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Removing an Unknown Stain from Cotton Clothing

This is a page about removing an unknown stain from cotton clothing. Finding a mystery stain on your clothing can be frustrating. Without knowing what caused stain, it can be hard to know what might remove it. Here are some suggestions to try.


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November 29, 2010

How do I remove a stain of unknown origin from a cotton T shirt?

By carole from AZ


March 28, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it is white garment you can put cooking salt on the stain and then squeeze lemon juice from a lemon over the salt and sit garment in sun for time that the salt dries ,this worked for me and got rust from a white shirt.

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November 29, 2010

I have tried dishwasher detergent, Dawn, Oxiclean, a paste of borax, baking soda, and vinegar on a mysterious stain on a white puma cotton sweater. None of these solutions have worked. Can you help?

By dianne from Marion, MA


Removing an Unknown Stain from Cotton Clothing

White cotton should be safe to bleach. Don't apply it full strength to the stain. Mix about a teaspoon of bleach to a small cup of water, then pour a small amount of bleachy water on the stain. Let sit a few minutes as you observe. Does the stain lighten or change color? You may have to repeat the process or use more bleach, then wash it out well.



By OliveOyl

Removing an Unknown Stain from Cotton Clothing

Many, many stains can be removed simply using the 3% hydrogen peroxide you buy at the pharmacy or market. Pour a small amount on the fabric spot (dry fabric, not wet), allow to sit for a minute, rub the dampened portion of the fabric against itself and repeat if necessary. Be sure to wash immediately once stain is removed! For future reference, if you do this on colored clothing you'll want to do a test in an inconspicuous spot to check for color fastness! (09/10/2010)

By Deeli

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September 7, 2010

I need help with a stain on a cotton top. I have tried using everything to get out the stain. The thing is I don't know what the stain is or how it got there. I have washed the garment about 20 times and have tried Vanish powder so far. If anyone has any ideas it would be much appreciated. Thanks, as this is my favorite top.


By joanne from United Kingdom


Removing an Unknown from Cotton Clothing

I was amazed at how well an Oxi-clean-like product from the Dollar Store worked!

When I opened the box of saved baby clothes to give to our daughter for their new baby, I was dismayed to see a dark brown stain on the pink hand-knit sweater her Grandmother made for her over 30 years ago. I tried many things but nothing worked until I tried a tip I'd seen on ThriftyFun!

I sprinkled a couple teaspoons of the dry "Oxi-clean" on the spot, sprayed it with water and rubbed it in a bit, then let it sit overnight. I figured the sweater was ruined anyway so if this did more damage, so be it.
When I rinsed it the next day, the spot was totally gone and there was no deterioration of the pink color or the fabric! I was truly amazed! You might give that a try; it worked for me. (07/01/2010)


By Granny Lynne

Removing an Unknown from Cotton Clothing

Paint it! If the stain is in a place appropriate for a design (even on the back!), paint something. A few flower petals, a flower center, and some leaves. If it's down the front somewhere, put some flowers around the neck on a vine and cascade it down to where the spot is. Flowers come in every color and grow in so many ways, it's hard to go wrong! (Just use fabric paint and follow instructions.) If I can do this, anybody can! Good luck. (07/01/2010)

By shoe

Removing an Unknown from Cotton Clothing

Oxy powder works wonders! I use it for all stains, even used clothing with stains that I have no idea what it was. It works great on stained baby clothes. Just wet the spot with warm water, put some oxy on it, and soak in hot water overnight. Wash the next day in your regular cycle (helps your other clothes while washing) and it should come out. Good Luck! (07/01/2010)


By Jennifer

Removing an Unknown from Cotton Clothing

I agree 100% with the answers above. I don't know what makes Oxy Clean work but it sure does! You might also try washing the top in Tide with Dove Stain Remover after the Oxy treatment. I've tried this with really good results as well. (07/02/2010)

By Phyliss Taggart

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