It’s a Friday night and, naturally, you’re cuddled up on the sofa with a glass of red wine. You hastily reach out to grab the bottle until – whoops! – the unthinkable happens.
It’s a scenario which many of us have experienced (trust us, we’ve seen plenty of sofas ruined by red wine), yet few really know how to tackle. Thankfully, we’re here to help.
Want to know how to get red wine out of sofas? Here are a few of our favourite red wine sofa stain hacks.
As red wine stains gradually seep deeper into fabric, it is a good idea to act quickly when spillages come about.
Step 1: To tackle the initial red wine stain on your sofa, you will need to quickly grab a clean cloth or some paper towels (avoid coloured or patterned types) and clothing stain remover.
Step 2 (optional): If you don’t have clothing stain remover, sparkling water will do a similar job.
Step 3 (optional): If you have neither, then it is a good idea to sprinkle salt on the stain until you have the means to remove it (salt prevents the stain from setting). The cloth and salt will help to soak up any excess liquid, while the spray with help to remove the red wine stain before it seeps into the fabric.
TOP TIP: You want to dab, not rub, red wine stains, to avoid forcing the stain further into the fabric. It is also a good idea to work from the outside in, to prevent the stain from spreading.
What better way to remove wine than to throw more wine at it? No, seriously. White wine works by stripping the dark pigment from the red wine stain, leaving you with a lovely mark-free sofa. But don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself…
Step 1: Gently pour white wine over the stain and leave to sit.
Step 2: After a few minutes, blot the liquid with a cloth. If you can still see the stain, add a little baking soda to further lift pigment.
TOP TIP: To get the best results, add white wine onto the stain before it sets.
Washing-up liquid is useful for more than pots and pans – it’s also a pretty robust red wine stain remover.
Step 1: Simply mix one-part washing-up liquid with two parts cold water.
Step 2: Sponge the stain with the solution and blot until the liquid is absorbed.
TOP TIP: You can also use this method on clothes and carpets.
White vinegar and baking soda is a versatile cleaning hack and is particularly good for tackling tough stains on delicate fabrics.
Step 1: To remove red wine stains from your sofa, pour baking soda over the stain and coat with vinegar.
Step 2: Wait a few minutes for it to soak in (it will bubble up quite a lot – this means it’s working), then rinse with a damp cloth. Repeat steps until the red wine is removed.
If, like us, you’re partial to a glass of red wine and want a quick clean-up solution (should spillages occur), hydrogen peroxide is your silver bullet. Don’t worry if you can’t find it in your kitchen cupboards right now – it’s often not available in UK supermarkets, but can be found online and in specialist cleaning retailers.
Step 1: Once you have your hydrogen peroxide, it’s advisable to test a patch of it on a hidden area of your upholstery – this helps to see whether the fabric runs or fades when treated with the chemical. (Always be careful when handling corrosive liquids in the home).
Step 2: Once you’re all clear, spray enough hydrogen peroxide over the red wine stain so that it is covered.
Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda over the top of the hydrogen peroxide.
Step 4: Leave to sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water.
Remember, while these are common DIY hacks, the methods may not be effective on every sofa, so it’s worth speaking to a professional upholstery cleaner before you remove red wine stains yourself.
Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.