Can White Wine Remove Red Wine Stains?

Were you having dinner, enjoying yourself, when suddenly your glass of red wine decides to slip and spill on your favourite dress? Or has the spill unfortunately got on your carpet?

We understand that you could panic, and try to reach for the white wine to try to rub the stain off as you’ve heard that it is effective for dealing with red wine stains. But is it really true? 

The short answer: The alcohol in the white wine can help dilute the stain from the red wine, but that’s something plain old water can do. Why waste your good wine?

There are better ways to tackle a red wine stain, and we will let you know about them in this article. 

White Wine To Remove Stains – Does It Really Work? 

The idea behind using white wine to clean up red wine spills is pretty simple. People think that the alcohol in the white wine will help break down the red wine, making it easier to clean up. It sounds like it could work, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

White wine does contain alcohol, which can help dilute the red wine stain. However, the effectiveness of this method really depends on a lot of factors, like the fabric you’ve spilt wine on, how much wine you’ve spilt, and how quickly you act. 

wine stain on a dress

While white wine might not harm your fabrics, it’s not the most powerful stain fighter out there. In some cases, it might just dilute the stain a bit, but you’ll probably need something stronger to get the stain out completely. 

Not only can using white wine to remove red wine stains be wasteful, but it’s not as effective as shop-bought products or even white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. 

What To Do Right After The Spill Accident

When red wine spills, time is of the essence. The faster you act, the better chance you have of getting that stain out. Here are the steps you should take right away:

  • Blot The Stain
    Grab a clean cloth or tissue and press it against the stain to soak up as much wine as possible. Rubbing can make the stain worse by spreading it around and pushing it deeper into the fabric.
  • Optional White Wine Step
    If you’re going to try the white wine method, now’s the time. Pour a little over the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, blot it again with a clean cloth. Remember, this might not completely remove the stain, but it can be a good first step.
  • Cold Water Rinse
    For clothing, rinse the stained area under cold water. This helps to flush out more of the wine.
  • Apply A Stain Remover
    Now it’s time to get serious. Use one of the stronger stain removal methods listed below, then wash the item.
  • Avoid Using The Tumble Dryer
    Do not use a dryer or apply heat to the stained area until you are certain the stain is gone. Heat can permanently set the stain.
  • Don’t Hesitate To Contact  A Professional
    For expensive, delicate, or sentimental items, consider consulting a professional cleaner to avoid damage.

TIP: Make sure to check the care labels of your garment before attempting to treat the stain! You wouldn’t want to ruin your clothing permanently. 

More Effective Products To Remove Red Wine Stains 

While white wine might give you a start in your struggle against red wine stains, there are more effective products you can use out there. 

Here are the products you can choose from that are more effective than pouring more alcohol onto your fabrics: 

Shop-Bought Stain Removers

Shop-bought stain removers are specifically designed to tackle tough stains and can be very effective. The most popular ones are from brands like Dr. Beckmann, Persil, and Vanish. 

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Dr Beckmann Stain Devils Complete Stain Remover Kit (4 x 50ml, 1 x 50g)
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How to use stain removers to remove red wine stains:

  1. Choose the Right Product
    Look for a stain remover that mentions it’s effective against red wine or tough stains. There are many brands available, so pick one that suits your fabric type.
  2. Read the Instructions
    Before you do anything, read the product’s instructions carefully. Different stain removers may have specific application methods or waiting times.
  3. Test the Remover for Colour Fastness
    Find a small, inconspicuous area on the fabric and apply a tiny amount of the stain remover to make sure it doesn’t damage or discolour the fabric.
  4. Apply the Stain Remover
    Once you’ve confirmed the remover is safe for your fabric, apply it directly to the stain. Use enough to cover the entire area but avoid soaking the fabric unnecessarily.
  5. Let it sit
    Leave the stain remover on the stain for the amount of time specified by the product instructions. This could be anywhere from a few minutes to overnight for particularly stubborn stains.
  6. Blot or Dab
    If the instructions specify, gently blot or dab the stain with a clean cloth or sponge. Don’t rub, as this can spread the stain or push it deeper into the fabric.
  7. Wash
    Wash the item as you normally would, according to the care instructions on the label. Check the stain before drying; if it’s still visible, you may need to repeat the treatment before drying.

Washing Up Liquid

A mixture of washing up liquid and water can work wonders, especially on fresh stains. You can use the one that’s already in your home, but avoid coloured ones as the dye can transfer to your light fabrics. 

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How to use washing up liquid to remove red wine stains:

  1. Mix a Solution
    Combine one part washing up liquid with two parts cold water. For tougher stains, you can mix equal parts washing up liquid and hydrogen peroxide instead (but be careful with coloured fabrics as this can bleach them).
  2. Test the Solution
    Apply a small amount of your mixture to a hidden part of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discolouration.
  3. Apply the Solution
    Use a clean cloth or sponge to apply the mixture to the stain. Gently dab the area to allow the solution to penetrate the stain.
  4. Blot the Stain
    With another clean, dry cloth, blot the stain to absorb the washing up liquid solution and the wine. Keep blotting until no more liquid is being transferred.
  5. Rinse
    Rinse the area with cold water to remove any residue of the washing up liquid.
  6. Wash as Normal
    Wash the item as per the care instructions. Before drying, ensure the stain is completely gone. If not, repeat the process.

