How to Get Red Wine Out of Carpet

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get red wine out of carpetYou have had a few merlots, and you had a little accident. You spilled some red wine on your clean carpet. Looking down at the stain can be somewhat intimidating and if you don’t take action quickly the stain can sink down deeper into the carpet and become more difficult to remove.

Although things may look bleak, it’s not impossible to get this stain out using the right materials and methods. We are going to cover a few of the most popular and effective means for removing red wine from the carpet.

The First Step

pat the stained area firmThe first thing you must do before going for a carpet cleaner or a cleaning solution is soak up as much of the spilled wine as possible. Pat the stained area firm, using a towel. The longer you wait to more difficult the stain becomes. Never wipe or scrub a new wine stain.

As you are patting with the towel, keep rotating sides, so you do not spread any of the soaked-up wine back onto the carpet. In between rotations pour some cold water over the carpet, and the stain should start to disburse. Continue this process until you are no longer soaking up addition red wine into the towel.

Once you have soaked up everything, you can use that method create a slurry by mixing baking soda with warm water and apply that to the stained area using a soft toothbrush. Scrubbing in circular motions a vast majority of the stain should lift from the carpet.

Click Here for seven DIY carpet cleaning strategies.

The Second Step

use vinegarFor Rose’ or White Zinfandel, the first step alone may be able to remove the entire stain from the carpet. For dark red wine, you are going to need to give it a little more effort.

Once you removed a majority of the large stain from your carpet, what remains is the deep portion that quickly soaked down into the fibers of the carpet. This issue requires you to break down the wine, so you can pull it out of the rug.

Mix a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon of dishwasher soap, and two cups of lukewarm water. Stir the mixture, so it is well blended and using an abrasive sponge, soak up the mixture and start spreading it onto the stain.

Do not scrub, just continue patting the stained area. The acidity in the vinegar breaks down the wine, and the soapy sponge sucks it up. Be careful not to squeeze the sponge too much that can release some of the wine stains from the sponge making additional work for you.

Extra Strategies

If you still haven’t been able to get the stain completely out, don’t fret! There are a few other options.

sprinkle stain with saltSalt

If the first two steps didn’t remove the entire stain – don’t panic. There are more methods you can use if you need to, so you can get your carpet looking nice again.

If the stain has soaked deep into your carpet use this method:

Using a generic table salt, sprinkle the area with a liberal amount of salt. Coat the entire stain and continue until you have about a quarter of an inch pile on the rug. Using your hand or a towel gently work the salt into the carpet.

Do not apply too much pressure; you want to salt to work its way down into the carpeting. If you have a very low, dense carpet, this isn’t as necessary. For shaggy rugs, this is a great way to soak up deep down stains.

Once you have done that, let the stain rest for three to four hours. Over this time the salt draws the moisture out of the carpet so if there is any wine deep down that’s causing the stain the salt soaks it up.

After a few hours vacuum up the remaining salt. If possible, pour some water over the area and follow it with a wet vacuum.


Washing the wine away with liquor seems strange, but this strategy works well for excessively tricky stains. Vodka dilutes the stain and doesn’t contain any texture that will drag the red color around as soap does.

Soak up some vodka with a sponge and blot the stain to try and soak up the red wine.

Once you have done that, spread a baking soda slurry over the area and cover it with towels. Place something substantial like a large book on top of the towels and let it rest overnight.

In the morning, remove the towels and the book. Vacuum up the area and your stain are gone!

Using a combination of all these methods should make removing a tough red wine stain a breeze. Start from the top and only use the extra strategies if you need to. For small stains that you clean up right away, the first two methods should work fine.

The faster you get your mess cleaned up, the sooner you can pour another glass and relax!

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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