0330 113 4909

Help and Advice Centre


How to remove red wine stains from rugs

Red wine is delicious, but beware it can be deadly when it comes to your home furnishings! As you relax back into your first (or second!) glass, there’s a chance that you’ll be relaxed and chatting to your partner or friends, getting into the story of your latest work drama when you get a little too animated and the wine goes flying. It’s happened to the best of us.

Depending on how far through the bottle you are, it might feel like it’s the end of the world if you see a nice merlot soaking into your light-coloured rug. But before you start mentally working out how to blame the dog and redecorate the entire room, remember that there is still hope. It’s time to get serious about stain removal.

The most important thing, and we cannot stress this enough, is DO NOT PANIC. You need to act fast as the sooner you begin to dilute the dark colouring, the better the results you’ll get. As stress-inducing as the stain may be, it’s essential to stay calm and start the clean-up process.

Remove excess Liquid

Firstly, start by blotting the stain as much as possible with a clean cloth. Use a dabbing method, rather than rubbing as there’s a risk of you pushing the wine deeper. Work on small dabs, applying moderate pressure to the rug which will help the colour to lift out.

As you find the stain fading a little and drying out, the traditional method would be to follow the instructions on a carpet stain remover on the rug. However, not all of us keep a stock of stain remover (though you probably will do after this) so instead there are a few home remedies which you can try too.

Dilute the Colour

Most famously the answer could be that you just need more wine. The colour opposite to red wine is white wine, which means it should help to neutralise the colour fairly quickly. Again this needs to be done with a dabbing method, adding the white wine sparingly so that you aren’t just soaking the area.

If you’re not one to waste wine, then you could also try the exact same method with club soda. The carbonation is good for helping to disintegrate the stain, whilst the colourless liquid helps to neutralise the harsher red in the same way that white wine would. And of course, if you are a big red wine drinker then getting a similar-coloured rug like red or purple, or carpet will save you added stress when drinking in.

Add Salt

Once you’ve diluted the colour of the stain a little, then you can sprinkle salt over the area. Salt in food helps soak up the moisture and dry it out, that’s why we use it to preserve so many different foods. However, it’s a little-known fact that salt will also help to draw out moisture from a rug. You’ll need a fair amount of salt to attract the liquid, as by this point the stain should already be relatively dry. Pour the salt onto the area liberally until you start to see that some of the wine is fading and liquid being drawn out, then add a little more salt to keep the process going.

Now is also a good time to throw some salt over your left shoulder in the hope of never being unlucky enough to spill your wine again!

Once you see the salt has soaked up the wine, you can whip out the vacuum cleaner and clean up the mess fairly easily. With the salt removed you should see that the stain is nearly gone. If needed, you can repeat the process again by adding more-white wine/club soda and the salt stage to reduce the stain even further.  


Disclaimer:  Although these tips are tried and tested, they may not remove every stain from every rug and carpet. If you are in any doubt then call up a professional carpet cleaner for advice. Rugs Direct takes no responsiibility for trying any of our ideas