How to get wine out of clothes

November 2nd, 2015

Appliance Hack Laundry Small Appliances

How to get wine out of clothes

Halloween has passed, Christmas is still a couple of months away… must be Melbourne Cup time!

Woman-hatsource: Synyan on Wikimedia Commons

When you’re all dressed up to watch a 3-minute race, all it takes is a careless misstep or accidental elbow-jostle to spill your cheeky wine glass all over your glad rags. Not quite the “glitz and glamour” look the day is known for!

Spilling winesource: Gunnar Grimnes on Flickr

Here are a few quick tips for getting wine stains out of clothes, so your fanciest racewear will have a chance for a second outing:

Remove excess liquid

Remove the stained clothing for easier handling, then use a clean, dry cloth to dab at the fabric and soak up as much wine as possible.


Don’t rub it in! That’s a great way to really set the wine into the fibres. Dabbing is all you need here.

Rinse it out

Water is a universal solvent – try to wash some of the stain out with plain, cool water, with no detergent.

water dropsource: Davide Restivo on Flickr

Some folks swear by using soda water to lift stains, due to its mildly acidic carbonation, but it’s not necessarily a sure thing.

Soak it up

Salt absorbs liquids, so pour a generous mound of the stuff on a fresh stain to soak up the wine. You’ll know it’s working when the white salt starts turning pink, for red wine, or off-white, for whites and champagnes.


One alternative to salt is actually kitty litter. Yes, it sounds gross, but the whole point of kitty litter is to absorb both liquids and odours. Of course, this is only really a practical option if your spill occurs in the home, where you you have a supply of fresh and clean litter available – use an unopened bag, and definitely NOT the stuff in the cat’s box.

Try hot water… maybe

Carefully applying hot or boiling water to a wine stain can sometimes help wash it out, but not without its own share of risks.

hot water tapsource: William Warby on Flickr

Some fabrics do not respond well to heat, and could lead to stretching, shrinking or wrinkling. This is especially true for garments that use multiple different fabrics, such as suit jackets.

Also, heat can sometimes cause a wine stain to set into fabric, so take great care if trying this out.


Vinegar really can clean anything, thanks to its mildly acidic nature. Use a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water to help break down a wine stain.


Vodka is also rumoured to be an effective stain remover, due it its high alcohol content, though it is a bit pricier than the average bottle of vinegar.

Use the washing machine

Some washing machines include a special setting that’s specifically intended for dealing with stains. Check your washer’s manual to see if one of these is available.

8Kg-Front-Load-Gorenje-Washing-machine-W8844H-Hero-high8kg Front Load Gorenje Washing Machine W8844H

Try to pre-treat the stain with your choice of commercial cleaner before putting it in the machine, following the cleaner’s instructions.

It’s worth trying to set your washing machine to run a gentle, cold-water wash to help protect your garment, and prevent the heat from locking in any stains. You may want to use a delicates bag if your stained clothes are particluarly fine.

Once you’ve washed your garment, avoid using the dryer if possibly, as its dry heat may set the stain into the fibres, making it much harder to remove in the future. If you have no other option, try to set your dryer to run an airing-only cycle, with no heat.

Good luck!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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