How to remove wine stains from carpet

Person reaching down to catch a wine glass from the sofa as it spills on cream carpet
(Image credit: Getty)

We all want our homes to look clean and tidy, but we also want to enjoy them by hosting friends and family for dinners and drinks. And while opening a bottle of wine may often be part of socializing, it can also result in spills that leave you wondering how to remove wine stains from carpet. 

What the expert says…

Mallory Micetich, Home Care Expert at Angi, says "When treating stains from wine and other liquids, the most important thing is to dry out the carpet as soon as possible. The longer you let the stain sit, the deeper it will sink into your carpet."

Whether it's a red wine spillage on a cream carpet or a white wine that leaves a pungent odor, you'll want to find the right method for removing the stain to get your carpets looking and smelling fresh. 

Natural solutions such as baking soda are a great affordable option for cleaning a carpet and can be used throughout the home - handy for when other accidents occur. Alternatively, using bleach might be more up your street for a hard-hitting approach. 

We've explored the top ways to get rid of these pesky stains so that you can enjoy a glass of wine without the stress of causing a mess. Of course, keeping a carpet clean is about much more than erasing the occasional stain. Using the best vacuum cleaners and the best steam mops is a great way to keep your living spaces looking fresh and tidy. 

How to remove wine stains with bleach 

The discourse around using bleach as a carpet cleaner veers largely towards a hard no. The risk of damaging any kind of carpet with bleach is too high to make it a worthwhile cleaning solution, so we usually recommend to steer away from harsh chemicals and instead stick to gentler options like baking soda and white vinegar that still get the job done. 

However, hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild bleaching agent, can be a useful tool in combatting stubborn wine stains. We always advise testing on a small, inconspicuous patch of the carpet before using it on the visible stain, as bleach can be prone to discoloring the fibers. 

Step 1

Soak up as much of the liquid as possible using a dry, clean cloth or paper towel. It's always best to act fast with stains, as this will give you the best chance of removal.

Step 2

Mix equal parts soap, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid laundry detergent. 

Step 3

Pour this mixture over the stain and leave it to soak for a few minutes. 

Step 4

Avoid scrubbing the stain, but instead, dab with another clean white towel until the mixture has worked into the stain and it's beginning to lift. 

Step 5

Repeat until the stain has gone. 

How to remove wine stains with baking soda 

For those who want to avoid using chemicals around the home - discovering how to clean a carpet with baking soda will be the method for you. Baking soda features heavily in many of our cleaning guides as it's versatile for cleaning different areas in the home, and also works as a natural deodorizer - great for pet accidents. 

In this case, wine can have a strong smell that you don't want lingering past the night in question, so using this method will be a handy way to make your home clean again. For this technique, you'll also need hydrogen peroxide on hand. 

Step 1

Start by blotting out as much of the wine as possible with a dry, clean cloth. 

Step 2

Spray hydrogen peroxide onto the affected area - make sure to test this in a hidden area of your carpet. 

Step 3

Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the stain and hydrogen peroxide, ensuring it's covered. 

Step 4

Leave it to sit for a couple of minutes before blotting with a wet clean cloth. Repeat until the stain has disappeared. 

How to remove wine stains with vinegar

Learning how to clean a carpet with vinegar will be another handy trick to keep in your pocket, as its affordable and speedy use means you can remove stains in no time.  It can also be used on surfaces around the home, such as in a bathroom or kitchen, so will be a worthwhile cupboard essential. Always make sure it's white vinegar that you're using though, as any other kind could cause discoloration. 

Step 1

Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and two cups of warm water in a bowl. 

Step 2

Pat the stain dry to remove as much standing liquid as possible. Make sure you use a clean cloth and avoid scrubbing as this will bury the mark further into the carpet fibers. 

Step 3

Apply the mixture to the stain and use another clean cloth to continue dabbing the area. This should loosen the stain, which is when you should use a third cloth to remove the liquid from the surface. Continue until the wine stain has been removed. 

How to remove wine stains with a steam cleaner

Sometimes all that's left to do with stains is to bring in professional-grade equipment. If the wine stain in question is proving difficult to remove, steam cleaners will be a powerful alternative that also disinfects the area as you clean. They're also easy to use, so if stains occur in your home often, it might be worth investing. 

We spoke to Mallory Micetich, Home Care Expert at Angi, who recommended the following steps.

Step 1

"Grab some paper towels or a washcloth and pat the area dry. It's important to pat and let the liquid absorb into your towel. Do not rub." 

Step 2

"Start by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly and pre-treating any stains using a store-bought solution. While the pre-treat solution sits, you can start filling your steam cleaner with hot water and carpet cleaner."

Step 3

"Read the instructions on your steam cleaner to get the exact water to cleaner ratio."

Step 4

"Following the directions on your steam cleaner, hold down the button and pass over the spot until the water runs clear. Repeat this process until the wine stain has been removed."

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Holly Cockburn
Former Features Editor

Holly is the former Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focused on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break. 

With contributions from