Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stain Removers

Welcome to Barefoot Lass's Stain Removal Chart. Many of these stain removal tips have been sent in by people just like you, while others I have collected through the years from many different sources. These stain remover tips are to be used on washable fabrics only. The stains are listed in alphabetic order. I hope that you find what you are looking for!

This important info was sent in by Kelly W. from Missouri; "It is extremely important not to dry anything with a stain in it. Sometimes folks forget about checking a stain after working on it then they put it in the wash. Then they automatically put the garment in the dryer and the stain bakes in making it impossible to remove. This is especially important with ink, and protein stains. Always check your garment before putting it into the dryer!" Thanks Kelly!
Dana from Victoria, B.C. Canada writes; "For removing acrylic paint off clothes, hairspray works extremely well. Test a small spot on the item and then spray on hairspray and use your fingermail to remove the paint. Occasionally you have to wash twice, but it has never failed me!" Thanks Dana! Susan from Boisie, Idaho wanted to share this super tip with us; "Remove acrylic paint from clothes with pine cleaner. Soak, scrub, repeat. Takes some time, but it works!" Thanks a bunch Susan! Christina Nielson from Orem, Utah sent in this unique tip for getting acrylic paint stains out; "First, always clean the paint up while it's wet, and blot off the excess with a cloth or paper towel. Then douse it with Scotch using a cloth to blot and rub the paint until it is gone or substantially faded. Then wash the article with your usual detergent. Not paint or marks from the Scotch will remain." Thanks for your wonderful tip Christina!
berry BERRIESberry
Blot the stain and dip it in cold water. Rub the spot with a cut lemon, rinse, and air dry. Use prewash stain remover and then launder with warm water. Arika from San Diego writes; "FYI - pouring boiling hot water on a berry stain will get stains right out on any color clothes, even white. I know this works for sure on a fresh stain but not sure about a set stain." Thanks a bunch for sharing Arika! Also check out "Fruit Stains" below for more help with berry stains.
Allow to dry before scraping off excess. Sponge with a weak vinegar and water solution.
Amanda from Alberta Canada writes; "An easy and quick way to remove blood is to spray the area with Windex and rub a little. Then just throw it in the wash. No waiting or soaking required." Thanks Amanda! Sheri from Houston, TX writes; "Use saline solution for contact lenses to remove blood stains. Put paper towel under the fabric and squirt solution onto it. Blot to remove any left over. It draws the blood into the solution and doesn't harm the fabric like hydrogen peroxide may." Thanks Sheri! PB Morehead from Colorado Springs, CO writes; "For removing blood use table salt. Sprinkle liberally on stain, rub in and then wash as usual. Can be used on dried blood, just dampen with water and then use the salt." Thanks a bunch PB!! Darla from Herminie, Pa. writes; "Cover area with white unseasoned meat tenderizer. Apply a few drops of water to make paste. Wait 15-30 minutes, sponge with cool water." Thanks Darla! Yvonne from Miami, FL writes; "Hydrogen peroxide will remove blood better than bleach. Saturate in peroxide, leave on over night and rinse." Thanks Yvonne! Laura writes; "Hydrogen peroxide works wonders. My only complaint is it can and will erode the fabric just as much as chlorine bleach. Not take out the color but weaken the material, even demin. I've been using peroxide for years and nothing works better but soaking in peroxide is tough on fabrics." Thanks Laura! Marianne from Northern California sent in this tip; "Drench the stain with ammonia and let sit. It will not discolor clothing and always works for me." Thanks bunches Marianne! Mick from England writes; "The best way I've found to remove blood is simply soak the area in milk over night, the milk removes the blood, then wash as normal." Thanks Mick! And last but not least, my tip for a fresh spot of blood; This sounds icky, but it works, saliva will break down fresh blood stains. When you get a fresh blood stain, spit on it! Wait a few minutes then rinse, pretreat, and launder.
Place the garment in a plastic bag and put in the freezer. Gently scrape off the frozen gum with a butter knife and blot with dry-cleaning solvent. Or try loosening the gum by soaking in white vinegar or rubbing with egg white before washing.
