How to remove a wine stain from a carpet: 5 proven ways

wine stain

Remove wine stain from the carpet is not easy, but it is possible in some cases. In this article, we will tell you how to deal with this contamination at home.

General recommendations

If you have spilled wine – you need to act quickly. Take a paper napkin, cotton sponge or a white cotton cloth and blot the stain, moving from the edges to the center.

Moving from the center to the edges or blotting just the center portion will cause the wine to spread over a larger area.

Once you have collected the unabsorbed liquid, you should begin cleaning immediately. But first, it’s worth learning what not to do when removing a wine stain:

  • Use dishwashing detergent. This will leave streaks on the carpet that cannot be removed at home.
  • Profusely pour the liquid on the stain – it is better to use a cloth moistened with the cleaning solution or a cotton pad.
  • Scrub the stain by pressing down firmly on the lint. This promotes deep penetration of the staining agent.
  • Reapply the chosen remedy if it didn’t work the first time. Wine stains will remain, and the carpet may fade.
  • Use a variety of stain removers at the same time.
  • Trying to remove stains without first testing the cleaner on an inconspicuous area. The nap may become deformed or discolored.

Now you know how not to do it, and we’ll move on to methods to help clean fresh wine stains. 

How to remove fresh stains

The following methods suggest the use of improvised means, but you need to act quickly and according to the instructions.

Salt or baking soda

If the wine has not had time to soak into the nap – sprinkle it with table salt or baking soda. These substances absorb liquid that could not be collected with a napkin or cotton pad. Leave the salt or baking soda for 10-15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

This method is suitable for any carpets, but very light carpets may have a reddish wine residue. This will disappear after treating with peroxide or vinegar.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Pour a ready-made medical solution into a spray gun, spray on the stain. You can use a cotton sponge soaked in hydrogen peroxide and place it on the stain. In both cases it is important not to get the nap too wet.

Leave the peroxide on the carpet for half an hour – during this time it will discolor the pigment in the wine. Blot the pile with a dry cloth, collecting the excess liquid.

Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to clean dark and brightly colored carpets, as the product has a bleaching effect.


Add one teaspoon of 9% table vinegar to one litre of water. Pour the liquid on the nap with a sponge or spray gun, taking care not to get the carpet too wet, leave it for 1-2 hours. If at the end of that time the carpet is still wet, wipe off the rest of the solution with a napkin.

Balsamic or apple cider vinegar is not good for stain removal – it will leave traces. Vinegar is not recommended on natural rugs.

Citric acid

Dilute 0.5 teaspoon of citric acid or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 litre of water, apply the solution to the stained area with a sponge or cotton pad. Wait 15-20 minutes and blot the lint.

This product is suitable for cleaning wool and cotton carpets, but beware of getting too wet. It’s best not to use lemon juice on dark or bright rugs, as it has a moderate brightening effect.

White wine and baking soda

An unexpected but effective way to remove a red wine stain is to treat it with white wine. Add a little water to it, pour it into a sprayer, spray it over the soiled area, then – sprinkle baking soda on top. Allow the nap to dry (3-4 hours) and vacuum the carpet.

If the red wine soaked the pile to the base – on top of the scattered soda lay a napkin and put something heavy. The rest of the steps are the same as described above.

White carpet can not be cleaned in this way, yellow stains will remain.

wine stain

What to do about a dried stain?

Old stains are more difficult to remove than fresh ones. Moreover, a stain is considered old if more than one day has passed since its inception.

Dried wine stains need to be soaked before removal, which implies abundant moisture and rubbing. This is fraught with damage to the nap, deformation of the base due to wetting, deeper penetration of coloring substances, as well as the spread of the stain over a larger area. Therefore, soaking wine stains with water, alcohol or glycerin at home runs the risk of irreversibly damaging the carpet.

In this case, it is better to give the dirty carpet to a dry-cleaner, where it will be cleaned with professional detergents.

But if you can’t call a dry cleaner, you can risk it this way:

  • Carefully moisten the soiled pile with cool water – slightly cooler than room temperature. It’s important to keep an eye on the lint’s moisture content – the water should not run all over it. An alternative is a damp, alcohol-based cloth. It should be placed on the stain and gently pressed, but this solution is only for light-colored carpets.
  • Take out the soaked pollution with any of the methods described above for removing fresh stains.
  • If less aggressive means do not help – add 1 teaspoon each of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia alcohol to 1 cup of water. Carefully moisten the stain with a cotton pad, dry thoroughly.

Keep in mind that such an attempt doesn’t guarantee a spotless removal, but the work of professionals when contacting a dry cleaner can seriously complicate it.

When to go straight to the cleaners

Viscose or natural silk carpets are best not cleaned at home. These delicate materials are sensitive to products that are safe for other fibers. Spill wine, blot the stain, and sprinkle with salt or baking soda. Take the rug to a dry cleaner or call a professional at home within 24 hours. The more time that passes, the less chance of removing the stain without a trace.

A fresh stain on a cotton rug can be removed by yourself, but you must act immediately – hygroscopic fiber quickly becomes stained. Wool and synthetic products lend themselves well to household cleaning with the right sequence of actions.

We hope these tips will help you save your carpet from stains!