How To Remove Red Wine Stains From Sofa

One of the best ways to unwind after a long day is to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine in the peace and comfort of your home.

Unfortunately, that peace and comfort can be disrupted if you discover that your red wine has spilled onto your sofa.

If you’ve found yourself in this predicament you have probably wondered how to remove red wine stains from your sofa.

Red wine has powerful staining abilities, and it may seem like your quiet night in has been interrupted.

Luckily, we’ve done the research, and a red wine stain on your sofa does not have to upset your relaxing evening, especially if you act quickly.

All you need are a few household cleaning items to remove red wine stains from your sofa and get back to enjoying your wine where it belongs—in a glass.

What You’ll Need

You will need a few essential household items to remove red wine stains from your sofa.

  • Cleaning cloths or a good sponge
  • Salt or baking soda
  • One tablespoon of dish soap
  • 2 cups of cool water
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle

Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to remove red wine stains from your sofa.

1. Blot as much of the red wine as possible

Red wine is a natural dye, so it will stain almost everything it touches.

Once you realize that red wine has spilled on your sofa, you need to act quickly to prevent the stain from setting in.

Use some cleaning clothes or an effective sponge to soak up as much of the red wine as possible before it settles into your couch.

The more liquid you can soak up now, the easier the stain will be to remove because it will be smaller and swallower. 

Pro tip: While it will be tempting to scrub the stain out or use pressure as you try to wick away the wine, do not succumb.

Scrubbing will cause the stain to spread along in your sofa, and pressure will push the wine deeper into the upholstery.

Instead, it would be best if you dabbed the stain gently but persistently.

Continue until no more liquid is coming up onto your cleaning cloths or sponge.

A good rule of thumb is that when you think you are done dabbing the stain, continue for another two minutes to make sure you got out as much as possible.

2. Apply salt or baking soda to the affected area

Wine tends to move towards dry powders like salt and baking soda, so sprinkle either salt or baking soda onto the stain liberally once you have removed all the excess liquid.

Salt will work best against red wine stains, but any dry and powdery material will do.

Allow the salt to sit for several minutes and then blot or vacuum it away.

In some cases, this is enough to remove the red wine stain from your sofa altogether, but if your stain is still not completely gone, move on to the next step.

3. Mix dish soap and cool water

If sprinkling salt on the red wine stain did not altogether remove it from your sofa, mix a tablespoon of dish soap and two cups of cool water in a bowl.

The dish soap will help lift the wine from the fabric, making the stain easier to remove.

4. Apply the soap and water solution to the stain

Using fresh cleaning cloths or a clean sponge, apply the dish soap and water mixture to the affected area.

Use only as much as you have to so you can avoid unnecessarily soaking your upholstery.

Apply the soap and water mixture gently, blotting it onto the stain.

You can also use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the stain; this will give you more control over exactly how much liquid you are applying to the stain.

Once you have applied the soap and water solution, rinse the area with cool water.

We recommend using a sponge or cleaning cloths, and again, you should blot and dab gently.

Pro tip: Sponges tend to work best when you need to absorb wine or other excess liquid.

While you can use cleaning cloths or paper towels, sponges are designed to absorb large amounts of liquid quickly, so they tend to be best for both removing red wine from your sofa and for applying your cleaning solution.

I recommend this MR.SIGA Non-Scratch Cellulose Scrub Sponge, Dual-Sided Dishwashing Sponge.

It’s an Amazon best-seller and gets excellent reviews.

5. Allow the affected area to dry completely

Finally, blot the affected area dry.

Remove as much excess moisture as you can, and then allow the site to air dry completely.

Do not be tempted to speed up this process with heat—heat changes the chemical process of stains and can make any potential lingering liquid nearly impossible to remove.

Allowing your sofa to air dry is the best option to ensure the red wine stain is completely gone.

The following video demonstrates how to remove red wine stains from your sofa.

0:30—Dab the stain with a sponge or a cleaning cloth.

0:35—Spray the affected area with dish soap and hydrogen peroxide solution.

0:38—Work the solution into the stain gently.

0:41—Rinse the affected area with water.

0:43—Dab the area dry and allow your sofa to air dry completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I remove dry red wine stains from my sofa?

Removing old or dry red wine stains is more complicated than eliminating fresh ones, but it can be done.

Mix a three parts hydrogen peroxide and one-part dish soap solution, and apply this solution to the stain.

Allow the solution to sit on the stain for between 20 minutes to an hour.

Then, blot the affected area clean, rinse thoroughly with cool water, and allow the site to dry.

If the stain is still not completely gone, you may need to call an upholstery cleaning specialist. 

Why does red wine stain so quickly?

Red wine stains almost everything it comes in contact with because the chromogens and tannins, both naturally occurring organic compounds in grape-based beverages, are also natural dyes.

They are used elsewhere to make dyes and inks.

When exposed to a surface that is not entirely sealed, these compounds immediately begin to dye the surface the color of your wine.