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.
When it comes to wine spills, the first thing you can do—as soon as you can—is blot the stain, apply club soda (carbonated water that includes baking soda) and then blot again. This will lighten the stain considerably and make it easier to remove later when you can wash the item.
Keep reading for more tips on removing wine stains.
Follow these step to remove wine stains from bleachable fabric:
The steps for removing stains from colored or patterned items are a little different than for white fabrics:
For removing stains from upholstery, follow these steps:
DO 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. Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel is better for pretreating because it contains the same sodium hypochlorite bleach as Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with COLORMAX®, but at a lower concentration that’s safe to apply directly to white bleachable fabrics.
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.