Building Wardrobes That Make You Shine

How To Remove Common Clothing Stains (plus FREE download)

woman in white shirt eating spaghetti in red sauce

You’re investing a lot of thought, time, and money into your wardrobe. You owe it to yourself to care for it properly so it lasts year after year. The key to successful removal of stains is acting quickly and using the right method for the type of stain and fabric involved. Here are some common clothing stains and methods for removing them:


little boy with muddy hands reaching for hug

General Tips

– Always check the garment’s care label for specific instructions.

– Test any stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.

– Never rub a stain, as it can spread it further into the fabric.

– For tough ones, you may need to repeat the treatment or use a specialized remover.


white blouse with ink stain on pocket

Ink Stains

For Ballpoint Ink: Dab rubbing alcohol onto the stain until it lifts.

For Water-Based Ink:  Try using a mixture of vinegar and water, or hairspray. Blot until it disappears.


cappuccino overflowing onto saucer

Coffee or Tea

Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water and blot the stain. Rinse with cold water afterward.


little boy smiling with tissue held to nose

Blood Stains

Rinse immediately with cold water. For fresh stains, soak in cold water with salt or ammonia before washing. For older ones, try hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of meat tenderizer and water.


hot oil in frying pan

Grease or Oil

Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder onto the stain to absorb excess oil. Let it sit for a few hours, then brush off. Wash with dish soap or laundry detergent.


several compacts of makeup with crushed powder on table


Use a pre-treatment stain remover or apply dish soap directly to the area. Gently work it into the fabric before washing.


red wine splashing into wine glass

Red Wine

Blot with a clean cloth to absorb excess wine. Cover the stain with salt or baking soda to draw out more liquid. Rinse with cold water and launder as usual.


mother in white shirt doing plank stand with daughter on back


Yellow marks under the arms or around the neck? Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water, and apply it to the area. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.


grass stains on kid's jeans at knees

Grass Stains

Apply a mixture of vinegar and water or rubbing alcohol. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing.


chocolate souffle with sauce oozing out onto plate


Scrape off excess chocolate, then apply dish soap directly to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together and rinse with cold water.


image of Tide website's stain remover page

Your Backup

Tide has a terrific stain removal resource on their website. You just enter your offender and they’ll tell you exactly how to get rid of it.


image of laundry stain removal guide

Free Download

I’ve included a FREE downloadable Laundry Stain Removal Guide  so you have all the information above at your fingertips when you need it. Keep it in your laundry area with your supplies (see below) for your next style emergency.


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(Note: clicking on the following products will take you right to them! If you choose to purchase something, WWTNT may get a commission at no additional fee to you. But don’t worry, being a seasoned stylist, I only choose products I truly value and think will successfully meet your needs.)

Your Arsenal

Whether you’re in the laundry room or on the go, these tried and true stain fighters are smart to have on hand.



Edit Your Closet Course

You’ll learn how to properly care for the rest of your wardrobe in my course, The Right Way To Edit Your Closet, A Stylist’s Step-By-Step Guide To A Streamlined Wardrobe.

Learn how to edit your closet like a pro, which wardrobe essentials you need, closet organization, outfit formulas, and so much more!  

Until then,



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