How to remove any stain from clothing

Nothing wears clothes out faster than dirt and stains. But every stain requires a different removal approach. Never rub a stain, which will break down the fibres of the fabric and can set it permanently. Always blot. Take a stained "dry-clean only" item to a dry cleaner.

How to remove any stain from clothing

Stain, what to use & method

  • Beer


Combine one part vinegar with two parts water. Soak garment, blot stain then launder.

  • Blood

Hydrogen peroxide, salt, ammonia, milk

Small stain, dab peroxide on garment. Large stain, use 250 millilitres (1 cup) water, add 2 millilitres (1/2 teaspoon) of salt. Let soak. Or splash some ammonia in a sink filled with cold water and soak garment. For milk, let garment soak in it before laundering.

  • Chocolate


Apply to stain and gently scrub.

  • Coffee with milk and sugar

Soap and vinegar

Flush garment with cold water. Mix 1 litre (1 quart) warm water, 2 millilitres (1/2 teaspoon) dishwashing soap, and 15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) vinegar. Blot the stain and let it sit in the solution for 15 minutes. Rinse again with cold water, blot area with rubbing alcohol. Meat tenderizerMake a paste of the tenderizer with a bit of water and work it into the stain.

  • Fruit

Water and vinegar

Flush with water immediately, then blot with solution of one part water, one part white vinegar. Rinse again and air dry.

  • Fruit juice

White vinegar

Blot white vinegar immediately on stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Before laundering, rub some detergent on stain.

  • Grass


Pour or rub on stain. Let sit for an hour before washing.

  • Grease

Baking soda, cornmeal, cornstarch

Pour on stain, wait for it to cake up then brush off to remove grease.

  • Ink


Spray should contain alcohol. Spray, about 10 centimetres (4 inches) away, on ink stain, placing a piece of fabric behind stain to prevent bleeding. Then wash.

  • Lipstick


Spray on stain, pause, wipe off spray. Lipstick should come up with spray.

  • Pencil

Window cleaner

Scrub stain with diluted window cleaner applied to an old toothbrush.

  • Perspiration

Meat tenderizer

Dampen fabric, sprinkle on tenderizer, wash.

  • Rust

Lemon juice and water

Place equal parts on stain and leave it for a few minutes before washing. Stubborn rust stains can take straight lemon juice; then hold garment over a steaming teakettle.

  • Soda

Rubbing alcohol

Soak in cold water, blot with rubbing alcohol.

  • Tea


Rub on stain, let sit for a few minutes. Wash as usual.

  • Wax

Vegetable oil

Work into wax stain, wipe off excess, wash as usual.

  • Wine

Seltzer water

Pour immediately on stain and blot.

  • Yellowing

Salt and baking soda

Brighten whites by boiling in 8 litres (2 gallons) of water with 250 grams (1 cup) each of salt and baking soda for an hour.

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