How to Get Red Wine out of Linen Tablecloth and Clothing?

Red wine spill is one of the most unpleasant accidents that can happen during dinner or an event. We all have been there and we know the struggle.

Getting red wine out of the linen tablecloth, linen napkins or linen clothing at home, same as out of any other fabric, is a little bit challenging, but we can assure you that it is possible.

Before we dive into the ways on how to get red wine out of linen tablecloth, we believe it is important to understand the anatomy of a red wine stain.

Most fabrics, including linen, are highly porous, so when liquid touches the fibers, it sinks into the fabric’s pores moving throughout them wherever it can find space which is down and outward.

As per red wine, we could call it a natural dye. It is so because that red wine contains chromogen which is the primary substance in colorful plants that are responsible for dyes.

Moreover, red wine includes tannins, chemical substances that are also used in ink products, which is the reason why red wine dyes fabrics so fast and dangerous.

When knowing that we can understand why red wine colors fabrics and how we could extract it when an accident happens. We are happy to share with you some helpful and effective ways on how to remove red wine out of linen tablecloth and clothing.

How to Get Red Wine out of Linen Tablecloth and Clothing?

Top 3 Ways How to Clean Red Wine Spill

Method 1: Apply any dry red wine absorbent

1. While the red wine stain is still moist pour any of these dry materials directly on the stain that will pull the wine out of the fabric:

  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Sodium percarbonate
  • Dry soap powder
  • Talcum powder

2. Leave the dry material until what is left of the stain is dry

3. Remove the dry material out of the garment and wash it as per usual.

Method 2: Apply boiling water

1. Boil some water.

2. Put your linen garment in the sink flattening the area where the red wine stain is and pour the boiling water on top.


Find a bowl or a jar, place your linen garment on it exposing the area where the red wine stain is, put a rubber band around it to secure and pour the boiling water.

3. Pour the water on top of the wine stain for as long as you will see that it has faded and then wash the garment immediately as per usual

Note: boiling water might make the red wine stain dilute and spread, but it breaks the stain making the wine molecules to lose their cohesion with the fabric and wash out.

Method 3: Apply a household cleaner

  1. Find any household cleaner that contains sodium percarbonate such as OxiClean or Vanish. If you don’t own any, you can make it yourself - mix 3 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part dish soap.
  2. Apply it to the stain and leave for 20-60 minutes. After that, remove the access cleaner and wash the garment as per usual.

How to Clean Red Wine Spill

Tips That Will Help You Get Rid of Red Wine

  • Be Quick. The faster you act the higher the chance of removing the stain completely. When the red wine stain is dry, the removing process is more difficult and there is more possibility that the stain will not wash out fully.
  • Do not apply heat. In case you think of drying the stain with a hairdryer or in a clothes dryer first and only then start extracting red wine stain out of your linen garment, this would only make the stain permanent.
  • Do not scrub the stain. When red wine accidentally splashes on our linen tablecloth or linen shirt, our first instinct is to scrub it under running water. At the first sight, it might seem to help to remove the wine stain, however, scrubbing can make the stain even worse as then wine spreads around as well as moves deeper into the fabric. Instead, it is best to gently blot the stain before using any of the red wine stain removing methods.
  • Do not apply white wine. There is a rumor going around that white wine can neutralize the red wine and clean the stain. Unfortunately, white wine is not a cleaning solution and it would only spread your red wine stain even further.
How Do You Get Dried Red Wine Out of Linen?

How Do You Get Dried Red Wine Out of Linen?

Removing dried red wine stains out of linen is a challenge even for the professional cleaners, but there are some additional ways that could help you to do that at home.

1. Try white vinegar.

White viginar has a quality to neutrilize red tones which is why it is great to wash out a red wine stain. There are different variations of using white vinegar in combination with other liquids to remove stains.

One of them is mixing with white vinegar with club soda that includes different minerals such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, or sodium citrate. They help to absorb break red wine molecules which makes cleaning of it easier.

Another combination is white vinegar with dish soap which can work wonders as a red wine cleaning solution as an alternative.

2. Add bleach to white fabric.

Bleach is recommended only for white colored garments and it works wonderfully by removing a red wine stain.

Soak linen tablecloth in bleach for around 10 minutes and then wash as per usual. 

Final Thoughts

Red wine stain on a linen tablecloth or linen clothes is the worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be as there are ways to remove it at home.

The most important rule here is to act fast and start the removing process while the stain is still wet.

Also, remember not to scrub, apply heat or apply white wine which will not help to clean the mark. You can remove red wine stain with a dry absorbent such as table salt and baking soda, boiling water or household cleaner.

If the stain has dried, it is still possible to remove it with the effective methods below or use other products such as white vinegar or bleach for white fabrics. After the special cleaning process you can wash the linen tablecloth or any other garment as per usual. You can find our guide on how to wash linen.