Blot the spot and rub on some cornmeal. Brush off the cornmeal and then apply prewash stain remover, rinse. Wash in hot water. Make sure that the label allows for hot water! Another surprising tip for oil and butter stains, is good old shampoo! Just rub the shampoo on the spot with a soft brush. Let sit for a few minutes and then wash in hot or warm water. Lore from Niagara, Ontario writes; "Here is a tip to remove a butter drip from a cotton/poly pullover. I had washed and dried the pullover before I realized that I had a stain. I tried several different methods, and what finally got the stain out without damaging the sweater was rubbing the degreaser/hand cleaner that my hubby uses when working on construction equipment. I rubbed it into the sweater while damp, left for a couple of hours, then laundered as usual." Thanks so much for the tip Lore! Ev from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada sent in this great tip; "For removal of greasy food stains, sprinkle flour over the spot and let sit for a while. When you shake off the flour the spot will be gone. Launder as usual." Thanks for the tip Ev! For an old butter or oil stain, regenerate the stain first with WD-40, then rub in some undiluted dish detergent. Wash as usual.
Put the garment in the fridge for a few minutes. Then gently scrape off the excess wax. Next, put a plain brown paper bag on your ironing board. Put the garment on top of the bag. Now put another paper bag on top of the spot and iron (on low to med setting) on top of the bag. You will see a dark spot on the paper bag. Good! Now move the paper bag under the garment to a clean spot. Move the bag on top to a clean spot. Iron again then repeat the steps until there are no more spots on the bag. Then launder as usual. Steve B. from Everett, WA writes; "In all of the remedies for wax removal it has been my experience that an iron with a Teflon base should be used to prevent the wax from wicking through the paper or cloth and sticking to the iron plate." Thanks for the wisdom Steve!
Check it Out!
I've received so many great carpet stain removal tips that I had to make a whole new page for them all! There is even a tip for carpet burns and much more! Just click HERE and you will be transported there! Don't forget to return here to see all of the great stain removal tips!
candy CHOCOLATEcandy
Blot or scrape off the excess chocolate, then flush with club soda. For a tough stain: Sponge with liquid hand soap and ammonia; launder as usual. Or, try this chocolate stain remover that the Sutherlads sent in; "To get out those though chocolate stains, soak the stained article in milk." Thanks guys, I tried it and it worked for me!
mug COFFEEmug
Soak in cool water, then dab the stain with a liquid detergent like dove. Flush with cool water and let air dry.
One tip is to try blotting with dry-cleaning solvent. Another great tip to remove crayolas was this one sent in by P. Victory from Westlake, LA; "Add 1/2 cup of baking soda plus your usual amount of detergent and the hottest water setting possible on your machine. I use the soak cycle once, then turn to normal wash cycle as usual." This also works with lipstick stains. Thanks for the great tip! Here is a wonderful tip that Lee-anne from MA was kind enough to share with us for getting crayon stains out that have been washed in a whole load of laundry; "I used about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of Lestoil and about 1/2 of a small box of baking soda and 1/2 cup of regular detergent. When I finished the load, the clothes were almost cleaned so I put them through another wash with the other 1/2 of baking soda box and a little bit of bleach (because my load was dark) It got rid of every spot of crayon and my clothes are looking great again. For a dark load make sure you use a tiny amount of bleach and it shouldn't bleach your colors. But it helps get rid of any leftover stains that the first wash didn't get out." Thanks so much Lee-anne!
Patty from Las Vegas writes; "I was rushing to do laundry and neglected to look in any pockets for things. I have a four year old son. Needless to say, when I was taking the clothes out of the dryer, I noticed black spots all over the clothes and the dryer. Crayon. I've never had this problem before, so I jumped on the internet to find help. I found a lot of help for the clothes, and everyone said pretty much the same thing for the dryer drum. So, I tried the WD-40 fix, and although it worked for the stuff that you could scrape with no problem, it did nothing for the "stained" stuff, and I was scrubbing for a least an hour. So my husband went to the store and found this stuff called "Goof Off," and it worked great! You put a little bit on a rag, wipe off the mess, and you don't have to scrub. After you wipe all the mess away, you go over it with a soapy rag, and let it air out for a day. " Thanks a bunch Patty!
