How To Remove Any Kind Of Stain (Even Wine)

A brunette woman in a white shirt eating pizza with her hands and looking up

Let’s face it: We’re all guilty of getting a stain on our clothes from time to time. Whether it’s lipstick that slipped out of our hand and onto our shirt or a splash of oil that got on our top while cooking, no one is immune to these mini disasters. Luckily, there are a few tricks to removing even the most stubborn splotch of red wine from your favorite white jeans. Whether you’re a host, a cook or just plain ol’ clumsy, here are the most common stains and how to fight them off—for good.


Let's Get Started

Believe it or not, the main thing you need to remove ink from clothes is something many of us already use, perhaps every day: hair spray. Simply spray it directly on the ink stain and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Once the alcohol in the hair spray breaks down the ink, rinse it off with a cool, damp towel. Just make sure to fully rinse off the hair spray, or you’ll have a semi-hard spot where it was applied. Bonus tip: Always remember to lightly dab. If you rub the stain, you're only doing further damage and setting the ink even more.

Lipstick is fun to wear because it instantly makes any beauty look or outfit pop—but one little smudge and that color rubs right off onto whatever (or whoever) you just rubbed shoulders with. One thing to remember about lipsticks: They're oil-based, so you have to work quickly to remove them. According to House Cleaning Central, here's how to ensure you'll rid the stain for good:

Step 1: Place the item stain-down on a paper towel or other fabric you wouldn't mind transferring the stain onto.

Step 2: Dab a pre-treater (like dishwashing soap or another pre-treater you'd use in the laundry) over the back of the stained area, and with another paper towel, apply pressure onto the garment and press down.

Step 3: Keep changing out the paper towel so that new traces of the lipstick will be removed.

Step 4: Toss into the wash after you see that the stain is gone. (Don't throw into the dryer until you see the stain has been fully removed; otherwise, you'll set the stain.)

Oil and grease are a home cook's arch nemeses. To fight back when a simple apron just won't cut it, begin by pre-treat grease and oil stains with dish soap. This video shows you how, step-by-step:

Step 1: Take a toothbrush and dab it into the dishwashing liquid you already have in your kitchen.

Step 2: Scrub the toothbrush onto each stain in circular motions to break up the grease and oil.

Step 3. Throw the garment into the washing machine at the highest temp stated on the garment's label or as you normally would. When the cycle is up, the stain should be vanished.

Many of us stay away from red wine because we are deathly afraid of spilling it—not only on ourselves but on our hosts' white carpet, white couch, white cat, etc. But according to Real Simple, there are a few steps you can take to remove the inevitable red wine stain that burdens us all:

Step 1: Blot the stain with a damp cloth—again, do not rub; this will only make the stain worse.

Step 2: Pull the fabric to make it taut and so that only the side of the fabric with the stain is shown (placing fabric over a large bowl and using a rubber band to hold in place works well, too).

Step 3: Sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto the stain so that the damp fabric absorbs it.

Step 4: Pour boiling water about 8 inches over the stain (the perfect height to flush out stains, apparently) to rinse off the salt.

Step 5: Wash the garment in your washing machine on the hottest setting. Repeat until you don't see the stain anymore. Again—like with lipstick stains—don't throw it into the dryer until you see that the stain is fully gone.

While summer has us wearing some seriously chic frocks, we're also seriously sweating. And to put it bluntly, none of us are completely immune to the sweat stains that accumulate on our underarms when wearing white tops—no matter how much deodorant or antiperspirant we use. With some help from PopSugar, it's super easy to get yellowish underarm areas looking fresh again:

Step 1: Soak your top in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Create a paste by mixing ½ cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide.

Step 3: Lay your top that was soaking on a towel-covered flat surface and coat the stains with the paste-like mixture. Let this sit for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Wash your top with the rest of your whites, and it'll be good as new.