How many times have you found yourself staring at a stain on your carpet, couch, or shirt and wondering: “How in the world can I get this out?”
We’ll never really get tired of that moment of panic when we spill something on our clothes. We immediately start to see the stain as a permanent mark on our wardrobe, if not our character. But in most cases, you can remove a stain with a little effort and the right products. Here are 12 common stains and how to get them out; these tips should work for most fabrics, but always spot-test first before applying anything more aggressive than water. So go ahead: do your worst!
If you get a common food or drink on your clothes, follow the steps for removing that type of stain.
If you’re unsure what kind of stain you have, start by blotting the area with a white cloth to see if it absorbs color. Try using different solvents and methods listed in this guide. Rinse out any leftover liquid from the fabric (if possible). If not, dab at it with a clean sponge or cloth soaked in water until no more liquid comes out. Apply some laundry detergent directly onto the stained area; then work up suds by rubbing gently with your fingers or an old toothbrush.* Let the detergent sit for several minutes. Launder as usual in warm water—no heat—to get rid of any remaining detergent residue.
Do you have a stain removal hack? Share it in the comments below!