7 Ways to Remove a Red Wine Stain

Red wine spill

You could be drinking the best red wine for your money or just some Two Buck Chuck, but quality doesn't make a difference when Rick comes over and pours red wine all over himself/the carpet/the dog. 

Luckily there are plenty of remedies to get that shit out. All of them emphasize the necessity for rapid action and to always blot rather than rub, but otherwise there's no consensus on the most effective method. Here are the best seven that we found, but if we missed one be sure to spill a suggestion in the comments section.

vodka martini
Drew Swantak/Thrillist


The American Chemical Society doesn't seem like a likely advocate of pouring vodka onto the carpet, but the science is on its side. Apparently higher-proof spirits like vodka trump red wine by dissolving the color pigments and keeping them from clinging to carpet or other fabrics.

milk jugs
Cole Saladino/Thrillist


Instructables first soaked a cloth in red wine, then cut it in two and coated one in salt and submerged the other in milk. After an hour soak each, both were finished with castile soap. Milk firmly defeated its sodium opponent (though the salt did put up a pretty good fight!)

club soda
Wikimedia Commons/Diclements

Club soda

Harking back to when people actually kept this mixer on hand, club soda has long been reported to defeat red wine stains if you soak the fabric from back to front then blot like a maniac. But there's actually little explanation of why this works. Scientific American dug into the reasoning of why, but surprisingly the best it could come up with is that it might be the bubbles. Thanks for nothing, science!

salt shaker

Salt, boiling water, and vinegar cocktail

Here's a many-stepped method: soak with cold water, cover with salt (until it turns pink), pour on some boiling water, and then let the clothing sit in a vinegar solution before rinsing. It's pretty effective if you have the time.

dishwasher liquid
Wikimedia Commons/Onderwijsgek

Dishwashing liquid and hydrogen peroxide

Soak the stain in equal parts dishwashing liquid soap and hydrogen peroxide, then blot it up!

white wine pour
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

White wine and baking soda

To get stains out of carpets, first soak the stain in white wine to dilute the color, then follow up with a baking soda paste (3:1 soda to water). Keep that paste moist by spraying with water over the course of an hour, and the stain should disappear.

Or for a bustier solution without the baking soda, refer to the Man Show's household tips from porn stars.

shaving cream
Wikimedia Commons/CoffeeAddict

Shaving cream

HuffPo reports that a five o'clock shadow's worth of shaving cream over a stain should disrupt it from settling. Just gently rub in the cream, then wipe with warm water to shave away that stain.

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Dan Gentile is a staff writer at Thrillist. He's happy to have finally found a good use for a bottle of vodka. Follow him to more cocktail snobbing at @Dannosphere.