Bicarbonate Of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda can be used to create a paste that lifts the stain from fabrics, especially useful for carpets and upholstery. If you want a gentle approach, use this method. 

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How to use bicarbonate of soda to remove red wine stains:

  1. Create a Paste
    Mix three parts bicarbonate of soda with one part water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the Paste
    Spread the paste generously over the stain, ensuring it’s completely covered. The paste should be about a quarter-inch thick.
  3. Let It Sit
    Allow the paste to sit on the stain for a few hours or until it has dried completely. The bicarbonate of soda will absorb the wine as it dries.
  4. Remove the Residue
    Once the paste is dry, scrape off any excess with a spoon or blunt knife.
  5. Rinse and Wash as Normal
    Rinse the area with cold water. If the item is washable, launder it according to the care instructions. Check the stain before drying and repeat the process if necessary.

White Vinegar

White vinegar, mixed with water, can help break down the stain before a normal wash. Not only that, but it can also make your fabrics smell fresh, and is a wonderful fabric softener alternative. 

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How to use white vinegar to remove red wine stains:

  1. Mix a Vinegar Solution
    Combine one part white vinegar with two parts cold water in a bowl or bucket.
  2. Test the Solution
    Before applying the mixture to the stain, test it on a small, hidden area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
  3. Apply the Solution
    Soak a clean cloth in the vinegar solution, then press it onto the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the wine pigments.
  4. Blot the Stain
    Use a dry cloth to blot the area, removing the vinegar solution and the wine. Repeat the application and blotting process as needed.
  5. Rinse and Wash as Normal
    Rinse the stained area with cold water. Wash the item according to the garment’s care instructions, checking the stain is removed before drying.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide on its own or mixed with washing up liquid is powerful for stubborn stains, even on carpets and upholstery. However, it’s best used on white clothes and fabrics as it can bleach them.

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How to use hydrogen peroxide to remove red wine stains:

  1. Mix with Washing Up Liquid
    Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and washing up liquid. For carpets, you can use hydrogen peroxide on its own.
  2. Test the Mixture
    It’s crucial to test the hydrogen peroxide mixture on an inconspicuous area first, as it can bleach or discolour some fabrics and carpets.
  3. Apply the Mixture
    Apply the mixture directly to the stain using a sponge or cloth. For carpets, you can pour the hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain if you’re not using washing up liquid.
  4. Blot and Wait
    Blot the area with a clean cloth, then let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. The hydrogen peroxide needs time to react with the stain.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly
    Rinse the area with cold water to remove any residue of the cleaning solution.
  6. Launder or Dry
    If you’re treating a washable fabric, launder the item according to the care label. For carpets, let the area air dry and then vacuum.

SEE ALSO: Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe To Use On Clothes?

What To Do About Red Wine Stains That Have Already Set? 

If you’re dealing with a red wine stain that’s already had time to set in, don’t lose hope. You might need to put in a bit more effort, but it’s still possible to get it out. 

Try rehydrating the stain with warm water and then applying one of the more powerful cleaning methods mentioned above. For really stubborn stains, you might need to treat and wash the affected area multiple times.

Remember, when dealing with stains, patience and prompt action can make all the difference. Don’t let a spill ruin your night or your favourite outfit!

Do you have questions? Feel free to ask them below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use to remove red wine stains?

To remove red wine stains, you can use shop-bought stain removers, a mixture of washing up liquid and water, bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. These methods vary in effectiveness depending on the stain’s age, fabric type, and colour.

Why are red wine stains so hard to remove?

Red wine stains are so hard to remove because red wine contains tannins, which bind to fabric fibres once the wine dries, making the stain more resistant to traditional cleaning methods.

What’s the best red wine stain remover?

The best red wine stain remover depends on the specific situation, but generally, shop-bought stain removers designed for tough stains, such as products from Dr. Beckmann, Persil, or Vanish, are highly effective. For natural fabrics and sensitive items, using a combination of hydrogen peroxide and washing up liquid or bicarbonate of soda can be effective as well.

Does white wine wash out of clothes?

Yes, white wine can wash out of clothes, similar to most liquids, especially if treated promptly. However, it’s important to rinse the area with cold water and then follow up with a more effective stain removal method if necessary.

How do you get rid of red wine stains naturally?

To get rid of red wine stains naturally, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water, bicarbonate of soda paste, or a solution of washing up liquid and hydrogen peroxide for tougher stains. These methods are effective, environmentally friendly, and use items commonly found in the home.

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