National Wine Day is a celebration of wine that takes place annually on May 25th. It’s a day dedicated to appreciating and enjoying the rich flavours and cultural significance of wine.

What happens when that enjoyment goes just that little bit too far?

Accidents happen, but whether it’s a drop or a glassful, our Kent Gurkha guide to removing wine stains can make your fabrics and furniture look tee-total once more!

Removing wine stains from fabrics

To remove wine stains from fabrics such as clothes, carpets and furnishings, it’s crucial to act quickly because the longer the stain sits, the harder it can be to remove.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you tackle wine stains:


Start by blotting the stain with a clean, white cloth or paper towel. Be gentle and avoid rubbing the stain, as it can spread and set further into the fabric.

Cold Water Rinse

Flush the stained area with cold water from the backside of the fabric. This will help dilute and remove the wine residue. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.


Apply a stain remover or liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain. Gently rub it into the fabric using your fingers or a soft brush. Allow the pre-treatment to sit for a few minutes (follow the product instructions for guidance).

removing wine stains


Wash the garment or fabric as per the care instructions, preferably using a stain-removing detergent and in the warmest water that’s safe for the fabric. Check the stain after washing but before drying to ensure it’s completely gone. If the stain persists, repeat the process or try an alternative method.

removing wine stains from fabric

Alternative methods for removing wine stains from fabrics

Salt Method

If you don’t have access to stain remover or detergent, cover the wine stain with salt immediately. The salt will help absorb the moisture and wine. After a few minutes, rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

White Wine Method (for red wine stains)

Pour white wine over the red wine stain to dilute it. Blot with a clean cloth and rinse with cold water. Then follow the steps mentioned above for pre-treatment and laundering.

Important tips for removing wine stains from fabrics:

Avoid using hot water on wine stains, as it can set the stain further.

Check the fabric care instructions before applying any stain-removing products to ensure they’re safe for the material.

If dealing with delicate or valuable fabrics, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner.

Remember, the effectiveness of stain removal methods can vary depending on the fabric type, the age of the stain, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to test any stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discolouration.

wine glasses wine stains

Removing wine stains from furniture

Removing wine stains from wood surfaces can be a bit trickier than from fabrics. Here’s a guide to help you tackle wine stains on wood:

Act Quickly

Just like with any stain, the key is to address wine stains on wood as soon as possible. The longer the stain sits, the more it can penetrate the wood and become difficult to remove.

Blot and Absorb

Start by blotting the affected area with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to absorb as much wine as possible. Be gentle and avoid spreading the stain further.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the wood finish.

Clean the Stained Area

Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water solution, wring out excess moisture, and gently clean the wine-stained area. Be careful not to oversaturate the wood surface, as excess moisture can cause damage.

Rinse and Dry

After cleaning, dampen a separate cloth with clean water and use it to rinse the soapy residue from the wood surface. Immediately dry the area with a soft, dry cloth.

Assess the Stain

If the wine stain remains visible, you can try more targeted stain removal methods based on the type of finish on your wood surface:

For Unfinished Wood

If the wood is unfinished or has a penetrating oil or wax finish, you may need to lightly sand the stained area with fine-grit sandpaper. After sanding, wipe away the dust and apply a new coat of oil or wax to match the surrounding wood.

For Finished Wood

If the wood has a sealed finish, such as varnish or lacquer, you can use a commercial wood cleaner or wood stain remover specifically designed for finished wood surfaces. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and test it in a discreet area before applying it to the stained spot. Remember to rinse and dry the area thoroughly after using the product.

Polish and Restore

Once the stain is removed, you may want to polish or restore the wood surface with an appropriate wood polish or wax to maintain its shine and protect it from future stains.

Important Tips

Always test any cleaning or stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area of the wood surface before applying it to the stained spot.

Avoid using abrasive materials, such as steel wool or harsh scrub brushes, as they can scratch or damage the wood.

Protect your wood surfaces from future stains by using coasters, placemats, or tablecloths to prevent direct contact with liquids.

If you’re uncertain about removing the wine stain or have concerns about the type of wood or finish, it’s best to consult a professional furniture restorer for guidance and assistance.

wine splash

Do alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines stain differently?

Non-alcoholic and alcoholic wine generally have similar staining properties because the main component responsible for staining is the pigment in the wine called anthocyanin. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines contain anthocyanin, which can cause stains on various surfaces.

However, there can be some variations in the staining potential of different wines, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties, based on factors such as the specific grape variety, wine-making techniques, and added ingredients. Additionally, the alcohol content in alcoholic wine can sometimes help in breaking down and diluting the staining pigments, potentially making the stain slightly easier to remove compared to non-alcoholic wine.

It’s worth noting that the staining potential of any wine, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, also depends on the surface it comes into contact with. Porous surfaces like fabric, upholstery, and unfinished wood can be more susceptible to wine stains, while non-porous surfaces like glass, metal, or sealed wood may be less prone to staining.

Regardless of the type of wine, it’s best to address wine stains promptly and follow appropriate stain removal techniques based on the specific surface you are dealing with.

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