How To Get Red Wine Out Of Your Carpet

We've all been there: that feeling of abject horror as your hand knocks your wine glass and the contents plummet towards the carpet. Now your evening has become a battle between time and the red wine stain on your carpet. But whether you're in your own home - or worse, someone else's - don't panic! When it comes to red wine stain removal, knowing what to do quickly is half the battle. And with our top tips on how to get red wine out of the carpet, you'll be able to leap to the rescue.

Why is it so difficult to remove red wine from your carpet?

Before tackling the question of how fix a red wine spill on the carpet, it's useful to know what you're up against. More specifically, why is it so hard to get red wine out of a rug or carpet? Well, red wine on the carpet is what's called a composite stain, and these are made up of different components - a dye, a sugar, and a tannin. Removing each of these requires a slightly different process, making a red wine stain on the carpet a bit more complicated than others to fix. But all is not lost!

Now, what gets red wine out of the carpet, and the process you should use, will depend on whether it is a fresh spill or a dried red wine stain, what type of carpet you have, and what you have to hand. So, without further ado, let’s restore your carpet’s gleam and explore how to get red wine out of your rugs and carpets.

Top tips for removing red wine from your carpet

Before you do anything else, grab some kitchen paper or a clean, white cloth and start blotting the red wine spill on your carpet. Starting from the outside and moving in to the middle to prevent spreading, simply press the cloth down gently. Do not be tempted to rub a red wine stained carpet or you risk damaging the fibres of the carpet. And be sure to move the cloth around so that you are always using a clean part of it. Not only will you avoid spreading the red wine on the carpet this way, but you will also be able to see when the colour stops lifting. Add a tiny bit of cold water to help get up as much as you can.

Once the initial red wine spill on your carpet is handled, it’s at this point you need to put something on the patch to aid the red wine stain removal. Let’s take a look what we can use!

How to get just spilled red wine out of your carpet

1. Grab the table salt

First up, table salt is a household staple most of us have lingering around our cupboards –and it’s excellent for red wine stain removal! Simply pour a heaped pile of table salt over the entire red wine spill on your carpet, leaving it for an hour, before vacuuming it up. This works best if it is done within two minutes of the spill, so that the red wine has less time to begin soaking in. It is also much more effective when used to remove red wine from carpets made of synthetic materials as they tend to absorb stains slower.

2. Try soda water

Next, you can try soda water - something a bit less common in every household, but just as effective for red wine stain removal. So, if you have a table of drinks nearby, grab the soda water and begin to pour over the stain, this will dilute the red wine stain on your carpet. It is thought the low pH, or weak acidic nature, caused by the carbonation process, helps to lift red wine on the carpet better than tap water alone.

However, use it sparingly and make sure you continue to blot the excess red wine on the carpet until the stain has been removed.

3. The white wine trick

Now, while you might have heard of this next trick, it sounds more myth than fact. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can use white wine to get red wine out of rugs. But how exactly does it work? Well, white wine can neutralise the red wine to help it lift out of the carpet, and this is all down to the enzymes it contains. But don’t worry about the science too much – all you need to know is that using white wine to help remove red wine from your carpet is a simple process.

Start by pouring a small amount of white wine on top of the red wine on your carpet, then blot away using a clean, white cloth. However, make sure you rinse the white wine from the carpet afterwards or you risk leaving a strange odour. A light spritz with some water and blotting with kitchen paper, or a clean cloth, should do the trick.

4. Use baking soda

And lastly, you can use this lovely baking ingredient to remove red wine spills on your carpet – baking soda! Use a three to one ratio of baking soda to water, stir into a paste and then apply directly to the red wine on the carpet. Work it gently down into the fibres with a sponge, and once the paste has dried, thoroughly vacuum up the residue. One of our handy and effective cordless vacuum cleaners will help with this!

TOP TIP: try combining salt and soda water for extra oomph at getting that red wine stained carpet cleaned!

How to get dried red wine out of your carpet

There’s nothing worse than coming downstairs, slightly bleary eyed the morning after a party, to find a dark red patch on your light-coloured carpet – if only you’d known it had happened at the time! Well, don't panic just yet. While dried red wine removal is a bit trickier to tackle, we've got a few tips for getting that dried red wine from your carpet in no time.

1. Hydrogen peroxide 

One way to get dried red wine out of your carpet is to use hydrogen peroxide, but make sure you use gloves here to protect your skin. Carefully mix together equal parts 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid, and apply gently to the stain, being sure not soak the area. Blot the liquid with kitchen paper or a clean cloth and once the stain has gone, make sure you rinse the solution gently from the carpet without over-wetting.

This dried red wine stain removal trick does work best for light-coloured carpets. You can use it for darker carpets, but you may wish to patch test your solution in a hidden area first to test for bleaching.

2. Use clear alcohol

Similar to using white wine on a fresh red wine stained carpet, you can use clear alcohol on dried red wine stains. Red wine gets its colour because of pigments known as anthocyanins, and these are alcohol soluble, meaning they dissolve in alcohol. Because of this, treating a dried red wine stain with a clear alcohol, such as vodka or white rum, can work to dissolve the dry pigments.

Simply apply some clear alcohol to the dried red wine stain, blotting with a kitchen towel, allowing you to lift the stain from the carpet – easy!

With your carpet clean of new and dried red wine stains, you might be looking for ways to remove other stains like makeup from your carpet, or how to keep your carpet free of pet odour. For more cleaning top tips, head over to our blog.