Stain Removal

How to remove stubborn stains

Stain removal, like oven cleaning or furniture cleaning, can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. Given the time it can take to determine the cause, type and severity of the stain, you may end up unsure if you'll be able to remove it fully. However, having a few laundry and carpet cleaning tricks up your sleeve can make the job of eliminating unsightly marks much easier. Below are some general tips for removing stains as well as ways to get rid of some of the most common stains that pop up in households.

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General Stain Removal Tips

  • You must act quickly. A stain becomes much more difficult to remove as time elapses. If at all possible, you should begin to treat the stain as soon as it occurs.
  • Test out stain removal products in an inconspicuous area. If you are using a new product on furniture or carpets, be sure to perform a spot check in a hidden area. This will ensure that the color or fabric will not be ruined by the stain treatment.
  • Have patience. Though stains only take seconds to make, they may not come out nearly as quickly. Repeat treatments may be needed, and it may take a couple of days for the stain to vanish completely.
  • Different surfaces require different treatment methods. Due to differences in texture, fabric and color, clothing stain removal may differ from carpet stain removal. For this reason, you should use specific methods for removing stains on each separate surface.

Common Stains

There are certain stains that seem to pop up at one time or another for everyone, so people have devoted a good deal of time and attention to common stubborn stains. In many cases, simple household products will be your best weapon, but there's no universal treatment out there. Instead, read up on specific solutions are specific messes to get the best possible result.

