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How to Remove Stains from Clothes

  • 4 min read

How to Remove Stains from Clothes

Stains are an unavoidable part of life, but they don't have to be permanent. Whether you're a seasoned laundry pro or a novice, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to effectively remove stains from various fabrics. 

We will show you how to remove stains from clothes, including common stains such as coffee, wine, and grass stains. We will also provide tips on how to prevent future stains and keep your clothes looking as good as new.

How to get stains out of clothes: Getting Prepared

how to remove stains from clothes natural methods

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before you embark on your stain removal journey, make sure you have a least some the following items on hand:

  • Laundry detergent (we use Spruce Laundry Sheets)

  • White vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Salt

  • Toothpaste

  • Dish Soap

  • Stain remover spray

  • Clean cloths 

  • Soft-bristle brush

  • Spoon (for scraping off solids)

  • Access to cold and hot water

With your supplies ready, you're now prepared to tackle even the toughest stains. Let's start with the crucial first step: pre-treating stains.

Pre-treating Stains: A Crucial First Step

how to get stains out of clothes

Pre-treating is the secret weapon in effective stain removal. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  • Act quickly: the faster you act, the more chance you have of completely removing the stain. 

  • Blot, Don't Rub: If the stain is wet, gently blot it with a clean cloth to absorb excess liquid.

  • Scrape Off Solids: For solid or semi-solid stains like chocolate or lipstick, use a spoon to carefully scrape off the excess without spreading the stain.

  • Test in an Inconspicuous Area: Before applying any stain remover, test it on a hidden part of the fabric to ensure it doesn't cause color fading or damage.

  • Apply Stain Remover: Depending on the type of stain, apply an appropriate stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water (we’ll get into what to use next!). Gently work it into the stain using your fingers or a soft brush.

Removing Stains from Clothes: Common Culprits

removing stains from clothes

General Food and Beverage Stains

  1. Act Fast: Blot the stain with a cloth to absorb excess liquid.

  2. Rinse with Cold Water: Hold the fabric under cold running water to force the stain out from the inside.

  3. Apply Detergent: Gently rub a small amount of detergent onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

  4. Machine Wash: Wash the garment as usual, following the care label instructions.

Oil and Grease Stains

  1. Blot Excess: Use a cloth or paper towel to blot as much oil as possible.

  2. Apply Dish Soap: Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stain and work it in gently.

  3. Rinse and Wash: Rinse the soap off with cold water, then launder the garment.

Coffee Stains:

Coffee stains can be tricky to remove, but with the right technique, you can get rid of them. 

  1. Blot Excess: Start by blotting the stain with a clean cloth to remove any excess liquid. 

  2. Apply Dish Soap: Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water and apply the solution to the stain. 

  3. Rinse and Wash: Let it sit for five minutes, then rinse the area with cold water.

Wine Stains:

  1. Blot and Rinse: Blot the stain with a cloth, then rinse with cold water to dilute the stain.

  2. Apply Vinegar Solution: Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water and apply it to the stain.

  3. Launder Properly: Wash the garment as recommended on the care label.

Chocolate and Sauce Stains

  • Scrape Off Excess: Carefully scrape off any excess chocolate or sauce.

  • Treat with Dish Soap: Apply a small amount of dish soap and let it sit for a few minutes.

  • Rinse and Launder: Rinse the area thoroughly and launder as usual.

Grass Stains:

Grass stains can be stubborn, but with the right technique, they can be removed. 

  1. Scrape Off Dirt: Allow the mud to dry, then gently scrape it off with a plastic spoon.

  2. Pre-treat with Vinegar: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and dab the stain.

  3. Wash as Usual: Launder the garment as you normally would.

Blood Stains

  1. Cold Water Soak: Soak the stained area in cold water for about 15 minutes.

  2. Choose your remover: Toothpaste or Salt can both be effective for blood stains. If using salt, mix plain table salt with cold water until it forms a thick paste and then rub the paste directly on the stain. Let it sit for about 10-20 minutes (or until dry) and then scrape off the paste, rinse the stain with cold water.  If using toothpaste, gently rub the toothpaste into the stain, allow it to dry completely, and then rinse the fabric with cold water.

  3. Check and Repeat: If the stain persists, repeat the process before laundering.

Sweat Stains

  1. Pre-treat with Aspirin: Dissolve two aspirin tablets in a half-cup of warm water and apply the solution to the stain.

  2. Launder with Enzyme Detergent: Wash the garment with an enzyme-based detergent to break down sweat residue. We like to use Spruce Bio Laundry Sheets for effortless stain removal without the need for toxic chemicals.

We also have a blog that covers how to remove chewing gum from clothes!

Preventing Future Stains:

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips on how to prevent future stains on your clothes:

  • Use a stain repellent spray on your clothes before wearing them.

  • Avoid wearing light-coloured clothes when eating or drinking dark-coloured food and drinks.

  • Wash your clothes immediately after they get stained.

  • Always read the care label on your clothes before washing them.

Removing stains from clothes can be a challenging task, but with the right technique and tools, you can get rid of even the most stubborn stains.

We hope that this comprehensive guide has been helpful in showing you how to remove different types of stains from your clothes and prevent future stains. With these tips, you can keep your clothes looking fresh and new for a long time.

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