For many people there's nothing more relaxing after a stressful day than a calming glass (or three) of red wine. If Calgon can't take you away Merlot sure can. Unfortunately Cabernet Sauvignon on a carpet isn't a very good match but you might also be surprised to learn that red wine spilled on a hardwood floor can also cause damage. Something so enjoyable and calming as a glass of wine doesn't need to induce stress if spilled on a hardwood floor as long as you follow these tips in a timely manner.


red wine spill on a hardwood floor 

Photo Credit: Jason Samson


Blot Up the Wine

When the wine is spilled the damage is done but you now want to do two things – soak up the wine and prevent further damage. The obvious first step is to clean up the wine so it doesn't stain any further but this step requires caution. You'll want to soak up the wine with a wet paper towel but don't wipe it or rub it as this can extend the stain and send it deeper into the wood.


Try and Clean the Area

Once the wine has been soaked up the next step is to try and remove it from the wood. The most available household object that most people will have handy is bleach but there are a few different components that can be tried:

Bleach – diluted bleach will soak the red wine from the wood but may make it lighter while doing so. When pouring the bleach on the wood confine it mostly to the stained area and keep a watchful eye that it doesn't fade the wood too much before wiping it up in 45 minutes to an hour. Bleach is a slightly more risky option and should be a last resort if other cleaning techniques won't budge the stain.

Oil Soap – a trusted oil soap like Murphy's can be mixed with water and scrubbed on the floor surface to hopefully lift the red wine stain.

Baking Soda Paste – baking soda mixed with mineral oil forms a thick paste that can sometimes lift a stain from a hardwood floor. Coat the paste on the stain for about 40 minutes and remove it with a dry cloth.

You can also get more cleaning tips from our blog here. It's important to use proper care when applying these cleaning solutions and if possible spread them to as few adjacent wood floor boards as possible in case they need to be removed.


red wine stain on a hardwood floor
Photo Credit: Phillip Taylor


Sanding and Re-staining

It's possible that none of the cleaning methods will remove the stain so the next approach is up to the homeowner. A red wine stain might not be as noticeable with a darker material like on acacia wood flooring and in other instances a well placed rug or moving a table can cover the mark. Other times it might be necessary to sand off the stain and the surrounding area and trying to bleed the color of the boards together.


Posted in: Flooring FAQ