Home Care

Basic Stain Removal Guide

Having a tough time removing stains? We've got a couple of handy hints that may just help you


There is no magic technique when it comes to removing unwanted stains and spots. The key is knowing which cleaner works best on certain materials. This will help you deal with tough stains as well as make washing clothes much easier and more efficient.  

When clearing out stains, it is necessary to identify what type of stain it is. There are three types that you need to take note of: water soluble (human and animal substances such as blood, vomit, etc.), solvent soluble (greasy substances like butter, mayonnaise, etc.) or a combination of both water and solvent soluble (nail polish, adhesive tape, etc.). Let the list below guide you.

Keep these handy hints in mind:

Important: This list is applicable to washable items only.


Turn your clothing inside out then apply white vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes. If the stain is still visible, use a stronger solvent like oxygen bleach.


Using a sponge, blot the stain lightly with white vinegar or dishwashing soap.

Fruits and Vegetables

Wash the stain with bleach or a non-abrasive stain remover.

Coffee or Tea

Flush the area with white vinegar then soak it in bleach (if necessary).

Ballpoint ink

Remove ball pen ink scratches by gently dabbing it with wet tissue paper and rubbing alcohol. Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed.

Vomit or Blood

Spray the area with a diluted dishwashing solution. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.


Gently scrape off the excess chocolate stains and soak it in dishwashing soap.

Photo from washingtonpost.com.

Wax or Gum

Use ice to freeze the gum and to make it easier to scrape off. Rinse the area with rubbing alcohol and let it dry.


Scrape off the excess lipstick to avoid smearing. Apply acetone or chlorine bleach to the area then scrub it off using a soft-bristled brush.


Shake off the excess mud residue then soak the area with stain in a cleaning solution (liquid soap mixed with bleach). 


Soak the material with stain in hot water mixed with diluted soap. If the stain is still visible, use bleach to scrub it off.

Red wine

Soak the stained material in a bowl of cold water then let it sit for 30 minutes. After soaking, spray it white vinegar or bleach then brush it gently.

Soy sauce

Spray the area with diluted dishwashing soap then flush with water. If the stain is still visible, add a few drops of white vinegar then rinse.


Scrape off the excess ketchup residue then soak it in a tub with non-abrasive cleaner or dishwashing soap. If there are still red stains, add a few drops of white vinegar.

Photo from oprah.com.

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