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Red Wine Stain Removers

We rounded up three red-wine-stain-removal products and put them to the test.

What We Learned

Embarrassing as it is to spill a glass of red wine, that’s a minor concern compared with getting the stain out of clothes, a tablecloth, or a carpet. We rounded up three red-wine-stain-removal products and used them to treat stains on khakis, white dish towels, and a beige carpet made of synthetic shag fibers. All the products got full tablespoons of red wine out of the khakis and towels, first turning the stains a grayish green that disappeared after one laundry cycle. The shag carpet sample required more work with each of the products—a few more spritzes, plus some blotting, drying, and reapplying. One product’s representative advised us to use a grease-cutting dishwashing liquid to aid in stain removal; the other representatives did not. Only one product completely erased the red wine from the carpet all by itself. Company representatives for all three products said that the formulas used to make the stain removers are proprietary, but we learned that all use plant-based enzymes and acids that are nontoxic. Note that the products are not formulated to remove other kinds of stains, such as chocolate.