January 2024

How to Remove Tough Stains from Clothes

How to Remove Tough Stains from Clothes

Are you experiencing tough stains that refuse to budge from your favourite garments? This can be stressful! But don’t panic, in this blog our Bright & Beautiful professionals will guide you through how to remove tough stains from clothes, from general stain removing tips, to more specific removal tricks for common stains you may come across on different fabrics.

General Stain Removing Tips

Here are our general stain removing tips designed to rescue your favorite garments from spills, splatters, and unexpected mishaps. Whether you're dealing with the infamous red wine stain or a grease spatter, our stain removing tips and tricks will give you the knowledge to restore your clothing to its pristine glory.

hands in yellow rubber gloves washing fabric

General Tips:

  • Always check the fabric care label
  • Treat the stain as soon as you can before it sets
  • In most cases, treat with cold or lukewarm water
  • Check the stain has gone before drying the fabric
  • For delicate items, blot rather than scrub


Fabric Types

  • Cotton: Resilient to hot or cold water and frequent washing, cotton offers numerous stain removal options. It is a versatile fabric.
  • Wool: Delicate compared to cotton, wool requires gentle care. Avoid repeated washing, and always lay flat to dry.
  • Synthetic: Be cautious with synthetic fabrics, especially when dealing with paint stains. Solvents like acetone or ammonia can damage the fabric. Exercise care to prevent melting or degradation.
  • Silk: Extremely delicate, silk demands gentle stain removal to prevent damage. In cases of challenging stains, seek professional dry-cleaning services.

Removal Methods for Common Household Stains

Different stains require assorted treatments. In this section we'll run through specific stain removing tips for the most common stains you may encounter day-to-day. Let the stain busting begin!


Coffee Stains

Were you in a rush to get started on the morning commute and accidentally threw coffee down your front? We’ve all been there. The most convenient method for eliminating coffee stains involves flushing hot water directly through the affected area. If the stain is more stubborn, spot treat it with an eco-friendly mixture of half white vinegar and half lukewarm water. Subsequently, rub in a small amount of liquid laundry detergent to remove leftover vinegar and place in the machine as per the washing directions.

coffee stained shirt

Red Wine Stains

It has been a long running old wives' tale that white wine will help remove red wine stains, and who hasn’t been known to chuck white wine over a spillage in a frenzied panic at the party? Notoriously one of the toughest stains to eliminate, you should begin by quickly and lightly dabbing excess moisture from the area, followed by holding the fabric stain inside out under running cold water. Next, soak the clothing in a solution of white vinegar whilst gently rubbing in some laundry detergent. Let the mixture sit for around 20 mins and then wash on a cold cycle.


Blood Stains

Blood stains can be incredibly hard to remove once the stain is set. That’s why it’s important to run the stain under cold water as soon as possible, or alternatively soak the item in cold water. You can then chuck the clothing in the machine on a cool cycle to finish the job. If the stain has set into the fabric, you can try dabbing the stain with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Note that hydrogen peroxide may have a bleaching effect, making it unsuitable for use on dark fabrics. In such cases, opt for white vinegar as a substitute to treat stains on your darker-coloured items.


Grass Stains

This is one of the most common stains you’ll encounter if you have young children, especially if they enjoy sports. Work an eco-friendly stain remover into the tough stain with your fingers and set aside for 15 minutes before washing as detailed on the clothing label.

For a quick treatment without using the machine, try applying diluted white vinegar to the stain, followed by a rinse in cold water.


Grease Stains

If you’ve been cooking, particularly with grease, you may end up with spattered stains on your clothing. Pretreat with an eco-friendly stain remover or liquid laundry detergent and wash on the hottest water that is suitable for the clothing. For an eco-friendly homemade solution, you can try sprinkling the area with cornflour as soon as you notice it. This should soak up the grease instantly, ready for the garment be machine washed later.


Sweat Stains

A brand new crisp white shirt for summer, yet before you know it yellow patches have appeared. This is an all-too-common problem at the time of year when we tend to sweat more, as natural body oils can cause stains. It is also common for these yellow stains to appear on pillowcases. Work liquid dish soap into the stain with a clean cloth. You can also use an eco-friendly pre-treatment stain remover before washing as per the clothing label instructions with warm water.


Ketchup Stains

Kids love ketchup, yet unfortunately it can leave a tricky stain that’s hard to remove when spilt on clothes. If the ketchup has had the chance to dry, use a spoon or knife to gently remove any excess, taking care not to rub it into the fabric as this can cause the stain to spread. Next, apply vinegar directly to the stain, allowing it to sit for 5 minutes. Afterward, rinse the stained area with cold water, before washing the garment in your washing machine.


Curry Stains

Unfortunately, for those who enjoy exotic flavours, spices can permanently stain fabrics, so it’s important to act fast when removing a curry stain. Luckily it is relatively easy with these eco-friendly solutions. For lighter garments, begin with a half and half mixture of cool water and lemon juice, apply to the curry stain, and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Rinse the stained area in cool water and then wash using regular detergent in the hottest water recommended for the item. An alternative is to combine a tbsp of liquid dish soap with an equal amount of white vinegar and approximately half a litre of cold water. Gently apply the solution to the stain using a cloth and, lastly, wash in the machine.

woman next to washing machine with piles of laundry

As part of our holistic housekeeping promise, we use eco-friendly laundry products. Better for you, your guests and the environment.

If you are struggling to get rid of stains and find this time consuming, Bright & Beautiful offer a professional laundry service. Contact us today for professional laundry services from Bright & Beautiful.