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How to get red wine out of sofas

Red Wine Bottle With White Sofa

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.

Our top tips for removing red wine:

The initial method

As red wine stains gradually seep deeper into fabric, it is a good idea to act quickly when spillages come about.

What you need:

  • A clean cloth
  • Clothing stain remover/sparkling water
  • Salt (optional)

How to get rid of red wine stains quickly:

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.

Pouring Red Wine Next To Sofa

The white wine method

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…

What you need:

  • White wine (amount dependent on the depth of stain)
  • Baking soda

How to remove red wine stains with white wine:

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.

Cleaning Red Wine With White Wine

The washing-up liquid method

Washing-up liquid is useful for more than pots and pans – it’s also a pretty robust red wine stain remover.

What you need:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Cold water

How to remove red wine stains with washing-up liquid:

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.

The vinegar and soda method

White vinegar and baking soda is a versatile cleaning hack and is particularly good for tackling tough stains on delicate fabrics.

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar

How to remove red wine stains with vinegar and soda:

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.

The hydrogen peroxide method

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.

What you need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda

How to remove red wine stains with hydrogen peroxide:

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.  

For information about quick cover-up solutions, see Plumbs’ sofa covers and reupholstery selection.

Sally is the Digital Marketing Manager at Plumbs. Prior to Plumbs, she ran the digital marketing strategy for Johnson’s Cleaners UK. Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is Homes Under the Hammer. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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