Stain removal - effective tips against stains
So annoying when you get a stain on a favorite garment, on the tablecloth or on the couch. Here we've collected the best tips and housewife tricks on how you can get rid of stains from grease, coffee, blood, wine and much more.
How to remove 37 common stains
Removing stains instead of washing entire garments is more gentle on your clothes but also on the environment. Stain removal and airing will go a long way when it comes to taking care of your clothes and other textiles.
It's best to treat stains immediately when they occur. Sometimes the stain is only discovered when it's already dried in and then it can be more difficult to get rid of it, but with a little patience and the right means, you can still get a successful result.
Good to have at home
A good stain remover that you probably have at home is regular hand dishwashing detergent. A drop in lukewarm water dissolves many stains even grass stains. Hemfrid's own environmentally friendly dishwashing detergent works great!
Bile soap is another product that also saves many garments. It's an organic stain removal and cleaning soap that you will find in well-stocked grocery stores and shops that sell cleaning products.
Other more specialized stain removal products are glycerol/glycerin, ammonia, rubbing alcohol, ethanol and cleaning benzine.
Pantry staples that work against many stains are salt, lemon, citric acid, tartaric acid, bicarbonate, vinegar, peanut butter, milk, sour milk and yoghurt.
Unless otherwise stated in the respective stain removal tips, these basic rules apply.
Don't rub during stain removal as you may spread the stain and damage the fabric. Instead, dab from the edge and toward the center of the stain.
Always use white rags when removing stains, as colored rags can discolour.
To be on the safe side so the material doesn't fade or otherwise be adversely affected, always test in a less visible place with the product you intend to use for stain removal. On a garment, it can be on a hem on the inside, on a piece of furniture on the underside or the back.
Remove grease stains
You get rid of a grease stain by first soaking up as much as possible with, for example, a paper towel. Then sprinkle potato flour or cornmeal over the stain and leave it overnight. Vacuum off the excess, treat the stain with detergent or soap and then machine wash as usual.
Remove coffee stains
How you take care of coffee stains depends on whether it's black coffee or coffee with milk or cream. For stains with coffee with milk or cream in them, soak the stain first in cold water and then in as hot water as the fabric can withstand stains. For stains of black coffee, soaking in hot water usually solves the stain. If the stain is completely fresh, cold water can work. For fabrics that don't tolerate hot water, you can try dabbing the stain with a beaten egg yolk in lukewarm water.
Remove blood stains
Always start by rinsing blood stains in cold water, not hot! Blood stains contain a lot of protein and they attach even more if they get hot water on them and then you risk that they can't be removed at all.
It's best to rinse immediately with cold water, but if the stain has dried, you can soak in cold water with salt. Estimate a couple of tablespoons of salt per liter of water and let the garment soak for a couple of hours and make sure that the stain is gone before you wash as usual. If the stain remains after all, you can test with a mixture of two parts bicarbonate and one part water. Put on the stain and leave for half an hour. Scrape off excess and dab with a damp cloth to remove the last before washing as usual
Remove wine stains
Wine stains, especially red wine stains and rosé wine stains, are bathed with water, preferably immediately when they occur. Then sprinkle with plenty of salt and let the salt draw out the liquid in batches. Rinse with as hot water as the fabric can withstand and wash as usual. If the stain remains after washing, try to treat with vinegar diluted in warm water, preferably hot if the fabric can withstand it. For old stains, there is the housewife trick to get rid of wine stains with hot fatty milk. Heat the milk until it boils, add the fabric with the stain and leave until the milk has cooled.
Dampen a piece of cloth with cleaning benzine and dab on the outside of newer asphalt stains. You can get rid of old stains by rubbing the stain with peanut butter.
Bile soap can loosen stains from a ballpoint pen. Ethanol often also works to remove ballpoint ink from clothes, but if it's a colored fabric, you risk bleaching the fabric with ethanol.
Spit on the banana stain if it hasn't yet darkened, work the saliva into the stain and rinse afterwards. Lemon works on light fabrics. Mix some lemon juice with water. Lemon can fade, so be careful if it's a garment that you are very precious about. You can also try glycerin on dark banana stains and then wash with detergent afterwards.
You can get rid of beer stains by dampening the stains with white vinegar.
Try dabbing apple cider vinegar or lemon on berry stains. However, keep in mind that it can bleach the fabric, so try it first in an invisible place. You can get rid of dried berry stains by soaking them in sour milk or yoghurt overnight.
First, try dabbing the blueberry stain with a drop of detergent in lukewarm water on a cloth. If more is required, consider whether your fabric can withstand bleaching, in which case you can try with lemon. Glycerin can also help with blueberry stains.
Chocolate stains are easiest to get rid of if you can treat them as soon as possible. Rinse first with cold water from the back of the fabric and then pre-treat the chocolate stain with detergent or liquid detergent and let it work for a while. Then soak the garment overnight in as high a heat as it can withstand, see the care instructions, and wash as usual the next morning.
