Cleaning

Afraid of Red Wine Stains? Memorize this Handy Trick

It's easier than you'd think.

July  9, 2019

On a recent Friday night, I ventured to a BYOB restaurant for dinner with a group. After waiting in line for 30 minutes to place our orders, we sat at a picnic table and started to uncork the bottles of wine we'd brought. I was pretty jazzed about my 2017 Les Heretiques, a natural, French Carignan, so I carefully poured healthy servings into flimsy plastic cups and set the open bottle down in the middle of the table. I took a sip and was delighted to find the red table wine was just to my taste—tannic, medium-bodied, and full of dark fruit.

My cup quivered ominously.

Soon after, our plates of jerk chicken, plantains, rice, and beans arrived before us. Just as I finished my first bite, a friend of a friend reached for her own bottle and in the span of a second, collided with my bottle of wine, which knocked over my cup of wine, both of which drenched my food and my outfit. For a moment, I was speechless and distraught by my sudden trifecta of loss. Gone were my wine, my food, and my jeans.

This friend of a friend did help me get a new entrée, though due to dim lighting, no one could tell that my favorite dark grey jeans had acquired a large purple stain. Nor could they detect the significant splatter on my beloved, medium-wash blue jean jacket.

I anxiously endured the rest of the evening, unable to immediately treat my stained clothing. When I finally got home, I took my mom's advice and poured my regular detergent on the stains and let it soak in overnight. My mom warned me against trying to rub in the detergent, which she explained might actually remove the color of the jeans themselves. In the morning, I threw the soiled pieces in the washing machine and put on a cool cycle. After a harrowing 50 minutes, I returned to the laundry room to check on my dear items. I breathed a sigh of relief when, after scrutiny, I didn't detect any remaining stains.

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Top Comment:
“There is a product called "Wine Away" that is truly amazing for removing red wine stains. I spilled a glass of red on a white carpet at a friend's house and was horrified until he sprayed it with Wine Away. We watched in amazement as the stain slowly disappeared. We have kept a bottle handy ever since and have used it many times. It has a nice lemony smell. Just checked on Amazon and it's available for under $7!”
— Bonnie
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Later that night, I joined a group of friends for a beach bonfire, another BYOB endeavor. Not having sufficiently learned my lesson (and too stubborn to drink white wine, which I like less than red), I brought an organic, Chilean petit verdot. I nearly survived the evening unscathed, but managed to drizzle a few drops onto the ankle of my stonewash jeans before I left.

When I got home, I repeated my routine from the previous night and the next day my jeans exited the washer in pristine condition.

While I’d like to think I can avoid future red wine spills, I know I’m just one glass away from another stain—but at least now, I know the secret to salvaging my jeans.


Have a secret to removing red wine stains from other types of clothing? Let us know in the comments!

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    Linda Cupp
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    Dianne
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    Jan
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7 Comments

deverainnyc July 14, 2019
I am a recent (2 years or so) convert to Oxy-Clean (Stain Remover) powder. I use a couple of scoops of said powder mixed up, in hot water (regardless of soak-ee's instruction), soak overnight and wash in cold water. Stains of every kind removed every. single. time.!
 
Linda C. July 14, 2019
Just read an article that suggested saline solution, as for contact lenses. Goes back to the salt answer.
 
Dianne July 11, 2019
Having worked many years in a tasting room, pouring red wine only, my favorite is OxyClean. Spray it on the stain, rub it in, let it sit over night and launder in cold water.
 
Jan July 11, 2019
You said you “poured” - can I presume that means liquid laundry soap? I use powder as I have HE washer which likes powder better. Please explain. Thanks
 
Bonnie July 11, 2019
There is a product called "Wine Away" that is truly amazing for removing red wine stains. I spilled a glass of red on a white carpet at a friend's house and was horrified until he sprayed it with Wine Away. We watched in amazement as the stain slowly disappeared. We have kept a bottle handy ever since and have used it many times. It has a nice lemony smell. Just checked on Amazon and it's available for under $7!
 
BLE6278 July 9, 2019
I spilled red wine at a part on a real lace tablecloth and the owner of it didn’t get excited, she took it and poured salt on the stain and waited a few hours and then soaked it in water and the stain manically came out.
 
BLE6278 July 11, 2019
You pour salt directly from the round salt container with the metal spout. Not a small shaker. That way you use plenty of salt.