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Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet: Tips for Fresh & Dried Stains

  • The Hate Stains Co.
  • 5 min read

Red wine stains are the heavyweight champion of stains that are difficult to deal with. You'll see a wine glass falling in slow motion in commercials for almost any deep cleaning agent or bleach pen. But when it comes to red wine stains in your carpet, you can't just dab at the stain, throw the carpet in your washing machine, and hope for the best. That's why we've prepared this guide on how to get rid of fresh and dried red wine carpet stains with the right cleaning solutions so you can go back to relaxing with your glass of red wine — worry-free. Keep reading to learn if red wine stains are permanent, if red wine stains will come out of fabrics and carpeting, and how to remove red wine stains from carpet for both fresh and dried wine stains.

Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet Fresh Wine Stain

    Are Red Wine Stains Permanent?

    No! Red wine stains aren't permanent for most carpets. Even dry red wine stains can be removed with the right approach. But red wine stains can become permanent if you apply heat. Hot water can make the stain bind to the carpet fibers, especially if the carpet has natural fibers that become more porous when heated. Too-hot water can also damage synthetic fibers, turning the dark red stain into a light (but still noticeable) stain with a fiber pattern that doesn't look quite right.

    No matter what cleaning method you choose, use cold or room-temperature cleaners and materials unless you have experience handling a steam cleaner or you're hiring professionals.

    Will Red Wine Stains Come Out?

    Red wine stains can come out. But it's not a matter of more stubborn stain = more effort. Instead, it's careful to be gentle, slow, and methodical. Then, when in doubt, always add more liquid to dilute the stain and see incremental progress.

    Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet Using Wine Stain Remover

    How Do You Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet That Are Stubborn?

    Stubborn wine stains come in all types and sizes. But they generally fall into two main categories when it comes to removing them: dried stains and fresh (still wet) stains. Generally, the older the stain, the harder the process. But the step-by-step processes below can help you through any red wine stain emergency.

    How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet: Dried Wine Stains

    Removing dried stains from carpet is always harder than fresh ones. But it happens: you may not have noticed a few spots of wine on the carpet from yesterday's get-together, or you find old stains when you move the furniture to vacuum. Follow these steps to pry up as much of those old stains as possible without damaging your carpet:

    1. Rehydrate the Stain

    You can't remove a dry stain without reintroducing liquid to it, especially if you don't want to shred the fibers or pull up the weave. Some options you can use are water, club soda, and even vinegar. Once the stain is rehydrated, try to blot away what you can.

    Pro Tip: Only use white vinegar, as other variations can create new stains.

    2. Create or Use a (Liquid-Based) Cleaning Solution

    Liquids are crucial at every stage of removing a dried wine stain. You can pick different DIY and commercial cleaner options. If you have a carpet cleaner at home, carefully follow the directions and apply it to the stain. If you don't have a cleaner, try these combinations:

    • Clear dish soap and vinegar
    • Clear dish soap and hydrogen peroxide
    • A baking soda paste made with cold water

    Different types of carpets may react purely to different chemicals. If you have a sensitive shag, for example, you may want to skip the DIY cleaning and find a professional who knows exactly how to handle your carpeting.

    3. Blot the Stain to Mop Up the Liquid

    Once the cleaning solution has settled (but don't leave it too long!), blot it away with a clean cloth or paper towel. Keep using new sections of the cloth so you don't add wine back to the carpet. The stain should slowly but surely start lighting and lifting.

    How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet: Fresh Wine Stains

    The best time to catch a red wine stain is when it's fresh, before the liquid seeps into the fibers and dries into a deep stain. If your elbow just knocked a glass over or you notice some drips or a ring on your nice, white carpet, take these steps as quickly as possible:

    1. Blot and Dab Dry: Don't Rub

    Use a towel or paper towel to gently dab at the stain and remove as much liquid as possible. The less wine left in the carpet, the easier it will be to remove. But be careful not to rub the carpet as you mop up the wine. This can increase the size of the stain and push the wine deeper into the carpet fibers.

    Pro Tip: Start at the edges rather than dabbing the whole stain at once. This will also help stop the stain from growing.

    2. Gently Pour Cold Water on the Wine to Dilute It

    Diluting the remaining wine will lighten the color. It will also stop the wine from drying and help you mop more of it away with your towel. Make sure to always blot with a new paper towel or a new section of your cloth so wine isn't reintroduced to the carpet. Keep repeating this step until no more wine is transferring to the blotting cloth. At this point, the stain should be significantly lighter. It might even be entirely gone.

    Pro Tip: If you have club soda, try using it instead of water. The minerals may help pull out the stain. However, don't try white wine. That old trick won't help remove the stain, and it might make it worse.

    What to Do If the Carpet Is Still Stained?

    Use one of these strategies if you still see stains on your carpet. Speed is important, so choose the strategy you have the materials for.

    • Use a Store-Bought Cleaner: If your home has light or white carpets, you probably already have a bottle of carpet cleaner under the sink. Follow the specific directions on the back of the bottle. Each cleaner is different.
    • The Baking Soda Method: Create a thick paste of baking soda and water; it should be stiff, not watery. Cover the stain with it or, if you have a thick carpet, gently work it deeper into the fibers so it fully penetrates the stain. Once it dries, vacuum away the paste. Your carpet should be clean (and smell fresh!).
    • Try Salt: Just like baking soda, salt can absorb red wine to draw the stain out of your carpet. Use fine-grained table salt, rather than coarse salt, to maximize surface area. Pour it onto the stain and wait either three hours or even overnight for the salt to fully absorb as much of the stain as it can.

    These strategies should remove every trace of the wine. But if they don't, or you didn't notice the stain until it dried, try our tips specifically for dried red wine stains on carpet in the previous section.

    Erase Your Carpet Stains and Make It Look Like New

    The right approach to any red wine carpet stain can either completely lift the stain or make it virtually undetectable. At The Hate Stains, Co., we make it simple to always have the right solution on hold. Browse our catalog of stain treaters, cleaning agents, and specialty red wine removal products. You can also visit our site to check out more cleaning tips to save your carpets and fabrics.