What Home Remedies Get Stains Out of Clothes?

Medically Reviewed on 12/30/2020

What home remedy gets stains out of clothes?

You can use several home remedies to remove stains from clothing.
You can use several home remedies to remove stains from clothing.

A stain can ruin clothing. The average American throws away about 79 pounds of clothing per year because items are stained or faded. Treating a stain as soon as you notice it is important. The longer the offending mark sits on your clothes, the more embedded it becomes in the fabric. Additionally, synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon or blends absorb the stain even more. Sometimes, washing clothing under running water is enough to remove a stain. Below are a few common home remedies to remove stains from clothes

  • Water is the first line of defense. Rinse, blot, dab and repeat. Water by itself can’t do much damage.
  • Vinegar is a natural and effective stain remover. When using it on wool or synthetics, use sparingly and consider spot testing on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Rubbing a lemon slice over a stain is a highly effective remedy to remove many stains. It also preserves the color of the fabric.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing blood or rust stains. Hydrogen peroxide has a bleaching effect though and it will cause the fabric to lose color. It is best used on white fabric.
  • Detergent/stain remover can be used to scrub stains out before you launder clothes. Stain removers have special enzymes to help remove stubborn stains.
  • Rubbing alcohol may be effective for removing ink, dye and chemical-based stains.
  • Ammonia is a common and useful household cleaning chemical. Dilute it in a spray bottle. Never mix ammonia with bleach.
  • Dish soap is a mild and versatile solvent. Mix it with water and use it on stains. Dish soap is effective on grease, condiments and just about anything.
  • Mineral spirits/acetone remove paint stains, but they can be harsh on synthetics.
  • Bleach may be effective, but harsh. Bleach is usually the last option for removing stains from whites.

Common stain removers include

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • OxiClean
  • Natural soap (such as Fels-Naptha)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Borax

Use the following to remove different types of stains 

  • Tea or coffee stains: Immediately pour boiling water over the stain until it is gone. If it has already set, scrub it with a paste of borax and water and wash the garment immediately.
  • Grass stains: Scrub with liquid dish soap or treat the area with a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) and water mix.
  • Mud stains: Let the stain dry and brush off what you can. Then, scrub it with a borax/water paste and wash it immediately.
  • Tomato-based stains: Treat the area with white vinegar and wash it immediately.
  • Dingy whites or underarm deodorant stains: Soak the stain directly in a mix of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water for 30 minutes and then add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to the mix. For tough yellow stains, make a paste of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and rub it into the stain. Leave it on for 5 minutes before laundering.
  • Other food stains: Treat with a mix of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water and soak.
  • Grease and oil stains: Sprinkle the stain with dry baking soda to remove any loose oil or grease and brush it off. Then, soak in undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes and rinse and scrub with liquid dish soap before washing.
  • Vomit, urine, poop, blood, egg, gelatin, glue or other protein-based stains: Do not wash in warm water. This will trap in odor. Soak in cool water and then wash in the washing machine with an additional mixture of half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of baking soda.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 12/30/2020
Medscape Medical Reference

American Cleaning Institute