Rachel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia writes "If you spill or splash some curry on your blouse or dress quickly wet the stain and RUB ordinary bath soap (bar) on the spot. Then wash out the affected area with warm (hand temperature) water and place the garment along with your normal wash in the washer. Note: Do not rub liquid wash detergent directly on curry stains as it leaves brown or red spots after washing the garment." Ginny Foster from Schenectady NY writes; "Curry stains can be removed from clothes with a paste of baking soda and water. Put the garment in plastic bag overnight to keep it moist. Scrub and wash as usual. Note: Don't use plastic dishes to eat curry, they will turn yellow but can be bleached with Clorox." This last tip is from Joni from Johnstown, Pa.; "Curry stains on white fabric can be removed by smearing the stain with white non-gel toothpaste. Let set for about two hours and wash off." Thanks for the curry stain remover tips everyone!
Jolene Watson from Devon, AB, Canada writes; "I have a great tip for removing dirt stains from the knees of children's pants. You know... when they wipe out into a fresh pile of top soil? Just cut a potato in half, rub it on the stain, and let set for a few hours (or even overnight). Then just launder as usual. It really works! I've done it more than once, even on light pink jeans!" Thanks for this spectacular tip Jolene!
Dr. PepperDR. PEPPERDr. Pepper
Marsha from Missouri writes; "My 13 yr old daughter threw her WHITE cheerleading uniform in her back back with a Dr. Pepper that did not have the lid on good. Needless to say the uniform stayed in the back pack all weekend long. Then she comes crying on Monday morning, "MMOOMMMM you gotta get this clean!!" the only thing I found that took the stain out was mixing 1 cup HOT water and 1/4 cup CASCADE dishwasher detergent. Be sure to test a small hidden area for color-fastness first before doing this." Thanks a bunch Marsha!
Stretch the stained area sightly over a pot in the sink. Then pour boiling water through the stain from a height of 1 to 2 feet. Be very careful not to splash yourself with the super hot water though!!
Pre-treat grass stains on washable fabrics by sponging them first with warm water then dabbing the soiled area with un-diluted rubbing alcohol. (use a clean cloth!) Then launder item as usual. Or, combine a few drops of household ammonia with 1 tsp. of peroxide. Rub on the stain and rinse with water as soon as stain disappears. Ellyne Baker from Clinton, Iowa writes; "Grass stains are removed easily with white vinegar." Thanks Ellyne! Kathy B. from Titusville, Pa. writes; "Felsnaptha Soap is great for grass stain removal, especially on baseball and football pants. Just wet the bar of soap, rub on the stain and wash as usual. Works great!" Thanks Kathy! Last but not least, Tammy Nolff from Stuarts Draft, VA sent in this tip; "Take molasses and rub it into the stained area. then launder as usual. It has worked on all washables that I have used it on." Thanks Tammy! Jody from Madison, WI writes; "My tip is probably based on the same principle as Tammy Nolff's. I use Light Karo syrup on white baseball pants. Rub it in, wash as usual. What a time and cost saver!" You said it Jody! Thanks a bunch!!
Grease: I have received so many great grease removing tips that I had to make a new page just for grease stains! Click HERE for some of the best grease stain tips sent in by some real experts!
Kay from Reading, Pa. sent in this tip; "First, put a paper towel or a rag under the stained area to absorb the excess ink. Spray on a non-oily, alcohol based hair spray. Saturate the ink stain with the hairspray. Blot with a rag and repeat until the stain is gone. Apply prewash stain remover and launder as usual." Thanks Kay! Also, C. Pillot sent in this dandy tip; "Try milk! Yes, put the piece of cloth into a cup with milk and you'll see it vanishing... then wash or dry clean as usual." Great tip! Thanks! Seroja from Malaysia says, "For ink stains, rub with salt and wash with bath soap. It works!" Thanks Seroja! Last but not least... Nancy writes; "Use simple rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains. Take some alcohol on a rag, dab on the ink then wipe with a soft rag or paper towel. Works like a charm! This isn't sticky like hairspray." Thanks Nancy!
