Get the stain out | Proven stain removal tips for clothing, fabrics, and more

Advice The Basics

Are you as accident prone as me? I am the queen of spills, stains, and messes. These are my tried and tested common stain remover techniques to get the satin out of anything, using natural chemical-free products!

Blood Stain Removal

Blood – Rinse with cold water as quickly as possible, and keep the stain wet.  Dab or pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the blood stain.  It will “bubble” up and start to remove the blood immediately.  Let it soak in for at least a minute, rub two sides of the garment together.  Additional hydrogen peroxide can be applied if there is any blood remaining.  Only use cold water on a blood stain, warm water will set the blood into the fabric making it harder to remove.  A quick alternative, when hydrogen peroxide is not available, is to spit on the blood stain and rub.  Saliva is not as efficient as hydrogen peroxide, but can remove small blood stains in a pinch.

Carpet Clean-up

Carpet Stains from Pet Urine, Food, or Liquids (including red wine) – Sprinkle salt or baking soda on the wet spot, and vacuum when dry.  Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar, apply to a test spot and let dry to check for discoloration.  Rub water and vinegar mixture into the stain with a cloth rag, occasionally rinse the rag in clean water, and continue to rub until clean.  Blot with a clean cloth towel to soak up any excess moisture, then vacuum when dry.

Carpet Smells – Vacuum, then lightly sprinkle baking soda over carpet, gently rub into the fibers with a rag, brush, or broom, and vacuum at least an hour later (overnight is even better).

Coffee and Tea Stains

Coffee and Tea – Start a cold water soak as quickly as possible.  Natural fibers love tea and coffee (tea is a great natural dye for plant-based fabrics like cotton).  Since time is the critical factor, use whatever soap is close by, liquid dish washing detergent, liquid hand soap, or shampoo will work.  Start gently rubbing with lightweight fabrics to avoid damage, stretching or noticeable wear.  Rub vigorously on heavy fabrics.  Keep soaking in cold water and rubbing until the stain is gone.

Deodorant Marks

Deodorant Marks or Streaks – Rub the inside of jeans against the deodorant stain until all white traces are gone.  Wash garment as normal with an added splash of white vinegar to remove any deodorant residue.

Dirt and Grass Stains

Dirt Stains – Mix equal parts baking soda and white vinegar, rub into spot, rinse or launder as usual.

Grass Stains – Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part white vinegar to create a paste, rub into grass stain vigorously until the grass residue is removed, rinse and launder as usual. Double check that all grass traces are gone before drying, deep grass stains may require two treatments.

Grout Grime

Grout Grime and Stains – Mix baking soda and white vinegar into a paste, add a few drops of lemon juice for every ½ cup of paste.  For small areas, an old tooth brush is the best scrubbing tool. Brush or scrub grout grime until clean, then wipe with clean wet rag to remove any sticky lemon paste.

Grease Stains

Grease or Greasy Food, BBQ Sauce Stains – Rinse off or scrape as much grease and food residue as possible. Apply liquid dish washing detergent directly to the spot and rub.  Add a few drops of water at a time, rub, add more water, and continue to rub until the stain is removed and the fabric is no longer greasy.  The friction from hand scrubbing will loosen and remove the stain.  Reduce the laundry soap when you wash the garment.

Gum Removal from Fabric

Gum in Fabric – Rub the gum area with ice or freeze the fabric.  Once the gum is frozen and hard, then carefully scrape away gum (an expired credit card or used gift card is great for scraping).  If the gum is embedded too deep, it may remove a layer of color.  This technique works well with leather, which may remove the top layer of leather and the area may need conditioning or color touch-up.

Ink Stains

Ink Stains and Stray Ink Marks – Spray the ink spot directly with vodka or other high proof, clear grain alcohol and lightly rub.  If the ink has set, or is difficult to remove, then apply more alcohol to the spot.  Hairspray can also be used to remove the ink, but may contain more chemicals depending on the brand. Rinse and apply more vodka/hairspray until stain is gone. For delicate fabrics, apply vodka/hairspray with a cotton ball to soak up the ink.


Lipstick Stains and Stray Marks on Fabric – The quick fix is to spray or pour vodka or other high proof, clear grain alcohol directly on the stain. For delicate fabric, dab stain with a vodka soaked cotton ball.  Rub the alcohol into the spot until removed, then air dry while wearing.  Another option for sturdy/thicker fabric is to rub a few drops of dish washing detergent into the spot.  Scrub thoroughly, and wash as usual.

Jewelry Cleaner

(Low Quality or Costume) Jewelry Grime – Soak in equal parts witch hazel and water for a few hours.  Rinse in water, and lightly rub with clean rag to dry.

(Precious Metals and Fine Gemstones) Jewelry Grime – Soak in white vinegar overnight.  Mix white vinegar and baking soda for light paste and brush jewelry (an old toothbrush works great).  Rinse with water, dry, and admire the sparkles.

Mustard Stains

Mustard – Rinse the backside of the fabric with cold water to remove as much of the mustard as possible without further spreading the stain.  Mix white vinegar, water, and a couple drops of liquid dish soap, then rub into spot to soak.  Add a sprinkle of baking soda to the mixture for heavier fabrics.  Rinse, and repeat rubbing mixture until the stain is gone.

Get The Stain Out! Effective stain remover techniques using natural, chemical-free products

Red Wine Stains

Red Wine, Rose, and Grape Juice Stains – Immediately cover the area with salt.  For delicate fabrics, rinse and lightly scrub with club soda until the stain disappears.  For dried on red wine stains or heavier fabrics, pour salt over the area, then slowly pour hot or boiling water over the fabric (place the fabric in a bowl or in the sink).

Smells and Bad Odor Removal

Smells and Other Bad Odor Removal – Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, lightly spray fabric, carpet, upholstery, or smelly objects to remove bad odor.  Clothes and window drapes can then be hung in a steam shower to eliminate any remaining trace of bad odors.

Sweat Stains, aka Ring Around the Collar

Sweat – Sweat stains are affectionately called “ring around the collar” for neckline sweat and “pit stains” for underarm sweat.  To remove the stain, and the odor, start with a distilled white vinegar soak.  Deep sweat stains may require more than the initial soak.  Mix vinegar and baking soda to form a paste, lightly rub the paste on the stain, rinse, and repeat until the stain is gone. For extra scrubbing power, squeeze half a lemon into the baking soda vinegar paste, then rub into the fabric with the lemon.

Sweat Stain ring around the collar
Sweat Stain ring around the collar

Toothpaste Stains

Toothpaste – Scrape as much toothpaste off the fabric as possible, and immediately soak in warm water.  Rub a couple drops of laundry detergent on the stain, rinse, and repeat until the stain is gone. Do not heat dry until all traces of the toothpaste are gone.

Wood Stains

Wood Furniture Stains – Gently rub toothpaste on any water rings.  Wipe all wood furniture with white vinegar on a rag to thoroughly clean.  Dab a little olive oil on a clean, dry rag, then lightly wipe over all wood to polish after cleaning.

2015-10-21 09.08.00
Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar are my favorite stain fighting products!

Wishing you the best to remove stains, and avoiding them in the first place.

Get the Stain Out! Proven natural chemical-free stain removal tips for common household stains including grease, ink, deodorant, blood, red wine, coffee, sweat stains and more!

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