How to Get Red Wine Stains out of Carpets, DIY Style

There may be no faster way to silence a dinner party. Red wine falling off of the table, and onto the carpet or rug below. In that moment a hush falls over the room and the pulse of the hostess begins to race. But, despite the impending feeling of doom, this doesn’t have to be a catastrophe. Here is a look at a super simple DIY solution to save the carpet – and the party.

red wine stain on a carpet


Blot the Spot

Just like you do with red lipstick- the first step is to blot the spill. Using a thick cloth, slowly dab the spill. It’s important to not rub at the stain, as this creates heat through friction and helps to set the stain. Instead, just slowly dab at the spot until you feel as though you have removed as much of it as possible.

Mix the Brew

As with every secret potion, the secret to getting that red wine off of the carpet means a little kitchen alchemy. For this brew you’ll want to use two cups of warm water to mix about a teaspoon of hand soap and a teaspoon of white vinegar.

A Pair of Rags

You’ll need two rags for step three. You want to use one clean, white cloth to dip into your stain fighting brew and blot at the stain. In between blots you’ll use the second, dry cloth to dab the stain and slowly lift it off of the carpet.

Seal the Deal

Finally, use a sponge soaked in clean, cool water to dab at what used to be a stain on your carpet. Use a third, clean and dry cloth to dab the spot dry. The cool water will seal the carpet fibers to keep them from absorbing any additional color that is left from the wine.

Get Salty

If the spill is fresh and you find that you don’t want to mess with soap and water- sprinkle salt on the spill instead. It’s a natural absorbing agent, and should absorb most of the pigment. Allow to sit overnight and simply vacuum up in the morning.

When All Else Fails

If the above solution has failed you, this is one more solution that you can try before calling in the carpet cleaning professionals. The ace up your sleeve combines the same hand soap from the previous mixture, but this time replaces the white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. Simply sponge on and dry cloth blot off. It is wise to not start with this method as, on occasion, the peroxide can damage the color of the carpet.

For this reason, if you need to resort to this second lifting method, it’s best to test your solution on a patch of carpet that is typically out of view. You’ll want to make sure that the solution doesn’t impact the color of your carpet negatively before trying it on the area already impacted by the stain.

Who ‘Ya Gonna Call?

Stainbusters! If you’ve tried it all and the wine stain doesn’t budge, you may need to call in the carpet cleaning experts for assistance. You can typically find a good steamer recommendation on review sites like Yelp.

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