17 Tough Stains And How To Remove Them

5 min read
17 Tough Stains And How To Remove Them

Stains on clothing are a bugger for most of us, and when there are kids involved, there are always stains!

Here’s some information on how to remove even the toughest stains!

The general rules to removing stains are:

  • Treat immediately if circumstances allow.
  • Whenever possible, use natural products (such as white vinegar).
  • Always try the simplest method first.
  • Always experiment beforehand on an unimportant piece of material.

Here are ways to remove 17 of the toughest stains on the planet and how to remove them.

1. Lipstick

If the fabric is machine washable, saturate the spot with hair spray then leave it for about 10 minutes, then dab with a damp cloth or sponge to remove the stain. Pop it in your normal wash and the stain should be gone!

17 Tough Stains And How To Remove Them

2. Mascara

Wet the area then either rub some Sunlight or Sard soap onto the stain to remove as much of it as you can, then wash as normal. If the stain is still present after the wash, try rubbing some dish washing detergent or shampoo into the stain then pop it back in the wash.

3. Nail Polish

If you have spilt nail polish on an expensive piece of clothing or very dark colours, take it straight to your local dry cleaner! Nail polish is notoriously hard to remove. First of all, try and scrape away as much as you can with your fingernail. The best way is to use an acetate=based nail polish remover, and gently dab with a cotton bud from the outside of the nail polish in trying not to soak the fabric (or the colour will be removed too!).

Hairspray is also effective if you don’t have nail polish remover on hand!

bigstock 173280854 | Stay at Home

4. Chocolate

A little yolk of raw egg will remove chocolate stains from most materials. Rub it gently on the stain with a clean piece of linen, and afterwards, wash as normal.


5. Grass

No soap, cold water only with a cup of white vinegar in the wash.

bigstock Glass jug with apple vinegar o 220858192 | Stay at Home

6. Blood

Use soap and cold water or strong soda water. For old blood stains, use a little washing up liquid and rub the stain against itself.

7. Paint

Hot vinegar will remove paint from cotton fabrics. Equal parts of ammonia and spirits of turpentine will take paint spots out of clothing, no matter how hard and dry the paint has become. Saturate the spots several times if necessary, and then wash out in soap suds.

bigstock 177316879 | Stay at Home

8. Perspiration

Make a paste of bicarb and water and paint it onto the stain. Let it dry over a few hours, then wash as normal. To prevent sweat stains from occurring in the first place, add a cup of white vinegar to every wash.


9. Grease

Add a liberal application of washing up liquid. For best results, moisten the article with a thick lather made with hot water and then rub the soap itself vigorously on the stain. Let it stand for an hour or two, and then wash as normal in the machine.

bigstock Dirty Hands 60092318 | Stay at Home

10. Ink

Sponge the stain with methylated spirits then wash in warm soapy water and rinse.

11. Hair Dye

Use kerosene or hairspray on the stain. Time is of the essence with hair dye so get to it quickly.

bigstock The Hairdresser Paints The Wom 221598208 | Stay at Home

12. Rust

Rust stains are tricky on clothing. To remove the stain, first moisten the stain well with white vinegar. Grab a teaspoon of salt and place it on the stain and place under the sun. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so, then wash as normal. For very stubborn rust stains, boil the fabric in a mixture of two and a half cups of water and two teaspoons of cream of tartar, then rinse well.


13. Crayon

Kids will be kids, and at one stage or another, they will get crayon on their clothing. To remove the stain, grab an old toothbrush and ‘brush’ the crayon stain well – it will break up the stain. Soak in undiluted vinegar for 30 minutes or so, and wash as normal.

bigstock 220657960 | Stay at Home

14. Coffee or Tea

Lightly rub beer into the material then wash as normal. You might need to repeat a few times. This works well for carpet stains too.

15. Sudocreme

Add a little washing up liquid to the stain, lather it up slightly and wash as normal, it will come right out!

bigstock 166819859 | Stay at Home

16. Sauce

To remove a fresh sauce stain (tomato, BBQ, chilli etc) from clothing, simply apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid to the stain, rub it in gently with your fingers, then rinse in cold water. Repeat this until the stain is gone then wash as normal. If the stain has been there longer and is more “set” in, try gently rubbing a small amount of white vinegar or lemon juice into the stain (be careful if the fabric is coloured as this may cause a bleaching effect) then wash and hang out in the sun. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.

17. Poo

To remove yucky poo stains from undies and clothing, just rinse them in warm water (and scrape off any excess poo) then pour a small amount of dishwashing liquid on the stain. Gently rub this in and then pop it in a normal machine wash. You can add a cup of white vinegar into the wash as well if you wish. Then hang it out to dry under the sun for a few hours.

Have you got anymore tips to remove different stains? Share it with us!

17 Tough Stains And How To Remove Them

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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