Tina from Florida writes; "Here is a great tip to remove ketchup or tomato sauce stains. Just pour some Mr. Clean onto the stain and let set for about 30 minutes. The stain should be gone, if not just soak a few minutes longer. Just rinse and wash as usual." Thanks a bunch Tina! Here is another tip that Barefoot Lass uses! Scrape off excess. Put a drop of lestoil on the stain and brush gently with an old toothbrush. Rinse well and launder as usual. Or, after scraping, pre-soak with a paste of water and enzyme laundry detergent, rinse, dry, then launder.
Gwen Roscoe from Illinois writes; I recently spilled red crystal light on my carpet and tried a couple different carpet stain removals and nothing worked. Then I got this tip from a friend. First take a wet white cloth and place it on top of the stain. Then place a warm iron (on a low setting) on top of the white cloth. Leave on the stain for 15 minutes. Repeat until the stain is gone. I now have my beige carpet back again, stain free! This works on Koolaid as well." Thanks for the fantastic tip Gwen! Linda McCabe from Kent Island, Maryland writes; "To remove red dye number 2 (kool aid, punch, wine, etc.) spray a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water onto the stain. Place hot, steam iron on top of damp towel covering the stain and let it set for 30 seconds. Lift the iron and the towel. The stain will have transferred onto the towel. This even works on old, set-in stains!" Thank Linda!
Got lipstick on his collar? Get it out by rubbing the stain with a generous amount of petroleum jelly, then wash as usual. Also, check out the crayon stains for another great tip that will work on lipstick stains sent in by P. Victory! Susan from New Jersey wanted to share this helpful tidbit; "Hairspray works on lipstick stains too!" Thanks Susan!
Sponge stain with cool water. Soak in solution of cool water and dish washing liquid for thirty minutes for a light stain and overnight for a heavy one. Rinse and launder.
Mustard contains turmeric which is like a dye. So mustard stains can be tough ones! First scrape off the excess mustard with a credit card or a plastic knife. Rub some glycerin (in the hand cream isle at the drug store) on the stain and let sit for an hour. Then pre-treat the stain with a stain remover such as "Shout". Launder as usual. Betty from Atlanta, GA wanted to share this tip; "Mix 3 parts of dish washing liquid with 1 part denatured alcohol. Soak the area of the stain in this for a few minutes (10-20). If the stain turns dark... don't worry, it will wash out! Rinse with hot water and wash as usual." Thanks Betty! Karon from Latrobe, Pa. sent in this tip; "If the fabric is colorfast, sponge on white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Then wash." Thanks Karon! Joan Kuchar from Washington sent in this tip; "For mustard stains on white clothing, take a denture cleaning tablet and add it to 1/2 cup of cool water. Then dip in the spot into the cup and let soak until the stain disappears." Thanks a bunch Joan!
Note: Never use ammonia on mustard!
Nail Polish
Sponge the stain with acetone based nail polish remover or banana oil, then immediately wash as usual. If stain persists, do not put item in the dryer! Try adding a few drops of alcohol and blot. Wash again. Do not use polish remover on acetate or triacetate fabric... it will “melt” the fabric!!

Linda McCabe from Kent Island, Maryland writes; "To remove red dye number 2 (kool aid, punch, wine, etc.) spray a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water onto the stain. Place hot, steam iron on top of damp towel covering the stain and let it set for 30 seconds. Lift the iron and the towel. The stain will have transferred onto the towel. This even works on old, set-in stains!" Thank Linda!
To remove ring around the collar, try this simple trick: Wet the collar with warm water, sprinkle liberally with cream of tartar and rub in well. Launder as usual.
