How to Get Red Wine Out of Clothes

Don't cry over red wine spills anymore. Follow our red wine stain removal steps to learn how to get red wine out of clothes and get back to enjoying your wine.

Why does wine stain?

Red wine’s color comes from the skins of the grapes, which include astringent compounds called tannins. The tannins make removing wine stains difficult. However, tannins are antioxidants, so stains made from anything high in tannins respond well to bleach, which is an oxidant.

Tips for removing wine stains

When it comes to wine spills, the first thing you can do — as soon as possible — is blot the wine to soak up the spill so you have less stain to deal with. Then apply club soda (carbonated water that includes baking soda) to bubble away more of the stain and then blot again. This will lighten the stain considerably and make it easier to remove later when you can wash the item with the appropriate bleach.

Keep reading for more tips on removing wine stains.

Steps for removing wine from white bleach-safe clothes

Follow these step to remove wine stains from white bleachable fabric:

  1. Mix a pretreating solution made with ¼ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach added to ¾ cup water.

  2. Apply the bleach and water solution to the stain immediately before machine washing the item. Never use full-strength bleach – it should always be diluted with water first.

  3. Machine wash the item in the hottest water recommended on the care label using a good detergent and ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.

  4. Air dry the item and then check to confirm you’ve successfully removed the stain. Stains that aren't treated quickly are harder to remove, but you can repeat the treatment and get the stain all the way out.

    Read this article showing how to remove stains from white clothes.

Steps for removing wine from colored clothes

The steps for removing stains from colored items or white items with spandex are a little different:

  1. Pretreat the stain with a small amount of Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive by applying it directly to the stain.

  2. Gently rub in the Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive liquid and wait 10 minutes. Don't let it dry out on the fabric — set a timer so you don't lose track of the time.

  3. Wash the item in the hottest water recommended on the fabric care label using your favorite detergent and more Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive.

  4. Air dry the item and then check to see if you’ve successfully removed the stain. Stains that aren't treated quickly are harder to remove, but you can repeat the treatment and get the stain all the way out.

    Curious about laundry symbols? Check out this article.

Steps for removing wine stains from carpet and upholstery

For removing stains from upholstery, follow these steps:

  1. Cover the area with plenty of baking soda to absorb as much wine as possible. Or, you could use table salt, which works best on synthetics.

  2. Vacuum up the baking soda or salt.

  3. Dab a little club soda on the remaining stain, then use a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment.

    For carpet, pretreat the stain with Clorox® Urine Remover, then go over the stain with a steam cleaner. Make sure the carpet or upholstery dries completely to prevent mildew growth or other problems.

    What about removing other types of stains from upholstery? Read this article.

    What about other carpet stains? Learn more and see how to remove them.

Red wine stain Do’s and Don’ts

Tip

Use the hottest water you can when washing — the hotter, the better. Remember to refer to the item’s care label.

Don't use full strength bleach to pretreat a stain. Bleach must always be diluted with water first.

Don't tumble dry an item that had a wine stain without making sure you’ve completely removed the stain.

Don't use laundry products to treat red wine stains on carpet or upholstery. They are too difficult to rinse completely without getting them overly wet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does white wine stain?

Yes, white wine can leave a stain, though it may not be obvious until later. However, you can remove the stain if you pretreat it using the same techniques for red wine.

Are there any tips for removing old wine stains?

Any stain that’s been sitting around for a while will likely need multiple treatments to get it out completely. And don’t forget the club soda pretreatment step—it still helps, even on older stains.

How do you get wine smell out of carpet?

If you’ve removed a wine stain, but the carpet still smells, you may have missed some of the stain. You should be able to remove the rest of the stain if you go over the entire area with a steam cleaner.

Some wine may have also absorbed into the carpet pad under the carpet. Pull up the carpet where the spill was. You may need to replace part of a stained carpet pad because foam carpet pads can’t be cleaned. You can also spray the underside of the carpet with Clorox® Urine Remover to eliminate the smell. Make sure the underside of the carpet dries completely before retacking it down.