Can You Really Remove Red Wine Stains Using White Wine?

Once upon a time, a server handed a clumsy adult a glass of red wine. Since you may know how this story plays out — and perhaps life has cast you as the clumsy adult, so you have experience — we can skip to the part where the red wine stain on your shirt needs to be cleaned up. Your first instinct may be to stand there in shock (even though nobody else is surprised) before you frantically begin to scrub the stain.

However, you may want to avoid doing that. Although there are countless remedies out there to get rid of red wine stains, some of which are pretty shocking (who knew shaving cream could do the trick?), scrubbing will do the absolute opposite and actually make the stain more prominent. This is especially true if you're pushing on the garment too hard (per La Crema Winery). Instead, you may want to order another glass of wine quickly — but this time, not red.

White wine may be the secret weapon you need to remove red wine stains

That's right! And we don't mean by drinking the white wine to the point where you no longer care about the stain, either. According to VinePair, white wine may have a component in it that dilutes the dark color in red wine, making it easier to lift the stain. The site tested that theory with its own experiment, and the results were quite shocking: White wine removed the stain pretty easily, and without leaving a brown mark behind.

While the best results in VinePair's experiment came from a stain-remover pen, not everybody carries one (although maybe we should). To remove red wine in a pinch with white wine, Bob Vila recommends pouring some white wine on the stain and carefully blotting it with a white, clean cloth. Again, dab, don't rub! When you get home, immediately throw the garment in the wash as you usually would to clean it thoroughly. Good as new!

Does white wine remove red wine stains from carpet and upholstery?

Yes! The white wine technique isn't exclusive to just clothing. However, you can't just throw your large rug or carpet in the washing machine after dabbing white wine on it. So, how can you ensure the stain is completely lifted? You could find other remedies in your pantry to help raise the red wine even more, such as baking soda, which has many uses around your home. After dabbing white wine on the stain to lift most of it, apply a paste made out of baking soda and water on top of it (via Bob Vila).

Leave the paste on overnight. You could also take it one step further by sandwiching a cloth between the carpet and a heavy object, like a book, to push that mixture into the carpet even more and ensure it really seeps into the fibers. Eventually, the baking soda mixture will crust, allowing you to scrape it up with ease. Before you know it, you'll be scratching your head, wondering if you even clumsily spilled red wine at all.