Know How

5 Home Remedies to Remove Red Wine Stains

We put these techniques to the test — here's what worked best

Janice Williams By September 3, 2021
Photo courtesy of Galina Loginova/iStock.

Relaxing with a glass of red wine is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it comes with a cost. Spill any of that garnet-hued juice on almost anything, from your shirt to the couch, to crisp white sheets, and you may as well kiss that fabric goodbye — unless you act fast.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find a number of home remedies that claim to work wonders on red wine stains. Some methods are total baloney, but there are a few that really can save sheets and clothing from eternal ruin. 

We tested out a few of the most common D.I.Y. practices for removing red wine stains from white sheets and were surprised with the results. But bear in mind that the first line of defense for every red wine stain is to act fast. See what worked and what didn’t, below. 

5 home remedies to remove red wine stains:

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and white vinegar is an age-old remedy for getting rid of stains and spots of all kinds. How does it stand up to red wine stains?

How to use:

  1. Create a paste using equal parts vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Soak the stain with vinegar by pouring directly onto the affected area.
  3. Rub the paste over the spot and scrub vigorously. 
  4. Fill a bucket with cold water and add a few tablespoons of vinegar. 
  5. Put the affected area into the bucket and let soak overnight. 
  6. Rinse and wash the sheet. 
image of baking soda and vinegar on white sheet

Results:

While the stain shrank, it was clearly still there. Granted, the mark wasn’t as bright as it was when the wine first spilled, but the paste did leave behind a brownish-reddish spot that made it pretty clear a mess was made.

Tide To Go Stain Remover Pen

Grabbing your handy-dandy Tide pen might not be the first thing that pops into your mind after spilling a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon all over yourself, but the product’s website does claim it’s a powerful solution for fighting tomato, ketchup, coffee, and wine stains. 

How to use: 

  1. Press the tip of the pen onto the stain to release the solution.
  2. Scrub the pen across the stain to remove.
  3. Push the pen down to release more liquid.
  4. Continue to scrub.
image of tide pen used to clean stain

Results: 

The almighty Tide To Go Pen may save your favorite T-shirt from a small mustard stain or a coffee drop, but it’s no match for red wine. The stain was still visible after the first scrub, although it did lighten up after repeating the steps twice more. After giving the sheet a final and thorough wash, the stain was significantly lighter than before, though it was still there.

Salt

Nearly everyone has some sort of kosher or iodized salt laying around the house. Why not use it to help lift all the color out of a red wine stain? 

How to use: 

  1. Dab the stain with cold water.
  2. Spread salt over the affected area. 
  3. Let it sit anywhere from several hours to overnight. 
  4. Rinse with cold water, then wash with detergent.
  5. Repeat steps if needed. 
image of salt as stain remover

Results:

Not the worst home remedy, but not the best either. 

Club soda

Club soda is a tried-and-true method of stain removal, and for good reason. It almost always works, depending on the stain. While it doesn’t work on every stain, it’s a lifesaver when red wine spills, especially on the carpet. 

How to use:

  1. Blot stain as much as possible.
  2. Pour club soda across the stain and let fizz.
  3. Allow the club soda to sit with the stain for 10 minutes. 
  4. Blot again with a clean cloth to absorb the liquid. 
image of club soda used as stain remover

Results:

As expected, the club soda worked like a charm. There was still a faint shadow, but it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking hard for it. 

Dish soap and hydrogen peroxide

Sometimes the most helpful stain removers can be found in the kitchen and bathroom cabinet. This home remedy is reliable not only for deodorizing fabrics and getting dishes sparkly clean, but it’s also a showstopper when it comes to treating stains. 

How to use:

  1. Mix three parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap, and stir.
  2. Apply the solution to the red wine stain.
  3. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Blot clean with a cloth.
  5. Fully wash with detergent. 
image of hydrogen peroxide and soap as stain removers

Results:

This was the winning method of removing a red wine stain from a white sheet. After washing the sheet in the laundry, the stain was completely gone with no outline, residue, or shadows left behind. The sheet was almost as good as new, as if no red wine had ever been spilled!