How to Remove a Red Wine Stain

No need to panic—just follow this easy process to remove red wine stains for good.

Next time someone spills red wine on your crisp white shirt, tablecloth, or sofa, don't panic. In a few easy steps—demonstrated in the video up top—we'll show you how to remove red wine stains for good. Consider this red wine stain removal 101: it's simple, effective, and anyone can do it.

The next time guests come over, don't let the fear of red wine stains limit the drinks you serve up. With these red wine stain removal tricks in your back pocket (and cleaning kit), you'll be ready for any spills that may happen. Luckily, these easy methods don't involve a lot of fancy supplies—in fact, ingredients as simple as table salt and a kettle of boiling water may be the solution to even the very worst red wine stains. So go ahead, sip that glass of vino with confidence, knowing you'll be prepared for any drips or dribbles.

What You'll Need to Fight Red Wine Stains:

  • Clean white cloth
  • Club soda
  • Large bowl
  • Table salt
  • Tea kettle

Follow These Steps:

  1. Dab—don't blot: Dab at the red wine stain with a damp, white cotton cloth to absorb any excess wine. (Rubbing is the wrong move because it will actually set the stain.) Work from the outside of the stain in to avoid spreading the stain.
  2. Pour club soda over the stain, then dab, working from the outside of the stain in toward the center. Repeat as needed to lighten or remove the stain. Stain still there? Move on to step three.
  3. Slide a bowl under the fabric, centering the stain over the bowl. Secure with a large rubber band (optional). Cover the stain with a generous amount of salt. The salt will begin to soak up the stain.
  4. Slowly—and carefully!—pour a kettle of boiling water onto the stain from about one foot above, working from the outside of the stain inwards.
  5. Using the hottest water setting, launder the fabric in the washing machine.

Tip: Don't put the cloth in the dryer until the red wine stain is completely removed. Otherwise, the dryer's heat will cause the remaining stain to set.

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