This Spray Really Does Clean Up Red Wine Spills

We tried it on the ultimate stainable surface: a white rug.

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January 29, 2021

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Photo by: Alex Hayden/Getty Images

Alex Hayden/Getty Images

When we were children, we were taught we should never cry over spilled milk. It’s an easy cleanup, plus there’s plenty to go around, so why sweat the small stuff? But, as we grew up, we learned that spilled wine is another story.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a prized varietal or your go-to budget bottle, spilled wine can feel like you’re pouring money down the drain. Even worse? It creates a mess — especially if you’re working with a red blend.

There are plenty of ways to clean up a red wine spill, but more times than not, they’re time-consuming and require some serious elbow grease. (Not the best option if you’re in the middle of a socially distanced dinner party or virtual happy hour.)

I’ll be the first to admit I was initially skeptical about Wine Away, a spray that claims to clean up red wine stains easily. It’d be great to have an easy solution to those anxiety-inducing wine spills, but could it be this easy? However, when my friend who entertains a lot couldn’t stop raving about Wine Away, I figured I’d at least give it a try. Let’s just say it was love at first spritz.

Turns out, using Wine Away is pretty easy. Simply saturate the spill with the formula, let it sit for five minutes, and blot with a towel. That’s it. The formula is free of harsh bleach and phosphates, plus it also has a nice citrus scent. (Read: You can whip out this bottle in the middle of a gathering without worrying about committing a party fowl.) And since it works on rugs, linens and clothing, you can have some peace of mind knowing you’ll be stain-free in a few minutes. And, why stop at wine? The brand claims the formula can cut through lipstick smears, coffee stains, juice spills and more. Coffee stains are something we have plenty of, so we put it to the test.

Wine Away also says it can remove fresh and dried stains, a claim I met with some trepidation. It does a great job with fresh stains, but handling old, dried stains sounds too good to be true. So, I put Wine Away to the ultimate test: The months-old coffee stains on my white rug. (I know, ugh.) I followed the directions to the letter and was pleasantly surprised by the results. My white rug doesn’t look brand new — sadly, I don’t think it ever will again — but it looked a lot better. (I was actually surprised by how much brown residue there was on my blotting paper towel.)

I test and think about products for a living, so I’m always hesitant to call anything a “miracle product.” (Nothing’s perfect!) But, whether you’re an avid entertainer or a self-proclaimed klutz, the Wine Away deserves a spot in your cleaning closet.

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