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Nailed It: How To Get Rid Of Every Clothing Stain Ever

By Millie Lester - 06 Feb 2017

how to remove clothing stains


One of the worst parts about adulting is that Mum can’t bleach your white jeans or get the red wine stains out of your pyjamas anymore because you *firmly* told her that you were an adult that time she asked you to be home by midnight on Christmas Eve five years ago—and you’ve been regretting it ever since. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together a guide to removing every stain ever (pretty much, cut us some slack if we haven’t detailed how to get a dijon mustard stain out of a leather fedora—we actually have a life).

Baked Beans

  1. Flush the stain with cold water ASAP.
  2. Scrub the stain with liquid laundry detergent in an up-and-down motion, then rinse.
  3. Then sponge it with white vinegar and rinse.
  4. Repeat these two steps until you’ve removed as mush beanie stain as possible.
  5. Now pop it in the wash to get rid of the rest.

Barbecue Sauce

  1. Treat the stain as you would a baked bean stain for steps 1-4.
  2. Then rub in more liquid detergent and soak in warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Now pop it in the wash to get rid of the rest.

Blood

Fresh Blood (umm…)

  1. Soak the clothing item in cold water.
  2. Pop it in the wash as normal.

Dried Blood

  1. Soak in warm water with washing liquid.
  2. Pop in the was as normal.

Butter

  1. Dab with a stain remover or laundry liquid.
  2. Pop it in the wash, using that hottest water that’s save for your threads.

Candle Wax

  1. Wait for it to harden.
  2. Scrape it off with a knife.
  3. Sandwich the stain with paper towel and press with a warm iron.
  4. Replace paper towels and repeat to absorb as much was as possible.
  5. Sponge the remaining stain with stain remover or laundry liquid.
  6. Pop her in the wash!

Chocolate

  1. Gently scrape off as much choccie as you can.
  2. Run home and soak it in cold water.
  3. Pretreat the stain with stain remover or laundry liquid.
  4. Pop it in the wash at the highest temperature possible.

Chewing Gum

  1. Place the clothing item in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer (I’m srs) for a few hours to harden the gum.
  2. Remove it from the freezer and scrape the gum with something firm like a knife (careful).
  3. Now wash it like normal to get rid of any cheeky gum residue.

Coffee

  1. Flush cold water onto the back of the stain for 10 to 15 minutes or until the water running through the clothing turns clear.
  2. Rub liquid detergent and cold water into the stain.
  3. Sit for 3-5 minutes (don’t let it dry though).
  4. Soak in cold water for 30 minutes, rubbing the stain with your thumb every 5 minutes.
  5. If the stain is still there, mix laundry powder with equal parts white vinegar and water until it’s a paste and then use a toothbrush to scrub the stain, then rinse.
  6. Pop it in the wash as normal.

Crayon

  1. Dampen the stain and give it a good rub with a bar of soap.
  2. Pop it in the wash at the hottest possible temperature safe for the fabric.

Dairy & Eggs

  1. Pretreat with stain remover/paste of powder/liquid detergent.
  2. Soak for at least 30 minutes (or several hours if you’ve left it for ages your lazy dawg).
  3. Pop it in the wash.

Deodorant

  1. Pretreat with liquid laundry detergent (or stain remover for heavy stains).
  2. Leave for 5 or ten minis.
  3. Pop it in the wash.

Fruit & Juices

  1. Run the stain under cool water.
  2. Pretreat with a stain remover.
  3. Pop it in the wash on a cold setting
  4. Add bleach, vinegar or lemon to help remove stains from white clothes.

Grass

  1. Soak the stain in liquid detergent or a powder paste.
  2. Pop it in the was as normal.
  3. Use bleach on white clothing if stain persists.

Grease & Oil

  1. If it’s a heavy stain, place it face down on paper towel and apply stain remover to the back.
  2. If light, pretreat with stain remover/paste of powder/liquid detergent.
  3. Pop it in the wash using the hottest setting.

Ice Cream

  1. Pretreat with stain remover or soak water & laundry powder/liquid detergent.
  2. Soak for at least half an hour, longer if you’ve painted yourself in Ben & Jerry’s.
  3. Pop it in the wash at a warm setting.

Ink (shiiiiiit)

  1. Use a washable microfibre cloth to blot the stain.
  2. Use a water-based stain remover to break it down.
  3. Leave for 10 minutes (or follow the instructions on the product).
  4. Blot your stain again with the cloth.
  5. Pop the garment in the wash (preferably on its own) on a warm setting.
  6. If the stain is still there afterwards, repeat the previous steps before the garment dries.

Makeup

  1. Pretreat the stain with laundry detergent/paste of powder/stain remover, or just rub it will a bar of soap.
  2. Pop it in the wash.

Maple Syrup

  1. Work on getting that shit out ASAP by removing excess maple syrup with a spoon or knife (careful).
  2. Flush withhold water directly onto the back of the stain.
  3. Pretreat with stain remover or liquid detergent.
  4. Sit the garment aside for a few minutes and then rinse.
  5. Pop in the wash as normal.

Mayonnaise

  1. Pretreat with a stain remover.
  2. Pop it in the wash on a hot setting (that’s safe for the fabric).

Mud

  1. When dry and crusty, brush of as much as possible.
  2. Pretreat with stain remover/paste of powder/liquid detergent.
  3. Soak for several minutes if it’s a heavy stain.
  4. Pop it in the wash as normal.

Mustard

  1. Flush the stain under cold water to loosen it up a bit.
  2. Prewash with stain remover.
  3. Pop it in the wash on a hot setting.
  4. Add some chlorine bleach but check that it’s safe for the fabric first.

Nail Polish (maaaate)

  1. You're f*cked.
  2. Dab it a bit with nail polish remover if you’re game, and then pop it in the wash.

Paint

  1. Get onto it ASAP because it’s there for lyf if you let it dry.
  2. If it’s water-based paint, rinse the clothing item in warm water and then pop it in the wash.
  3. If it’s oil-based, use whatever the paint can lists as a thinner (or use turpentine).
  4. Rinse that bad boy.
  5. Retreat with stain remover or just a bar of soap.
  6. Rinse again and then pop it in the wash as normal.

Soft Drinks

  1. Sponge the stain or soak it in cold water for roughly 30 minutes.
  2. Pretreat the stain with a stain remover.
  3. Pop it in the wash.
  4. If it’s safe for the fabric, also as some chlorine bleach.

Tomato Sauce

  1. Avoid dabbing the stain, remove excess sauce with a spoon or knife (careful).
  2. Run the garment under cold water, directly onto the back of the stain.
  3. Pop it in the wash.

Watermelon

  1. Even if you can’t see the stain now, you will one day, so quickly pop it in the wash on the hottest setting (that’s safe for the fabric.

Wine

  1. Sponge the big ol’ stain with water or soak it in cool water for about half an hour. 
  2. Pretreat it with a stain remover,
  3. Pop it in the wash and add chlorine bleach if it’s safe for the fabric.

Image credit: Gabby Stjernqvist for The Urban List

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