How to remove red wine from suede or leather

Written by ann mazzaferro
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How to remove red wine from suede or leather
Red wine can stain suede and leather. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

A red wine spill can stain most fabrics, but leather and suede are especially difficult to clean. Both suede and leather start as pieces of cow or calf hide, but their methods of treatment yield either smooth, pebbled leather or matt, velvet-like suede. Immediate treatment of red wine stains in either fabric ensures that the only traces left behind by red wine will be in your memory.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Paper towels
  • Cloth washrag or dish towel
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Heavy book or brick
  • Suede brush
  • Leather conditioner

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Instructions

    Suede

  1. 1

    Soak a cloth in cool water, gently wringing out the excess. Apply the cloth to the stain and blot repeatedly, lifting the wine from the fabric.

  2. 2

    Heat water in a kettle on a hob, allowing steam to escape from the spout. Hold the red-wine-stained suede garment above the steam, at least 6 inches away from the spout. Let the steam heat penetrate the fabric, then comb the fabric with a suede brush to break down the stain.

  3. 3

    Allow suede to air-dry, then brush the suede again with a suede brush or a piece of sandpaper to restore the original nap to the suede's surface.

    Leather

  1. 1

    Dip a paper towel with no designs or colours into a dish of hydrogen peroxide. Saturate the paper towel, then press out the excess liquid until the paper towel is damp.

  2. 2

    Place the dampened paper towel over the red wine stain. Set a heavy book or a brick on top of the paper towel, pressing the peroxide into the stain. Let the weighted paper towel rest on the stain for a half-hour.

  3. 3

    Remove the paper towel and check the progress of the stain removal. If much of the stain remains, repeat the process until the stain is removed.

  4. 4

    Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a small dish to form a paste. Spread the mixture over the wine-stained area and rub it into the leather with a damp cloth to break up any wine that may remain in the natural cracks and grooves of the leather.

  5. 5

    Wipe the paste off the leather with a clean, damp cloth. Apply a leather conditioner to the leather once the stain has been removed.

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