We’ve all been there, when you’ve had some friends over for a drink or two and then the dreaded happens. Someone knocks the glass full of red wine all over the floor. So how do you remove red wine stains from a rug?

Well don’t panic, we’re here with our succinct guide to let you know the best way to remove the stain from your rug. To protect your carpets and have them looking as good as new.

red wine close up splashing around in a glass

How To Prep The Stain

First and foremost, the best course of action is to act as quickly as you can. A fresh, wet red wine stain is easier to deal with than a dried on stain.

With all of the methods that can be used, you should always first dab the stain with a clean, dry towel or cloth. Ensure you dab and do not rub, this will soak up excess liquid and reduce the mess to be cleaned.

If you rub, you can work the stain into the fibres of your rug and make it a harder and tougher stain to clean.

It can also be helpful to add cold water to the stain. This can help to dilute the red wine on the rug, and allow you to continue blotting up more red wine without it drying.

How To Remove Red Wine Stains From A Rug

How To Remove Red Wine Stains With Baking Soda

Once you’ve blotted as much as you can, it’s time to move to cleaning the stain. It may be quite likely that a red wine stain happens later at night, during a dinner party or evening of fun. If this is the case, you may be at a loss in where to go to buy cleaning supplies.

red wine bottle and glass are perched on a coffee table in a living room

Luckily, the first method to try includes items you’ll likely have in your cupboard. You just need baking soda, water, white vinegar and dish soap.


  • Create a paste of baking soda and water, with a ratio of 3:1 water to baking soda. Apply the paste to the stain and wait ten minutes until it dries.
  • Hoover up the dried up paste until most of the residue is gone.
  • Mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of vinegar and a drop of dish soap. Apply this gently to the stain with a sponge. Blot until the stain is gone.
  • Wait until dry and rinse with cold water and allow to dry.


How To Remove Red Wine Stains With Soda Water And Salt

The above method is the best and most gentle way of removing red wine stains from your rug, but it may be the case you don’t have all the elements to hand.

As we said before, it’s always best to act on a fresh stain, in which case this method is a good second option.

For this method, you need soda water and salt. Regular water can also be used, but the carbonation of soda water improves the stain removal element as it is gently abrasive. It also has a small amount of baking powder in it, which helps in the cleaning process.



  • Blot the stain as much as possible, and then cover the stain with soda water until the stain is saturated.
  • Blot the stain again, and continue to add more soda water and blotting as much as you can.
  • Finally, cover the stain in table salt, this will help to absorb the moisture of the stain and draw out the red wine.
  • Leave the salt to absorb for at least half an hour, then hoover it up.

a bottle of vinegar and lemons on a table showing how to remove red wine stains

How To Remove Red Wine From A White Carpet

Since white carpets have no dye, you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove red wine from these carpets.

With this cleaning technique, use with caution as it is a bleaching method. If you’re unsure, test a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on a hidden or inconspicuous patch to colour test before dousing the stain. 

For this method, you’ll need a clear dishwasher soap and hydrogen peroxide. 


  • Ensure to patch test your rug with this solution, as it can bleach.
  • Mix one part soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide and apply to the stain with a sponge.
  • Allow the solution to sit for five minutes to work on the stain.
  • Use a clean sponge to blot the area with water and remove any residue, then allow it to dry.


How To Remove Red Wine Stains From A Wool Rug

When it comes to wool rugs, they can be harder to clean than others. This is because if cleaned incorrectly they can warp and discolour easily.

For this you’ll need surgical spirit, clean water, sponge and an absorbent pad.


  • Begin by blotting the stain to remove as much excess as possible.
  • Follow by combining a mixture of 3 parts surgical spirit and one part water, and dab this onto the stain.
  • Cover the absorbent pad with the mixture and cover the stain with this, allowing it to sit.
  • Repeat this process, replacing the pad until the stain has gone.
  • Rinse with cool water and allow to air dry.

hands using spray to wipe and clean down a hard surface

How To Remove Dried Red Wine Stains

Whether you missed the stain or just didn’t have the time (or patience!) to deal with it at the time, not all is lost.

How To Remove Red Wine Stains With Lemon Juice

Firstly you should apply warm water to the stain and blot as much as you can from the stain. Blot until the rug is damp, but not wet. For this method, you’ll need lemon and table salt.


  • Apply lemon juice directly to the stain so it is thoroughly soaked. You can use a real lemon or the bottled juice, as long as it’s fresh.
  • Cover the lemon juice and stain with the table salt and gently scrub. As the lemon juice sinks in, continue to pour salt on.
  • Gently massage the salt into the stain and allow the acidity of the lemon to work with the gentle abrasion of the salt.
  • Work this method from the front and the back of the rug for the best results.
  • Rinse the stain with cold water, and blot. Apply more lemon juice to the stain and leave to dry.

Because lemon juice can use as a natural bleach, you may want to be careful using the above method for dyed and coloured rugs. Especially if they sit in the sun, as the UV rays exacerbate the bleaching.

How To Remove Red Wine Stains With Vinegar

If this is the case, you can use vinegar and dish soap to try on the stain for a more gentle method.


  • As always, wet the stain with clean, water and blot up as much as possible. Use warm water as this helps to loosen a dried on stain.
  • Once you’ve dabbed as much excess as you can, make a solution with a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon of clear dish soap and two cups of warm water.
  • Apply this to the stain and blot again until the stain has lifted.
  • Finally, use a clean cloth with cold water to rinse the stain of any residue.

If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong in calling in a professional cleaner to help bring your rug back to life.

For wool rugs, be aware not to use a dry cleaner and opt for a wet cleaner instead.


We hope we’ve been able to help save your rug from one of the ultimate spillages. If you want an overview of other ways to look after your rugs, have a look at our rug care guide to ensure your favourite rug will last you a lifetime.