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Types of stains and how to get rid!

by Linda Cleans 29 May 2024

Stains on your favourite top? Wondering whether to chuck it away or not? Try using some products you have on hand in your laundry room to remove stains from your fabrics. The most important thing is finding and matching the right product to the right type of stain. Some products will work better on oily stains while others can help prevent dyed stains from becoming permanent. Do your best to figure out what has caused the stain before you begin and always start with the least aggressive cleaner to prevent damage to your items, and last but not least… Give your products time to work!


With all the difference cleaning products that are on the marker today it’s really easy to over look the simplest, and commonly best choice - cold water. Hold your fabric directly under a cold water tap and run it at full force, this will help flush the stain out of the fibres. If you know what caused the stain and it’s oil based (e.g. butter, mayo..) then move onto hot water with an added cleaning product. Do NOT use hot water for blood stains or protein based stains like egg or dairy.

Laundry Detergent 

Even though your go to is the Landry pods, it’s always a smart idea to keep a bottle of laundry detergent on hand just in case to treat stains. Apply a dab of the detergent to the area that is stained and work it into the fabric with your fingers or a soft bristle brush. Allow the detergent to do it’s magic for 10-15 minutes so that it can start breaking the stain down. Once you’ve given it time, was the item as usual with the rest of your laundry and your normal detergent/pods

Dishwashing Liquid (i.e. Fairy Liquid)

So dishwashing liquid you use to remove and breakdown grease and food from your dishes, so the same as you use it for dishes, this also works with stains on fabrics. It’s great for removing oily stains from fabrics. Apply a small amount to the stained fabric and like the laundry detergent, work it into the fabric and leave it to work for 10 minutes before washing the fabric as usual.

Another way is to pre-soak your stained items with one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 litre of water. Mix well and submerged the dirty laundry and allow it to soak for at least one hour.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is brilliant for deodorising smelly laundry. Add one cup of baking soda to a gallon of water as a pre-soak for those horribly stinky workout clothes. After soaking them for a couple or hours or even overnight, be sure to drain and wash the item as usual.

So lets talk about the TYPES of stains and how to remove…

Coffee/Tea Stains

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, then blot the stain with a cloth soaked in the solution. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.

Red Wine Stains

Blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Then, sprinkle salt or baking soda on the stain to soak up the remaining liquid. After that, use a mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to treat the stain. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Grease/Oil Stains

Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain to absorb excess grease. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then brush off the powder. Apply dish soap directly to the stain and gently scrub with a small brush. Rinse with warm water.

Ink Stains

Apply rubbing alcohol or hairspray to the stain and blot with a clean cloth until the ink transfers to the cloth. Repeat until the stain is gone, then rinse with water.

Blood Stains

Soak the stained area in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Then, apply a mixture of cold water and laundry detergent directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.

Chocolate Stains

Scrape off excess chocolate with a dull knife or spoon. Mix a solution of dish soap and cold water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot it with a clean cloth. Rinse with cold water and repeat if needed.

Grass Stains

Apply a pre-wash stain remover or a mixture of vinegar and water directly to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together to work the solution into the stain, then wash the clothing in cold water with laundry detergent.

Mud Stains

Allow the mud to dry completely, then brush off as much as possible. Mix a solution of dish soap and warm water and apply it to the stain. Gently scrub the fabric with a brush or sponge, then rinse with cold water.

Makeup Stains

Apply a small amount of makeup remover or rubbing alcohol to the stain and gently blot with a clean cloth until the stain lifts. Repeat if necessary, then wash the fabric as usual.


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