You’re at dinner and someone spills red wine on your dress. Unfortunately, this is a scene that happens all too often. Unless you live your life as a recluse, stains are a common occurrence. To help you the next time this uncomfortable situation arises, we’ve put together this handy guide to teach you how to remove the toughest stains from many different types of fabric.
The first rule of stain removal is to treat it right away. The sooner you dilute the stain, the more likely it is that the stain will not be permanent. Quickly, blot the area and treat a small spot first to make sure you aren’t accidentally causing color damage to the fabric. When dealing with delicate fabrics, it is extremely important that you do not rub, this will only further embed the stain into your clothing.
Be sure to check your clothes’ tag for any special instructions to make sure you do not damage your clothing. Purchase a stain removal pen or wipes and throw them in your handbag or car, so you always have a quick method for pretreating a stain while out of the house. Pre-treat carpets, upholstery, and bath mats with a stain resistant spray that will coat your fabric to help prevent any future stains that arise.
Rather than reviewing all of the possible stains you can get, we’ve identified the four main types of stains. These include oil and grease stains, organic stains, tannin stains like red wine, and stains caused by dyes like pen ink. Nearly all of the best stain removal tactics require pre-soaking your clothing with either stain remover or dishwashing soap. Oxy-clean is another powerful stain remover. Read more to learn the specific methods for removing each of these different types of stains.