Stain Removal from Clothes

Business Man Eating Jelly Donut Slopping Jelly on Tie.

Removing Stains from Clothing

Nobody likes getting stains on their clothes, but it’s an inevitable occurrence. Before you go out and replace your son’s grass-stained pants (again) or that blouse you accidentally spilt red wine on, try to remove the stain with items you might already have in your cupboards.

Stain removal on clothes is not difficult if you have a few basic tools. Gather these items and be prepared for any stain emergency. Here are a few of the basics items and how they can be used.

The Stain Removers and How to Use Them

Before you go and spend the extra money on that stain remover, try using some of these items that you might already have at home.

Club Soda

Club soda is a great all-purpose cleaner for almost any kind of stain; it helps keep stains from setting in clothes. This is a great stain remover of choice to use if you are in a restaurant when you have a stain emergency.

Ask your waiter for some club soda then treat again if necessary when you get home and launder the garment as you normally would or take to the cleaners.

Club soda can help a red wine stain, jelly stain, etc. from setting in permanently until you can take care of it properly.

Dishwashing Liquid

Yes, this is the same thing you wash your dishes with. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid; it’s an excellent spot remover for greasy or oily stains as well as lipstick stains.

Apply a squirt to the stained area then use your fingers to rub over the stain. Take the fabric in both hands and rub the stained area between your thumbs, let sit a few minutes then rinse in cool water. Reapply if necessary then wash as usual. Check the stain before putting the garment in the dryer.

Note: I happened to notice on the Dawn website it states this is good for treating cotton and cotton poly fabric. I have a nice blouse that I got a grease stain on and used a little Dawn to remove the stain and it worked. You may want to spot check in an inconspicuous place first on other fabrics.

Rubbing Alcohol

Although grass stains are tough to remove, rubbing alcohol is a great way to remove the green pigment from grass that is left behind on clothing.

Wet the grass stain with isopropyl rubbing alcohol and use your fingernail to work it in the stained area, let air dry. Rinse with cool water. If any stain remains, repeat again or try using a liquid dish detergent, rub it into the stain and rinse then wash as usual.


Shampoo is great for dirt, mud, makeup stains, and for that nasty ring-around-the-collar. It does not have to be a high-priced shampoo. The sample bottles that hotels give you will work great.

Rinse the area with water and remove as much dirt, makeup, etc. Apply shampoo to the stained area; rub between your thumbs and rinse.

Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is not just for faces and legs anymore. Shaving cream is an excellent all-around stain remover for things like makeup, mustard, coffee and some greasy stains.

Simply remove as much of the spill as possible, for instance if you have globed mustard on the front of your sweatshirt, take a knife and lift up as much as you can.

Now rinse the area with water and apply shaving cream to the stain. Work it in with your fingers and let sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse the shaving cream off with cool water, repeat if necessary.

There you have it, if you’re in a pinch and need a different solution to removing stains, these everyday household items can easily be used to remove many clothing stains.