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13 Stubborn Stains and How to Remove Them

Check out these infamous stains and learn how to clean them for good.


Stains on your clothing, furniture and your carpet are the definition of frustrating. But before you throw away that blouse you accidentally spilled red wine on, or retire your child's good jeans because of grass stains, try some of these helpful tips.

Before We Begin

  • The most important aspect of stain removal is pre-treating as soon as possible. The sooner you can soak or pre-treat a stain, the better your chances of being able to remove it.
  • When pre-treating, always test a discreet area of fabric with a pre-treating solution to make sure the product doesn’t damage your garment.
  • Try an enzyme detergent. These detergents are specifically formulated to break down proteins and lift out stains.

Grass

  1. Apply stain treatment or detergent directly to the grass stain, and then rub fabric together.
  2. Without washing off the detergent, wash the garment with other items like you normally would.
  3. Use diluted white vinegar to remove any remaining colour. (Tip: Test for colourfastness first. Apply hot vinegar to an inconspicuous area of the garment with a cotton swab, and let it sit for one to three minutes before applying a paper towel to the area. If no colour comes off on the towel, the garment is colourfast, and you can continue to pre-treat with vinegar.)

Red Wine

  1. Cover the stain with a handful of salt. The salt should begin to absorb the colour, turning the salt pink.
  2. Soak garment in cold water with enzyme detergent and allow it to soak overnight.
  3. If you can't get home to wash your garment right away, try treating it with Tide to Go stain remover.

Chocolate

  1. Remove excess chocolate from the garment.
  2. Pre-treat the stain by pouring Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid directly onto the stain. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help spread the detergent into the garment’s fibers, or gently rub the fabric together. Let sit for five to ten minutes.
  3. Without rinsing off the detergent, wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated.

For alternative steps and extra tips, watch this video from Tide.

Chewing Gum

  1. Test for colourfastness. Apply hot vinegar to an inconspicuous area of the garment with a cotton swab, and let it sit for one to three minutes before applying a paper towel to the area. If no colour comes off on the towel, the garment is colourfast, and you can continue to pre-treat with vinegar.
  2. Soak the garment in hot vinegar for one to three minutes.
  3. Gently remove loose gum, and repeat step 1 until the gum has been completely removed.
  4. Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated.

Fruit Juice

  1. Rinse item in cold water to dilute the stain.
  2. Pour Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid directly onto the juice stain. Make sure you completely cover it, and let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Without rinsing off the detergent, wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated.
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Coffee

  1. Run cold water over the stain. Pour Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid detergent onto the stain, and rub the fabric together gently or use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help work the detergent into the fibers of the garment. Let it stand for a few minutes.
  2. Without rinsing off the detergent, wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated.

Mud

  1. Allow the mud to dry and brush off as ouch as you can. Using a gentle detergent and some water, rub the fabric to create suds. After rinsing, if there are any remaining stains, use one part white vinegar and one part water to remove and finish with a wash in an enzyme detergent.
  2. For items that can't go in the washing machine, let dry and brush off as much mud as you can. Use a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and a cup water to work on the stain. Rinse with cold water.

Grease

  1. If possible, rinse the stain immediately with cold water. Gently rub Dawn dish soap onto the stain to help loosen it, and then rinse with water. Repeat if necessary.
  2. Gently apply and rub Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid detergent directly into the grease stain. Saturate the stained area, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Without rinsing off the detergent, wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated.

Ink

The most commonly known remedy has to be hairspray! Place a Bounty paper towel under the stain and spray the ink until saturated. Let it soak for several seconds then blot ink stain with another clean cloth. Repeat this process until gone and wash in enzyme detergent.

Blood

  1. Soak in cold water, gently rubbing the spot with your fingers. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need to change the water as it begins to turn pink from the blood coming out of the clothing.
  2. Rinse, blot then soak in cold water. Use a stain remover and allow it to sit before washing.

Perspiration

  1. Use a prewash stain remover and allow it to sit as directed. Wash item in the hottest water recommended for the fabric using an enzyme detergent and oxygen bleach.
  2. To remove perspiration odors from clothing, wash garments in Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defense laundry detergent pacs, which are specifically designed to fight tough set-in odors.

Ketchup and Other Tomato-Based Substances

  1. Whenever possible, rinse under cold running water right away.
  2. Soak garment in warm water and dab the spot with a sponge that has been coated with dishwashing soap.

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Twyla

Twyla

Reported

If you spray any fabric that has gotten blood on it before you wash it with hydrogen peroxide it will take the blood stain right out. You may have to spray it a couple of times until it is quite wet but wait half a minute or so and the blood will be completely gone.

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