How to Remove Red Wine Stains with Salt

When red wine spills all over your favorite dress, heirloom table linens or new carpet, the most essential thing to do is to deal with the stain immediately. Instead of rushing around, trying to decide what to use on the stain to effectively remove it, stay calm and grab the salt. 

Salt, or sodium chloride, has long been used as a quick pre-treatment for red wine stains. The salt works to absorb the wine from the fabric, making stain removal easier. To remove red wine stains with salt, simply apply a heavy layer of salt to any red wine stain.

Remove Red Wine Stains with Salt

Removing Red Wine from Washable Fabrics

What You Will Need Before You Start:

  • Clean paper towels or napkins
  • Salt
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

When a spill occurs on washable fabric, quickly grab paper towels or napkins to blot the stained area until all excess moisture is removed. Immediately sprinkle a thick layer of salt over the stained fabric. Allow the salt to remain on the stain for two to three minutes. Rinse thoroughly under cold water. Gently rub the fabric between your fingers while rinsing. Repeat until the stain no longer remains. After removing the wine stain with salt, wash with heavy-duty laundry detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric.

Removing Red Wine from Carpet

Applying salt to a red wine spill on carpet helps to absorb the excess moisture without pushing the stain further into the carpet. In addition, by applying a thick layer of salt, you can also prevent the stain from setting, allowing it to remain untreated for up to an hour. 

What You Will Need Before You Start:

  • Paper Towels 
  • Salt
  • Vacuum
  • White Towels
  • Mild dishwashing detergent
  • Vinegar

Immediately blot the wine-stained carpet with paper towels to remove as much wine as possible. Then pour a thick layer of salt over the stained area. Allow to penetrate up to one hour after the stain occurs. 

  1. Vacuum up the salt. 
  2. Mix one teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent with one cup of lukewarm water. 
  3. Dampen a white towel with the detergent solution. Blot onto the stained area. 
  4. Mix 1/3 cup of vinegar with 2/3 cup of lukewarm water. 
  5. Dampen a white towel with the vinegar solution. Blot onto the stained area. 
  6. Repeat step number three. 
  7. Dampen a clean towel with cool water and blot the carpet to remove the cleaning solutions. 
  8. Blot with a dry towel until no more moisture is removed from the carpet. 

To properly dry the carpet, fold a towel so that it is several layers thick. Place over the cleaned area and weigh down with a plastic bag filled with books or magazines. Allow the weight to remain over the spot overnight, or until the carpet is dry.

Removing Red Wine from Upholstery

Applying a layer of salt to red wine stains on upholstery helps to draw the red wine out of the upholstery for a thorough removal of the stain. 

What You Will Need Before You Start:

  • Paper towels
  • Salt 
  • Vacuum
  • Clean, white cloths
  • Mild dishwashing detergent

Once wine has been spilled on upholstery, it is essential to immediately blot the stain with paper towels to remove any excess wine. Work gently to keep from pushing the wine further into the cushioning. Pour a thick layer of salt over the stained area and allow to remain on the stain for up to an hour. 

Vacuum the salt from the stain. Mix together one tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid with two cups of cold water. Use a clean white cloth to sponge the stained area with the detergent solution. If the stain is on a vertical surface, hold a dry towel under the stain to prevent the detergent solution from running down the upholstery. Blot the stain with a dry towel. Continue to alternate blotting with the wet towel and then the dry towel until the stain is removed. Once the wine stain is erased, blot the cleaned area with a towel dampened with water. Blot with a dry cloth until the fabric is dry to the touch. 

Removing wine stains using salt is an easy and effective way to absorb the majority of the stain from fabric and carpet. Salt works to draw out the moisture, often removing a large portion of the stain as well. The application of salt also allows you the time to finish visiting with your guests before cleaning up the remainder of the stain. It is easily found in your pantry and safe for use on most fabrics and carpets.