Home Care

Effective Ways to Remove Food Stains

Be it coffee, chocolate or a spot of gravy—you can get rid of these marks with these hacks

Photography: (Main Photo)

Whether you love to cook, bake or you’re a bit of a messy eater, we're sure you'll agree when we say that dealing with food stains is a tough chore. Upholstery, clothing, and table linen seem to end up soaked in grease, juice, sauce or bits of food—no matter how careful we are. While stain-removing sprays and pens are handy to have, they can be expensive in the long run. As an alternative, you can try these safe and effective hacks: 

Gravy, mustard or any type of sauce

  • Make a paste from powdered detergent and water. Apply it onto the stain and rub it lightly. Once the stain comes off, wash the garment as you normally would.
  • Start by blotting up excess liquid or scraping off bits that have solidified. Sauces have a tendency to act as a dye so it's easily absorbed by fabric. Try soaking the item in color-safe bleach and cool water overnight before washing it. 

Fruit juices

  • Mix equal parts dishwashing liquid and white vinegar. Apply the mixture onto the stained area and leave it to dry for 15 minutes to half an hour. Rinse it off with warm water then follow with washing the garment as you normally would.  

Coffee or chocolate

  • Mix together a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, half-teaspoon of ammonia and cool water. Blot it onto the stain with a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid any form of scrubbing or rubbing to avoid spreading the stain. Repeat the process until all the chocolate is transferred onto the washcloth. Wash the garment as you normally would. 

Red wine

  • Baking soda or salt are the secret ingredients to beating wine stains. Apply either one onto the stain and let it absorb all the pigment and liquid. Dab off with paper towels and repeat the process until you’re left with a light stain. Wash the garment immediately. 

PHOTOS and SOURCES: (Main) | | How Stuff Works—Home and Garden (10 Worst Food Stains and How to Remove Them

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