Yellow deodorant stains in armpits on clothes can be removed by mixing detergent with citric acid. Apply to the stains, wait for 30 minutes and rinse. Another method is to get rid of them with vinegar. Mix 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water, soak for a few hours and then wash the garment as usual.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit stains and stains from vegetables can be removed with a solution of ½ teaspoon of citric acid to 1 deciliter of water. Citric acid can fade, so if it's a delicate garment, you can instead try dipping the stain in as hot water as the garment can withstand with a splash of vinegar in.
Immerse a cloth in cleaning benzine and dab until the stain is gone. Then wash the surface where the stain was with bile soap and leave on for 30 minutes before washing the entire garment.
Detergent or dish soap usually works well on grass stains. Pre-treat the stains with it, leave on for about an hour and then wash as usual. Other methods are to treat white garments that have grass stains with pure alcohol or ethanol. Colored garments prefer a pre-treatment with detergent and vinegar.
Put clothes with ice cream stains in cold water for a while. Add a little detergent, stir and leave for a while longer. Then wash the garment as usual.
Pre-treat stains from ink by rubbing in some oil soap. Then wash as usual afterwards.
Ketchup stains can often be removed with regular hand dishwashing detergent and water. If they're really stubborn, you can use rubbing alcohol.
Stains of lipstick usually go away in the usual washing in the machine. Another method is to rub the lipstick stains with old dry white bread.
Pre-treat make-up stains with liquid detergent or soap before washing as usual.
Scrape off as much of the mayonnaise stain as possible. Then pre-treat the stain with detergent or soap and then wash the garment as usual.
Milk stains are usually removed with hand soap and water. If it's an old stain, try vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and then wash as usual.
In the same way that you remove nail polish from your nails, you can also remove a nail polish stain from many materials, with acetone. However, it doesn't work on synthetic materials. On more delicate materials, you can try with cleaning benzine. Always try in an invisible place before going to the front of a garment.
To get rid of oil from clothes, soak up as much of the oil as you can with paper towel. Sift potato flour or cornmeal over the stain and let it soak up overnight. Shake off or vacuum away excess flour and treat the stain with detergent. Let soak for a while and then wash as usual.
Mix some ammonia in lukewarm water. Dip a cloth and dab on the orange stain until as much of it as possible has disappeared. Pat with dry paper to soak up the stain.
Peach and nectarine
Rinse peach stains and nectarine stains immediately in as hot water as the fabric can withstand. Citric acid solution, ½ teaspoon of citric acid in 1 liter of water, may otherwise work. Citric acid can bleach fabric so always test in an invisible place first. Another method is to add a splash of vinegar in water and try to dissolve the stain in it.
Rubbing alcohol can remove stains from pen, but there is a risk that the fabric around the stain will fade, so try in an invisible spot first.
Stains from resin can be removed with pure alcohol. When the stain is no longer visible, wash as usual.
To remove rust stains, you can use lemon, citric acid solution, ½ teaspoon of citric acid in 1 liter of water, or concentrated tartaric acid. Acids can bleach fabrics so keep that in mind before trying this. A combination of citric acid solution together with bile soap is another method worth trying. Treat the stain with the agent you have chosen for about 15 minutes and then wash as usual.
Treat shoe polish stains as soon as possible. On white fabrics you can try with pure alcohol. On colored fabrics, you should dilute with water and test in an invisible spot like a hem so you don't risk bleaching the fabric around the stain.
Wait until the fabric is dry and brush or vacuum away as much as you can so you don't spread the soil stain. Then soak in as warm water as the garment can take with detergent. Rinse and then wash as usual.
You can get rid of fresh spinach stains with running cold water and then pre-treating with liquid detergent or dishwashing liquid before washing as usual. Splitting a potato and rubbing on the stain is also an old housewife trick.
Pre-treat sunscreen stains with liquid detergent or detergent and then wash the garment as usual.
Ordinary soap or liquid detergent often works to get rid of sweat stains. Treat the stains before washing as usual. On clothes that have become discolored by sweat, you can remove the stains with vinegar and warm water before washing as usual. For exercise clothes that get sweaty often, a tip is to have a spray bottle with vinegar and water and regularly spray the sweatiest areas, leave on for ten minutes and then wash as usual.
How you take care of tea stains depends on whether it's pure tea or tea with milk or cream. For tea stains without milk or cream, rinse in as hot water as the fabric can withstand, preferably immediately when the stain has formed. If there's milk or cream in the tea, put the stain first in cold water and then in boiling if the fabric can withstand it. If the stain remains after that, you can try dabbing the stain with a mixture of alcohol and vinegar.
Rinse or soak the stain in cold water for one hour. Then treat the stain with glycerin, let it sit for a good while and then wash as usual.
To remove candle wax from clothing, start by prying off as much of the wax as possible. Lay kitchen paper on your ironing board, lay the fabric with the stain and another layer of kitchen paper on top. When you iron, the wax heats up and is soaked into the paper towel. Repeat until the stain is gone. Then treat the remaining stain with detergent and wash as usual.
To remove candle wax from glass, place the glass in the freezer overnight. The next morning, the wax has shrunk and you can poke it out. Wash in hot water and dry with kitchen paper.