How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet

Red wine spilled from a glass onto a carpet

AndreyPopov/Getty Images

Red wine stains on clothing can be tricky to get out, but those on the carpet are much worse to deal with. If your party is still in full swing, take the time to quietly blot (do not rub) as much of the red wine as you can right away using clean paper towels. Then, when the last guest leaves, tackle the stain using these steps. To fully remove these tough stains, make a baking soda paste.You can afford to wait a couple of hours, but do not wait until the next day. Time is your enemy where tough stains are concerned.

Stain Type Tannin-based 
Detergent Type Stain remover
Water Temperature  Cold (hot, if old or dried stain)

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Before You Begin

If your party is still going strong and you are trying to not make a big deal about the red wine stain on your carpet, blot it with paper towels, sprinkle salt on the stain, and return to your guests. The salt will absorb some of the wine that was not blotted up, and it can be vacuumed away when the guests leave.

If you do not notice the red wine spill until the next day and it has dried, the cleanup becomes more difficult. In this case, saturate the stain with hot water, apply a pre-treatment spot remover or carpet stain remover, and then apply any oxygen-based cleaning product (OxiClean) on the stain for two to 10 hours.

What You'll Need

Supplies

  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Salt (optional)
  • Stain remover or carpet stain remover (optional)
  • Oxygen-based cleaner (optional)
  • Dishwashing liquid (optional)

Tools

  • Paper towels or white cloths
  • Vacuum (optional)

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet

  1. Blot the Stain Immediately

    Use a clean white cloth to blot up as much of the red wine as you can right away. Alternate parts of the cloth to always blot using a fresh spot.

  2. Add Water to the Stained Area

    Pour a small amount of cool water onto the red wine stain on the carpet and continue blotting. The water dilutes the red wine, which makes it easier to blot up. Do not pour too much water at a time and switch out the blotting cloth for a dry one as you work. Continue blotting until no more stain can be removed using this method.

  3. Make a Baking Soda Paste

    Mix a paste with a three-to-one ratio of baking soda to water. Apply the paste directly to the carpet stain and wait for it to dry completely before vacuuming up the dried paste.

  4. Apply a Carpet Stain Remover

If any stain remains, apply a carpet stain remover according to the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, the process is to wait until the cleaning product dries and then vacuum.

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From White Carpet

Since white carpet does not have any dyes, you can try to bleach the carpet using a hydrogen peroxide solution. It is important that you do not use this method on a colored carpet; if you do, test it in an inconspicuous area since It could harm the carpet color.

Tip

Test any carpet stain removal techniques or new products on a hidden area of your carpet to make sure of the results. This is true of carpets that have dye and even white carpets. Sometimes you can get your carpets too clean and brighter than the surrounding area, which can make the formerly stained area stand out. A small patch test can help you determine how your carpet will react to the cleaning technique.

  1. Make a Cleaning Solution

    Mix one part clear hand dishwashing liquid with two parts hydrogen peroxide in place of using a commercial carpet stain remover.

  2. Apply and Remove the Solution

Sponge on the solution. Allow it to work for several minutes and then blot off with a clean cloth. Dip a clean cloth in plain water and blot the area to remove any soapy residue.

Illustration depicting how to remove red wine stains
Kyle Fewell/The Spruce

If everything you try fails to remove the stain, it is time to call in the pros. They can use industrial products to return your carpet to its pre-stain condition.