  • Red wine stain removal. Rinse with cold water and blot until the stain lifts. Repeat as many times as needed. Then, apply a baking soda and water mixture to the affected area. Allow it to set in for 10 to 15 minutes before vacuuming.
  • Coffee stain removal. Blot up as much of the coffee as possible using a paper towel or clean cloth. Pour cold water on the stain and blot again. Apply a stain remover, following to the product's directions. Vinegar can also be applied if the stain remains.
  • Blood stain removal. For fresh blood, rinse the fabric with cold water or club soda and blot it with a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary. For dried blood, treat the affected area with peroxide. Test a small spot before treating the stain to ensure no bleaching occurs.
  • Ink stain removal. Apply water to the stain and blot it with a clean cloth. Apply laundry detergent to the area and leave it to sit for at least 5 minutes before washing. Wash the garment in hottest water possible for the fabric. Repeat the steps if the ink stain is not removed. For permanent inks, try using rubbing alcohol, fingernail polish remover, acetone or baking soda mixed with water.
  • Lipstick stain removal. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent (especially one with a grease fighting formula) to a clean cloth. Dab the stain with the cloth, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Begin rubbing out the stain working from the outside edge inward.
  • Oil stain removal. Dab the stain with a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Do not rub too vigorously, and be sure to begin on the outside edge of the area and work inward to remove the stain.
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Posted on 4/9/2017 5:11:00 AM by Anonymous
How to remove dried toothpastes from a non removable cover
Posted on 6/5/2016 11:13:00 AM by Anonymous
I need to remove powdered hot cocoa mix from my carpet. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!
Posted on 12/30/2013 7:35:00 AM by Anonymous
Oh, and I also tried the Magic Eraser to get ink stain off the interior of my car. I will say alcohol worked when my daughter wrote on my leather couch years ago. Maybe it was the type of ink this time around.
Posted on 9/1/2013 10:46:00 AM by Anonymous
To the person needing to remove an ink stain from the leather upholstery in their car - good luck to you. I tried just about everything, with NO LUCK! I didn't try the baking soda mixed with water b/c I didn't see these suggestions until I had already paid a detail shop $120 to redye the leather. It looks as good as new, but that's pricey! I tried hairspray, alcohol, peroxide, goo gone, simple green, even soft scrub, and oxi clean. None of it worked, only lightened it the tiniest bit.
Posted on 9/1/2013 10:41:00 AM by Anonymous
Awesome, thank you. I just completely removed ball-point ink from a prized, pure white cap. You'd never know it happened.
Posted on 8/5/2013 2:25:00 PM by Anonymous
Posted on 7/25/2013 12:50:00 PM by Anonymous
THANK YOU!!! I had an ink stain on my club chair, and your advice worked!
Posted on 6/22/2013 3:30:00 PM by Anonymous
tablecloths are a major place where wine stains occur - my problem right now - yet you don't mention tablecloths and various fabric content - e.g. cotton 50% polyester 50% - or 100% cotton etc. = would be a benefit to know what to do - Thanks anyway.
Posted on 4/19/2013 10:52:00 PM by Anonymous
Wine Stain on granite counter ?
Posted on 4/3/2013 8:59:00 AM by Anonymous
I had ink in my dryer as well and we used laquer thinner on a rag followed by wiping with a clean, wet rag. I then washed some "good" rags and dried them without any residue or smell. No more ink stains.
Posted on 11/15/2012 5:25:00 PM by Anonymous
do not use resolve laundry stain remover. It has chemicals in it that turns your polyester and synthetic material yellow. Ttake it from the voice of experience.
Posted on 10/27/2012 4:03:00 PM by Anonymous
How about grass stains???
Posted on 10/26/2012 10:16:00 AM by Anonymous
SOMEONE left a pen in a jacket, washed it , dried it, now I have ink stains in my dryer drum...can I get these out?
Posted on 10/21/2012 7:10:00 AM by Anonymous
Our water pipe split and leaked 3 days when we found it. We call the 10X12 metal building our "pump house". Mold is everywhere. How can we get rid of the mold and maybe save the wood shelves and the wood panelling walls? I don't think we can save the floor at all. When the floor dries, it will buckle.
Posted on 9/24/2012 11:50:00 AM by Anonymous
for pet stains, nothing works better than Spot Shot!!!!!
Posted on 9/20/2012 7:37:00 PM by Anonymous
ball point pen in pocket in item in dryer... stains on a variety of items
Posted on 9/5/2012 6:59:00 PM by Anonymous
how do you clean off mold on car canvas hood top
Posted on 8/28/2012 8:24:00 AM by Anonymous
how to clean pet stains in yr carpet and keep them from coming back. We've even used oxi clean and they are still coming back right away. Even tried several pet cleaners and the same thing, keep coming back right away. thankyou.
Posted on 6/13/2012 7:09:00 AM by Anonymous
How to remove white out from clothing
Posted on 5/23/2012 3:34:00 PM by Anonymous
How do I remove lipstick stains that melted all over my clothes in the washing machine
Posted on 5/16/2012 8:51:00 PM by Anonymous
I need to know how to get paint out of clothing and I need to know how to get fingernail polish out of clothing. Please let me know at
Posted on 4/26/2012 11:57:00 AM by Anonymous
Dear white leater jacket, I have the same problem with an off white suede Ann Klein, blazer. Never wore it and I got a make-up stain on it. I stupidly sprayed resolve on it and it took the stain out, but left a round stain where it was wet. I don't know what to do, other than take it to the dry cleaners or back to the woman I bought it from. (She sews samples for the NYC fashion shows, for some high designers and opened a little tailor shop in my town[15 min from NYC]. I'm going to ask her if she can sew a pocket or something over it. It would seem like a dry cleaner is a good solution for many questions here. Unfortunetly, there is no where to respond to an individual with a question. I worked at a dry cleaners, years ago, and may have some helpful hints for theses questions. Pleae e-mail me: Maybe I can be of some help and vice-versa.
Posted on 3/30/2012 9:03:00 AM by Anonymous
You don't have to use so much hairspray, to get out in stains in a shirt. My lawyer-ex, always kept his pens in his breast, shirt pocket(of course, down, so the ink would leak). I would spray with Aqua-net white can and wash with Tide or Solo (at that time;haven't seen Solo in years).The shirts came out beautiful. Well, I made sure of that. It may depend on how heavy the cotton is, also. These shirts were by Christian Dior, lighter weight, washed and ironed like new every time.
Posted on 3/30/2012 8:48:00 AM by Anonymous
Magic eraser removed a stubborn scuff from a door ding on my car.
Posted on 3/20/2012 7:19:00 AM by Anonymous
For ink pen ink stains hair spray will take it out but you have to keep spraying lots of hairspray.
Posted on 3/20/2012 7:15:00 AM by Anonymous
quilted polyester coverlet where a bottle of champagne was laid on bed and it leaked. Spot was dryed before I noticed it. How can I remove this spot?
Posted on 3/3/2012 9:11:00 AM by Anonymous
For greasy food stains, I put a few drops of liquid dish detergent on the stain. Then I leave it in until I throw it in the washer. I once cleaned a spot of black motor oil out of a gold carpet with Formula 409 cleaner.
Posted on 2/27/2012 6:18:00 PM by Anonymous
how to get mascara out of carpet
Posted on 2/10/2012 6:43:00 PM by Anonymous
white leather jacket with ink stain on it???? HELP Brand new and have never worn. Ink from sales tag got wet in car and can not get it out now.
Posted on 1/15/2012 7:56:00 AM by Anonymous
2? How to remove old ballpoint pen line from good leather pocketbook? And...How can I remove latex paint from polyester material?
Posted on 1/9/2012 8:05:00 PM by Anonymous
I have a stain that wont come out of my carpet. Its seem to be come out,but only when I go over it with my shampooer.My carpet has been very dirty for a long time .And i finally got a new shampooer to do the job.The carpet look great accept in some area ,what can i do. My carpet is not completely clean help me.
Posted on 12/23/2011 7:43:00 PM by Anonymous
how to remove a candle wax stain?
Posted on 11/26/2011 3:23:00 PM by Anonymous
nail polish on carpet help
Posted on 11/26/2011 10:33:00 AM by Anonymous
any suggestions on what to use to remove pomegranate stain from a cotton shirt??
Posted on 11/18/2011 2:41:00 PM by Anonymous
Posted on 11/13/2011 1:08:00 AM by Anonymous
how do you remove nail polish from frabric?
Posted on 10/13/2011 9:59:00 PM by Anonymous
how to remove chocolate stain XejX
Posted on 10/10/2011 2:19:00 PM by Anonymous
I had some dry rust particles fall on brand new carpet, I vacuumed it up immediately but it has left a stain on the carpet any suggestions?
Posted on 9/10/2011 9:21:00 PM by Anonymous
How do I remove Orange juice from carpet?
Posted on 9/2/2011 1:58:00 PM by Anonymous
Nail polish in my carpet! How do I fix it?
Posted on 8/27/2011 6:57:00 PM by Anonymous
How do you remove liquid from a grout can from a good shirt?
Posted on 8/25/2011 4:41:00 PM by Anonymous
dance team uniforms have black mildew spots. the fabric is a poly blend. any ideas?
Posted on 8/16/2011 5:43:00 PM by Anonymous
How do you remove body oil (neck area) from the back of a fabric sofa?
Posted on 8/14/2011 10:51:00 PM by Anonymous
I have gotten a used refrigerator, (GE - 2 door, side by side) and the handles are discolored due to nicotine; can you help?
Posted on 8/2/2011 10:00:00 AM by Anonymous