11 Stain Removal Hacks Your Mom Should Have Taught You (Watch Video)

Wardrobe Hackers may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase a product through one of the links in this post. This helps us to operate our website. Learn More


Spills, slips and stains— we all experience them from time to time, but with a little DIY stain removal, your favorite threads can look as good as new. Depending on what you have encountered, items that are already in your home can make common stain removal a snap. Do note though that the key to removing stains effectively is to not allow it to sit on the fabric and let it set; once you notice the stain, wash it off immediately.

Here are some tried-and-true laundry tips for getting stains removed out of clothes and washable fabrics.


#1 How to Remove Blood Stains From Clothes Using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

1. Flush the spot with cold water to get out as much of the blood stain as possible, and then soak it in cold water. The fresher the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

2. If the stain is still visible, place a cloth soaked in water behind the layer of fabric, and drop a little 3% hydrogen peroxide on the stain. (Hydrogen peroxide is available in the health and beauty section of most retailers. Be sure to test an inconspicuous spot for color fastness before you use peroxide on any garment.) Use a soft brush to help release the stain.

3. Once the stain is removed, wash the garment immediately in cold water to stop the hydrogen peroxide action and prevent fabric damage. Double-check your stain removal before putting the garment in the dryer because heat sets stains. If you see any remnants of the stain, repeat the hydrogen peroxide process and wash again.

View on Amazon

#2 How to Remove A Coffee Stain with Salt


1. When coffee stains strike, just blot the stains with a cold, damp paper towel or napkin.

2. Sprinkle some table salt on the coffee stain, allow it to work for a couple of minutes, and then brush it off. Baking soda can be used in place of salt, but it is not as readily available in most locations.

#3 How to Remove an Ink Stain with Hairspray


1. Grab a bottle of hairspray from your bathroom cabinet, put a cloth or cardboard behind the ink spot to prevent new ink stains, and spray a little hairspray on the ink spot.

2. Dab with an absorbent cloth and repeat if ink remains. A soft brush, such as a toothbrush, can be very helpful in working the stain to help release it.

3. Once the ink stain is removed, wash with water and launder the garment as you normally do.

Hairspray works so well for ink removal that it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of it around, even if you don’t use it for your hair. The cheap stuff is perfect!

View on Amazon

Garnier Fructis Style Flexible Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray, Strong Flexible Hold, 8.25 Ounce


#4 How to Remove A Chocolate Stain with Dishwashing Liquid

1. Scrape off and blot any excess chocolate.

2. Flush water through the back side of the stained clothing to push the chocolate out of the fibers. Rub dishwashing liquid into the fabric using a soft brush.

3. Plunge the garment into cold water and soak for at least 15 minutes, gently agitating and rubbing the spot every few minutes.

4. Once the spot disappears, put the garment into the washing machine and launder as usual.

If you find yourself with the dreaded chocolate stain when you are out and about, grab a wet paper towel and gently dab the chocolate stain. Use a few drops of hand soap from a restroom dispenser and gently rub the stain until it lightens. You may not remove the stain completely, but it will be significantly lighter when it dries, and it will be much more likely to come out in the wash.


View on Amazon

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap Original Scent, 19.4 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2)



#5 How to Remove A Juice Stain with White Vinegar

Fruit juices stain like nothing else, and they have their own set of stain rules, too. Did you know that using laundry soap directly on some juice stains can make them nearly impossible to remove?

1. The secret to getting juices out is to start as quickly as possible with a good rinse under running water.

2. Next, place a cloth behind the stain. Soak the juice stain in white vinegar and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, working the solution into the stain with a soft brush.

3. Let the garment soak for a few minutes, machine launder and check to see if the juice stain remains. You may have to repeat the process to get all of it the stain out.


#6 How to Remove A Grass Stain with White Vinegar


1. White vinegar is great for removing grass stains. Just mix up a solution of two parts water and one-part white vinegar.

2. Place a blotter behind the stain to prevent transfer and soak the stain. Allow the grass stain to soak in the solution for at least 15 minutes and brush with a soft brush every five minutes to help the vinegar work.

3. Next, using a clean white rag, gently dab the stain and launder using a laundry detergent with enzymes. Check for removal of the grass stain prior to putting the garment in the dryer, and repeat the process, if necessary.


View on Amazon

#7 How to Remove A Grease Stain with Dish Detergent

1. Wet the grease spot and spread a good dish detergent onto the stain. Using a soft brush, give it a light scrubbing and rinse with water.

2. Launder as usual. If a grease stain remains after washing, repeat the process and allow the dish washing detergent to work longer this time.


#8 How to Remove A Mustard Stain with White Vinegar

When it comes to removing mustard stains, the fresher the stain, the better.

1. Rinse off the mustard in cool water. You will likely have some residual yellow left on the garment, so break out the white vinegar, and splash on a few drops.

2. Work the mustard stain with a soft brush, such as a toothbrush, to help get the mustard out of the fibers. Rinse with water, and a fresh stain will likely be gone.

If your mustard stain has had time to set…

1. Place a dry folded cloth or a hard surface behind the stain to prevent transferring it to new areas. Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol and use a soft brush to work in the alcohol.

2. Add a drop of liquid laundry detergent and a few drops each of white vinegar and cool water. Brush the mustard stain some more, and launder if the stain is removed. Check for complete stain removal prior to placing your garment in the dryer as heat sets stains.


#9 How to Remove A Red Wine Stain with Salt + Baking Soda


A little splash of red wine, and you have a big stain—you can literally watch it grow on some fabrics.

1. Grab a napkin and blot it to remove as much of the liquid as possible.

2. Put the garment under running water to try to wash out the wine. If a wine stain remains, sprinkle salt or a cup of baking soda on the stain and let it sit for three minutes.

If you are wearing the garment when the red wine lands on it and changing is not an option, blot wine spots with water and sprinkle salt on the spots. Wait three minutes and blot the wine stain with a water-soaked cloth, such as a napkin or paper towel. If you still see a red wine stain, repeat. The spots will dry quickly, and you can continue with your plans, confident in your appearance.


#10 How to Remove Sweat Stains with Baking Soda + White Vinegar


Aluminum-based deodorants can react with sweat to cause yellowing or dark spots on clothing. The good news is that these stains can generally be removed with baking soda and white vinegar.

1. Combine equal parts vinegar and baking soda to make a paste and rub it into the spots. If you need more stain removal action after using the paste, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and liquid laundry detergent to a bucket of water and soak the stained garment overnight. Then rinse in cold water and launder.


#11 How to Remove a Tomato Stain with Dish Detergent


1. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the fresh tomato stain such as Dawn or Palmolive. Scrub the stain gently with your fingers or by rubbing the two sides together.

2. Rinse with cold water and repeat if any stain remains. When the stain is removed, launder as usual.

Avoid drying the garment until the stain is removed.


Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Content Creator for Wardrobe Hackers

Erin is a fashion enthusiast, all-around craftsy girl, marketer, and devoted mom. She’s been with Wardrobe Hackers since day 1, as the author and “star” of our very first blog post and Youtube video. Before joining Wardrobe Hackers, Erin had her own custom wreath-making business (Front Door Décor) and prior to that, she managed key accounts with Enterprise. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two young girls and a beagle that sheds (a lot!).


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *