Our clothes seem to be stain magnets; some are very difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing stains on clothing.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
When trying to remove a stain from clothing, use an old battery operated toothbrush to work the pretreatment into the fabric. If the stain is small, you can dip the toothbrush in the pretreatment solution and keep your hands clean.
By Cheryl from Missouri
To get those horrible red koolaide, ketchup or any color stain out of your white countertop - spray on Dawn Power Dissolver - let sit a few minutes, if stubborn use Dawns twirling dish brush and wash up. That easy. It has been wonderful find. Love Dawn.
This tip is for removing purple stains (Pedialyte) on white cotton shirts. You'll need a mixing bowl, a rubber band, the fabric with the stain, peroxide, and white vinegar. Place the fabric over the mixing bowl centering the stain within the rim of the bowl. Use the rubber band to hold the fabric in place by wrapping it around the edge. This is to keep the process neat and clean by catching the liquids. Pour the peroxide on the stain, gently rubbing the stain with your fingertip. Repeat this as many times as it takes, you'll see the stain just disappear. Then remove fabric from bowl, rinse with vinegar for one minute. Finally throw the fabric in the wash on a cold cycle. You'll be amazed, my brother was going to throw a shirt away, a high dollar shirt, but I saved it.
Here is a tip for keeping clothes nice longer! I have had to throw out clothes with small stains, because we didn't notice them soon enough to treat the stain. I have started keeping a laundry stain stick next to each of my hampers. Now whenever anyone undresses, they can quickly look over their clothes and treat small stains right away.
By Amy from Austin, Texas
Each of my laundry baskets has either a handle or holes on sides. If I see an item in the laundry pile that needs special attention such as pre-treatment, I will thread that item through the handle or holes. This allows me to remember to treat that item, but it also alerts my hubby to not wash that item. He doesn't do laundry often but when he does, he knows not to mess with those items. It saves both my time in fighting the stain, and fighting with him over washing something he wasn't supposed too.
By Denise from Nebraska
I had lots of little marks and stains on my soft furniture after my grandchildren stayed for 3 weeks. I was quite distressed, as I did not want to ruin the fabric during a cleaning bout. I came across an old electric toothbrush, and when I replaced the batteries, it worked great as a small stain remover when dipped into a stain removing liquid designed for clothes.
I consider this little electric brush one of my most valuable tools now. I have arthritis and also weakened muscles. This is a miracle. Try it on clothes, shoes, actually anything including walls, even stovetops.
By joanfry from Europe
I really can't take any credit for this tip at all, except to tell you that it works. I used it to remove human urine from the decorative contour rug around our commode. Recently, someone from ThriftyFun suggested it and all credit to her.
I'd never been able to fully remove these urine stains. And believe me, I used everything. I used so much bleach that the rugs faded. In fact, I just got into the habit of buying new rugs regularly. This time, I wet a white rag with water and sprinkled a few drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid on it and rubbed it into the stain. I did work it in very well, but not for a long time.
I washed the mat with the highest setting of hot water, bleach (I don't measure bleach; I just count as I pour it, so I counted to 10 for the bleach). I use the cheapest laundry detergent I can find, but always less than they suggest. For the first time in ten years of marriage the stain came out. I couldn't believe it. No more Resolve or anything else for me. I'm going to try Dawn on every single stain and see what happens. Next time, I'm not going to use any bleach either.
Just one more thing. I threw away the rag I used to rub the Dawn into the urine spot. I only use white rags anyway to clean and I have a ton of them so if they get ratty or stained badly I throw them out. Sorry, but I can't stand dirty rags! They're just plain white bar towels or washcloths, the kind you get at Walmart 10 for $3.00. When I wash my rags I "count" the bleach to about 20, add my cheap detergent, but always less than they recommend.
I always, always use lots of water and less laundry. My mother taught me that the secret to clean bright laundry is lots of water and less soap. It always works for me. When the laundry and bleach are agitated together, I keep the lid open on the washing machine and let them soak in the bleach water, sometimes for most of the day. Then I close the lid and let the cycle finish. My rags are glowing white. I'm so proud! I hope you'll try Dawn and post your results.
By metroplex from Houston, TX
Awesome cleaner from the Dollar Store works great on every stain there is. From grease to grass stains on fabric, and will not affect the color of fabric! It is great for cleaning everything from lawn furniture to stove tops. It is well worth a dollar!
By Beverly C. from Hanover TWP., PA
I spilled red jello all over the front of my white pants. It had dried before I could get home. No remedy seemed to work so I tried carpet spot and stain remover. After spraying it on and letting it sit for about 5-10 minutes, no more stain.
By Imtomi from Philadelphia, PA
I keep a spray bottle of laundry stain remover by our dirty basket so when there is a stain, I spray it on the item of clothing before putting it in the laundry basket. This way it has a longer time to work and I don't have to remember which item has the stain.
By Dizzee from Woodstock, IL
I have on several occasions used the hand cleaner Goop as a spot remover. I have used it on items that have gone through the washer and dryer with grease spots. Put Goop on the stain and rub it in. Leave it on from 5 minutes to a day or two before washing. If the stain doesn't come out the first time, try again. It will often come out the second time.
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
I wanted to get stains out of my kids clothes and of course my family, I tried everything. So to get the water in Nebraska to soften more, I used Cascade with bleach, then to protect all colors in our clothes I used Clorox II. I soaked the clothes in hot water for an hour, it worked perfectly. I tied it on hands me downs and it still work great. I used a cup of each product per load.
By 6956 from 88olds88
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Here are questions related to Removing Stains on Clothing.
How do I remove a coffee stain on a white cotton shirt?
How can I remove set in stains from clothing?
By Brandi from Ontario
The best only cost a dollar. Most dollar stores carry this product. You can even use it in the wash. It is called awesome. Its a multi-purpose degreaser. It works amazing spray it on stains let it sit a few minutes then throw in wash.
My husband spilled coffee on his new cotton robe and then put in by the washer and drier. I was not told of the stain and when I came across the stain it was approximately 3 hours later. I sprayed the stain with Shout, let it sit for 5 minutes and then laundered as usual with warm water. I did not notice the light stain when I removed the robe from the washer and then dried it. Now I have a light stain and a not happy husband; so how do I remove a set in coffee stain on a cotton robe?
If all that fails then you can moisten the spot pour lemon concentrate on it and salt it down good with salt and lay flat in sun and it will draw it out.
I accidentally washed an Old English staining rag in my load of colored clothes and now I need to know how to get the stain spots out of my clothes. Please help!
I made a French hand sewn dress for my daughter, 26 years ago. It is a light lavender color and cotton. A small light brown spot is on it. How can I get it out for my granddaughter to wear?
By Melinda from MS
By kathleen williams03/19/2010
I use vinegar to remove stains from a white evening gown, apply it several times ,put in sunshine,i f that don't work, if you have a piece of that fabric left you can cut out the stain & sew the fabric on the under side or get an iron on patch to mend it, good luck.
I'm looking for a stain remover for all kind of stains, similar to those used in laundry shops. If you can help me in this case (to buy), please answer me. Thank you.
I have a plain white t-shirt. I noticed the last time that I washed it, it came out of the washing machine, with 3 small black spots on it. These spots, weren't on my other clothes. I ran a washing machine cleaning (no clothes) with chlorine liquid bleach and hot water. Then, I did treating, of the shirt with Dawn dish detergent and tried washing it again. No luck. Please advise. Thank you.
By L. Lackey
By Carol Swanson10/07/2013
If you think these black spots are dots from a black ink pen, spray the dots with hair spray and then wash as usual. The ink should start to "run" when you spray it. If it doesn't "run," its not ink.
If you think it might be mold, you'll need to use another method. Clothes left to sit in a washing machine tend to get moldy. Thats why they get a sour smell. It is the mold starting to form.
Best wishes always.
I was using Old English scratch cover on my coffee table, the dark stain, and accidentally got spots of this stain on my cream colored top. How do I remove this stain. Thanks for any advice out there.
By bettydeboop from Middleton, NH
I use spray and wash with resolve. It works really well. Just spray it rub the cloth and wash it.
I just realized that my lambskin Chanel bag has an inch long light blue ink mark on the side. I do not know how long it has been there. Does anyone know a safe technique to remove ink stains from soft, taupe-colored lambskin without drying it out and removing the color. I have not touched it yet because I am afraid I will mess up the material. Thanks!
Cat from Penn.
By (Guest Post)07/23/2005
I would suggest to go to the Chanel shop. I guess that as Louis Vuitton they have an after sales service to clean and mend bags. They will know the right way to clean it without damaging the leather.
I love Gymboree clothing, however as you know Gymboree stains really badly. I tried everything but nothing works. Any suggestions?
By (Guest Post)10/16/2008
Best product ever is M30. you can get it at dollar general in a tub for 1.00. A lady who owns a consignment store told me about it.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have three white shirts that have set in stains. One has a mysterious blue stain, the other a yellow stain (maybe oil of some sort), and the other has a small black grease stain. Anyone have a solution on how to remove them? Any help would be appreciated. There is nothing else wrong with the garments.
Erin from PA
Although the ingredients seem deadly to laundry, I've used this method a dozen or more times on many different fabrics and have never had any negative results. In fact, it has removed the stain(s) 99% of the time. I was at a thrift shop the other day where all clothes in one room were 10 cents each! There were several items I bought for 10 cents that had a small stain or two but seemed worth the chance of trying to get the stain out for the price. I will soak them overnight in the above solution.
Good luck (10/31/2004)
By suzi homemaker
On the stains I rubbed some Shout Gel and then I took some powdered Borax and rubbed it into the gel/stain too and threw it in the wash and crossed my fingers. I also took one of my daughters stained shirts and did the same and threw it in as well. The old set in stains all came out! Completely gone! I was amazed.
Needless to say I have been going through all our old set-in stained clothes to give them new life! (06/14/2005)
I shop at consignment stores for my eBay store and I have several things with set in stains on them. I have tried everything from Dawn and Clorox 2 to carpet cleaner. Nothing works. Please help!
Victoria from Greenwood, AR
I tried first by using my trusty "Shout" stick and washing in warm water per label instructions, that didn't make any difference in the stains. Next I came here and tried some of the tips suggested above. I mixed dish soap (Dawn) with borax and scrubbed the paste in the stains with a toothbrush. They didn't move. Next I scrubbed the stains with bleach and liquid laundry soap, set them in the washer with boiling water overnight and washed first thing in the am with hot water. That faded them some, but they were still noticeable and not one (even the very small) had disappeared altogether. Finally in frustration, I soaked the shirt in lemon juice, wrung it out and set it out in a very sunny place to hang and dry. The stains are now completely gone! Not a trace anywhere. It's hard to say if the whole lot of treatments finally "wore them out" or if it was the lemon juice and sunshine that would have won the day after all. Thanks for all the help! (06/13/2008)
For carpet stains: Do as above, but add just a bit of regular bleach to the dishwashing liquid steps, but do NOT use regular bleach for darker carpets! Also, do not scrub the stains on your carpet, just soak and blot up the liquids. These steps have taken out set carpet stains, pet urine stains, and even soy sauce out of my beige speckled carpet! (Part of the carpet was quite darker in color and the tiny bit of bleach didn't hurt it, but, again, I wouldn't risk it on darker carpets. (01/29/2009)
By Kathy W.