10 Common Clothes Stains… And How To Remove Them

Categories Lifestyle

Life gets messy, so what’s the appropriate action to take when you encounter a little spillage?

Coffee

Like all stains, the key here is to work quickly. Soak in warm water with a splash of vinegar for half an hour, then chuck it in the washing machine on the highest heat the washing instructions allow. Don’t grab a cake of soap and start scrubbing, which only sets the stain into the fabric.

Grass

Rubbing alcohol or an enzyme detergent prewash stain remover is your best bet for grass stains, before chucking the clothes in the washing machine as hot as possible.

Red wine

Get the garment under some cold water than apply salt to absorb the stain and draw the colour away. Like coffee, the last thing you want to do is start scrubbing away furiously with a bar of Dove.

Sweat

The yellowing under the armpits of a white shirt has set in over many wears, so your standard detergent in the wash isn’t going to cut it. Apply a baking soda and water paste to the underarm, soak in hot water with an enzyme cleaner, or use a bleach.

Ink

Pen spillage isn’t the hardest stain to remove — a bar of soap or detergent and some good old fashioned elbow grease does the trick.

Oil

Dunk in warm water and detergent, then place it face-down on a paper towel to draw out the grease — repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Tomato sauce

Remove the spill as gently as possible with cold water to avoid working it into the fabric, then apply stain remover before throwing it in the washing machine like normal. Don’t let the garment dry before the stain has disappeared, repeating as many times as necessary.

Sunscreen

Get the gunk out by washing on on the hottest setting you can — and if the sunscreen is discolouring a white shirt, bleach might be your best option.

Dirt

Lather up the clothes in soapy warm water, then leave it to soak for half an hour. If it’s mud, allow it to dry, scrape off as much as you can, apply a prewash detergent, then wash as usual.

Blood

Tricky one, so act fast before it dries. Rinse with cold water, soak in detergent for 15 minutes, then stick it in the washing machine by itself. Avoid hot water, though, which locks in the stain.