How to Tackle 18 of the Toughest Stains

As much as we would like to believe that a little soap and water will remove common household stains, the most difficult stains to remove require a little patience and some much-needed elbow grease.

Because everyone spills, drips, or trips at some point, here’s your first-step strategy for removing common household stains from machine-washable clothing. Take the expensive items to the cleaners and continue reading for recommended cleaning treatments for the most common everyday stains.

1. Ink Stains

To keep the stain from spreading, make a “dam” with petroleum jelly around it. Then, using an eyedropper or a clean toothbrush, apply isopropyl alcohol. To remove any residue, dab with a cotton ball and mineral spirits. Allow it to dry all the way before rinsing it with a dish soap solution.

2. Coffee or Tea Stains

Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee or tea as their relaxing ritual? Although coffee and tea taste amazing, they can make up some tough-to-remove stains due to compounds we know as tannins. Mix 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water in a spray bottle to use over the stain and then blot with a damp cloth. Next, dab with diluted ammonia (1 tablespoon clear ammonia in 1 cup water)—a step that’s probably best left until you get home from work to avoid drawing attention to the aroma. Blot with a damp cloth first, then a dry cloth.

Stains clean Coffee or Tea Stains

3. Food Grease Stains

Sprinkle cornmeal or talcum powder on the affected area until it is completely absorbed. Clean up with a dry cloth.

4. Berry or Juice Stains

Scrape away any solids, then apply warm water and dishwashing soap solution. Using a damp towel, blot away any soap residue. If the stain persists, use de solv it Australia round available detergent for your tough-stains cleaning needs. Pour, spray, or wipe directly onto the area. For tougher jobs, allow sufficient set time for the detergent to work (time will vary with different applications). Rinse with clean water as needed.

5. Mustard Stains

Saturate the stain with white vinegar, then use a dish-soap solution to eliminate it.


6. Grass Stains

Allow 15 minutes after applying Lauryl Glucoside Cleaning Agent. Rub the solution in with a clean toothbrush before washing as usual.

7. Sweat Mark Stains

Perspiration stains should be treated with a prewash stain remover before laundering in the hottest water recommended for the fabric, with an enzyme detergent and oxygen bleach.

8. Lipstick Stains

I’ve got these more times than I can count on my beautiful work shirts, so I know how troublesome they can be. Apply an oil solvent, which is available at drugstores, and allow it to dry before removing as much residue as possible. Use a liquid detergent (such as Woolite) and very little water to clean. Rinse after creating suds. To remove any remaining colour, use an eyedropper and diluted vinegar. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.

9. Ketchup or Tomato Sauce Stains

Use a combination solvent such as detergent de solv it Australia wide available. To remove any remaining colour, apply diluted vinegar with an eyedropper. Finally, in a regular wash cycle, thoroughly flush the spot with cool water.

10. Chocolate Stains

One minute you’re munching on that savoury chocolate gift and the next you end up with an eye-sore stain on your precious sweatshirt and sweatpants set. Before scrubbing right away, first it’s important to remove any excess with a plastic knife or spatula. Then, apply a solution of 1 tablespoon enzyme detergent and 2 cups water to the tasty offender and let it sit for 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing. To clean the residue, combine water and a mild detergent.


11. Dirt Stains

When the stain has dried, use a plastic knife to gently scrape away any excess loose particles. Apply a solution of dish soap and warm water next. Blot the soap residue away with a damp towel. Repeat until the dirt stain is removed.

12. Ice Cream Stains

Using cold water, rinse off the stain. Apply a prewash stain remover (such as Shout), then soak in a sink of cool water with a few drops of detergent.

13. Paint Stains

It’s truly a proud and cool parent moment when you see your young talented Picasso at home paint one of their cute artworks. Then again, it’s not so amusing or cool when you see their clothes all covered in fresh paint. Not to worry, this is also where de-solv-it has got your back!

14. Red Wine Stains

Blot with a clean, damp cloth, then apply white wine with a fresh cloth. (Who knew?) Blot once more. Still left? Allow the baking soda to sit for 20 minutes before removing it with another cloth.

15. White Wine Stains

Alas, this isn’t something we clean with red wine. Dab with water and a small amount of clear dish soap. Rinse thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth. Simple as that.


16. Beer Stains

You’re going to need 2 cups cool water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Scrubby brush the stain away, then wash the item as usual.

17. Permanent Marker Stains

Amodex Ink and Stain Remover should be used on the affected area. Using a clean, stiff-bristled toothbrush, rub in until the marker is almost gone.

18. Snow and Salt Stains

The alkaline calcium chloride in salty melted ice can leave a brownish stain. To begin, neutralise with the magic vinegar solution (1 part white vinegar to 1 part water). Blot with a towel from the stain’s edge inward. Remove with a damp towel after using warm water and dish soap solution.