In a sink or bucket, mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach, such as OxiClean, following the package directions for amounts.
Soak the Stained Garment
Submerge the stained garment completely in the oxygen-based bleach solution. Allow the stained fabric to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. If the stain is still visible, rinse in cold water and repeat this step. When the stain is gone, launder as usual.
Removing Grape Juice Stains From Carpet or Upholstery
As with grape juice spilled onto clothing, if grape juice drops onto your carpet or upholstery, the faster you take action, the likelier you are to remove the stain completely. The following steps treat both carpet and upholstery, but when treating a grape juice stain on couch or chair cushions, take care not to overly saturate the area, as otherwise the filling inside the cushion could mildew or develop an odor.
Blot Up Liquid
Blot the spill with white paper towels or a clean white cloth. Work from the outside of the spill toward the center to prevent spreading the grape juice and making the stain larger.
Mix Cleaning Solution
Mix a solution of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a mixing bowl.
Blot the Stain
Dip a clean white cloth or paper towel in the solution, and working from the outside edges, blot the stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the grape juice is transferred to the cloth. Work slowly and methodically in a small area at a time. Keep treating and blotting the stain until no more color remains.
Rinse the Area
Rinse the treated area with a clean sponge dipped in cool water. Blot the entire area to remove any lingering traces of cleaning mixture.
Check for Remaining Stains
Check for any traces of remaining grape juice stains. If the stain is gone, congratulations. Let the area air-dry. However, if there is still a grape juice mark, continue on to the next step.
Treat with Oxygen-Based Bleach
Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and water following package directions. Sponge the solution onto the stain and allow it to work for at least an hour before blotting to dry with a clean cloth. Repeat until all traces of grape juice are gone.
Do not apply oxygen-based bleach to wool carpeting, as it can damage the fibers. If your carpet is 100-percent wool, call a professional carpet cleaner to tackle remaining stains.
Rinse the Treated Area
Rinse the treated area with a cloth dipped in plain water. Allow the cleaned carpet or upholstery to air dry away from direct heat. Once dry, vacuum carpets to lift fibers.
Additional Tips for Handling Grape Juice Stains
Prevention is the best treatment: Take extra care with highly staining beverages or foods such as grape juice. But should an accident happen, and your best efforts with the above guidelines don't fully remove the stains, it's time to call a professional. Take a garment to a dry cleaners, or call a professional carpet-cleaning or upholstery-cleaning company. Explain the nature of the stain and be sure to let them know the steps you've taken in an attempt to remove it.