The Ultimate Stain Removal Guide

The Ultimate Stain Removal Guide

Life gets messy and accidents happen. Surely, many of us have experienced pure panic after a spill and have frantically searched “how to remove _______ stains” on the internet. 

Luckily, we’re here to help guide you in removing those pesky stains. Stains are inevitable, but not always permanent. Yes, that goes for notoriously difficult red wine and oil stains. After following our tips outlined in this article, it’ll be like those stains never happened. 

stain removal

General Tips

Before we get started, let’s run through a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to removing stains. 

It is important to try to treat the stain as early as possible. While there are ways to remove old stains from clothing, it takes much more effort. The longer the stain sits, the darker the stain becomes and the tougher it is to remove. 

It is hard not to panic when something gets spilled on your favorite shirt. Stay calm and don’t immediately start rubbing the stain. This will not only spread the stain, but push it into the fibers of the fabric making it harder to remove. You should always blot the stain.

When it comes time to wash the stained fabrics, never put it in the dryer until the stain is completely removed. Heat sets the stain, so it is always suggested to air-dry your clothes after treating the stain. 


Coffee & Tea

We’ve all been there — running out the door for work with your coffee in your hand, then the next thing you know, you spilled it everywhere. Or you’re enjoying your Sunday coffee in bed and spill some on your sheets.  

If it is a fresh stain, flush with cold water. Do not scrub the stain! However, the stain is a little bit more prominent or has been there for a while, follow these instructions:

  1. Wet stained area with cold water.
  2. Apply a few drops of liquid detergent to the stain and gently rub with your fingers.
  3. Let the detergent sit on the stain for 5 minutes and then rinse.
  4. If the stain is still present, repeat these steps.
  5. Launder as usual.

wine stain removal


There are definite risks if you love yourself a glass of red wine while binging a show in bed. You’re bound at some point to spill a little on your sheets. Have no fear, though! Wine stains can be removed. Here are two tricks to try:

White Vinegar:

  1. Cover the stain in white vinegar.
  2. Immediately rub in liquid detergent.
  3. Launder as usual.

Club Soda or Water:

  1. Pour club soda or cold water onto the stain.
  2. Blot with an absorbent paper towel or cloth
  3. Pour liquid detergent onto the stain.
  4. Either rub the fabric together gently or use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work the detergent into the fibers.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing with cold water again.
  6. Wash on warm, if possible.
  7. Repeat if necessary.



The grass [stain] is always greener on the other side. Once it’s removed, that is.

Grass stains are so difficult to remove since it is rich in chlorophyll — the chemical that makes grass green. If you are able to get to the grass stain sooner than later, the easier it will be to remove. 

Washing Machine:

  1. Simply wash the stained item in a cleaning product that contains enzymes, like our Oxi Boost Laundry Pacs.

White Vinegar:

  1. Soak the stain for 15 minutes in a solution of two parts water to one part white vinegar.
  2. Take a clean white rag and gently dab the stain.
  3. Wash the stained item with an enzyme-based laundry detergent.
  4. Repeat if necessary. 

mud stains

Dirt & Mud

If you have a high-traffic house full of kids and/or rambunctious pets, the dirt and mud stains are almost inevitable. Unlike many other types of stains, mud is almost easier to remove once it has set and dried.

  1. Scrape away dried mud or dirt.
  2. Rub liquid detergent into the stain and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Using a wet toothbrush and a few drops of water, scrub the detergent into the stain on both sides of the fabric.
  4. Launder as usual with nothing else in the washing machine.
  5. Repeat if necessary.


Ever fallen asleep only to wake up and realize you forgot to remove your makeup and it is smeared all over your nice bedding? Don’t worry, it has happened to the best of us, and we’re here to help.


Removing foundation involves a trick that, chances are, you’ve never thought of — shaving cream.

  1. If there are clumps, gently remove them with the side of a spoon or knife.
  2. Spray shaving cream on the stained area.
  3. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Dampen a microfiber cloth and use it to gently dab at the stain. Work from the outside in and switch to a clean area of the cloth as needed.
  5. Rise the spot with cold water.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
  7. Launder as usual.

makeup stains


Since lipstick is often oiler than most other makeup products, this one might take a little more effort, but it is doable. 

  1. If there are clumps, gently remove them with the side of a spoon or knife.
  2. Soak a cotton ball or cotton round in rubbing alcohol or witch hazel.
  3. Dab the stain to lift it.
  4. Be sure to keep using a clean cotton ball as necessary.
  5. Launder as usual.
  6. Repeat as necessary.

The Unpleasant Stuff

While everything here is natural, there are some stains that are more unpleasant than others to try to remove. 


How you treat blood stains all depends on how fresh the stain is.

Fresh Stains:

  1. Soak fabric in cold water or, if it is a very fresh stain, place it under cold running water to flush the blood out.
  2. Blot stain with hydrogen peroxide and scrub by hand.
  3. Apply laundry pre-treater.
  4. Launder in warm water with fabric-safe bleach (if possible)

Dried Stains:

  1. If there are clumps, gently remove them with the side of a spoon or knife.
  2. Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain.
  3. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Blot with a paper towel.
  5. Use a clean, damp cloth to gently rub the stain until it is removed.
  6. Rinse the area with cold water until all the hydrogen peroxide has rinsed out.

stained bed sheets

Bodily Fluids

  1. Soak up what liquid you can with paper towels.
  2. Apply a liberal amount of vinegar to the affected area.
  3. Blot away excess with a dry, clean cloth.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let it sit overnight.
  5. The next day, vacuum up the excess baking soda.



One of the worst things is when you have a leaky pen and don’t catch it in time. Ink can wreak havoc on fabrics, but no need to throw out the stained disaster! You have options:

Jar or Glass Method:

  1. Place stain over the mouth of a jar or glass, and hold the fabric taut. 
  2. Drip alcohol or cleaning fluid through the stain. Ink should drop into the container as it is being removed.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  4. Launder as usual. 

Paper Towel Method:

  1. Dab the area around the stain with rubbing alcohol or cleaning fluid. Don’t apply directly to stain yet.
  2. Place the stain facedown on clean paper towels. Apply alcohol or cleaning fluid to the back of the stain. 
  3. Replace paper towels frequently.
  4. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Launder as usual. 

oil and grease stains

Oil & Grease

Cooking can not only leave your kitchen a mess, but potentially your clothes as well. Greasy pizza or cooking oil stains don’t need to be a day ruiner, though. 

  1. With a paper towel or cloth, remove any excess oil or grease.
  2. Spring baking soda on the stain and let it sit for 24 hours.
  3. Vacuum or brush the baking soda residue away.
  4. Create a vinegar and water mixture and spray on the affected area.
  5. Scrub with soap and a brush, and then rinse.
  6. Repeat as necessary.

Sometimes a simple run through the washer may suffice in removing some stains. However, you’re going to need the ideal laundry detergent.

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