First, never use chlorine bleach on a rust stain! Try using a commercial rust remover. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't happen to have any rust remover around the house, try one of these tips; D.G. Papillon, Chicago, Illinois writes; "The safest and best way to remove is rust is rhubarb. Cut rhubarb stalks into one inch pieces and put in a pot of water. When it comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and let sit 10 minutes. put mixture thru sieve. Toss rhubarb. soak rust stained fabric in solution for 1 hour to overnight depending on amount of rust. Works well either warm or cold. Launder item as usual. Works every time on any washable fabric." Thanks D! Or try sprinkling the rust stain with salt, rub with lemon juice and place in the sun. Keep checking the stain and make sure that it stays moist by reapplying the lemon juice until the stain disappears. Rinse well! No lemon in the house? Try this trick; Dampen the stain and then spread it with cream of tarter. Carefully hold the stained area above boiling water for a few minutes. (a kettle works well for this) Rinse well. The rust stain should fade as you rinse. Make sure that the fabric can be washed in hot water. Hope in California says: "To remove rust, especially on white clothng, it also makes whites very white, boil water adding cream of tartar and dip and boil article for a few minutes, rinse. Super white and rust free." Thanks Hope! Jamie Mayall an army wife from Butzbach, Germany writes; "I used a mixture of white vinegar and hot water to remove a 21 year old rust stain out of the gown that I wore home from the hospital. First, soak in white vinegar. Next soak in hot water and white vinegar. Check garment to make sure that the stain is removed. Then wash as usual." Thanks loads Jamie!
Melissa H. from Altanta, GA writes; "Here is a tip for removing Silly Putty from clothes: First put the clothing in the freezer for a little while, then scrape the area with a dull knife to remove what you can from the surface. Put an old towel behind the fabric, and soak it with rubbing alcohol, then rub with a piece of old towel, removing bits of putty as they flake off. you may need to soak the fabric again (and test in an unobvious place with alcohol first to make sure it doesnt remove the color). hold it up to the light to make sure all the putty is removed (repeat if it isn't). when all the putty is removed, wash as usual." Thanks Melissa!Yet another Silly Putty tip sent in by Pam; "Rub salt into the Silly Putty and it will come off!" Thanks Pam!
Rub the spot with kerosene until it is removed, then wash with detergent and water. The kerosene will not take the color out of most fabrics. But, it's always a good idea to test it first! Serena from Canada wanted to share her great tar stain remover tip with us; "Peanut butter also gets tar out, just launder after!" Thanks Serena! Barbara Crowther writes; "I have always found that eucalyptus oil is the best thing for removing tar or black oil. It works great on clothes, carpets, shoes, and clears the nose too!" Thanks Barbara!
Venu was kind enough to send this great tip in; "For Tea stains, Rinse the stained area with water, then add some lime juice and leave it for a few seconds. Rinse and wash as usual. Now you've gotta search for the tea stain!" Thanks Venu! And here is another great tip from C. R. from Ontario, Canada; "Sprinkle salt on the tea stain while it is still wet. Wash as usual." Thanks for the dandy tip!
sapTREE SAPsap
Rub the sap with an ice cube, then gently scrape off any excess sap. Sponge the stain with cleaning fluid and let air dry. Rub with detergent and launder as usual. Mary-Leah Gordon from Bothell, Washington writes; "I have found another way to remove tree sap from skin and clothing. Just rub Purell or another antibacterial hand gel on the stain. For some reason, it breaks up the sap and removes the stain. This also worked on the hood of my brother-in-law's car that had sap stains from sitting under a tree and did not damage the surface of the car at all." Thanks for the super tip Mary-Leah! Bill Drake from Nevada City, CA writes; "Because tree sap is an occasional problem when I camp, I took three substances with me to test when I recently camped and tried each of them on still-soft drops of pine tree sap that had fallen on my tent fabric: 1) Purell (I let it sit for a minute then wiped it off; it was not very effective; it got some of the sap off, but not the stickyness); 2) Mr. Clean Bug and Tar Remover (sold at my local auto supply place; not very effective) and 3) Citra-Solv, a "natural" cleaner and degreaser created from oil from oranges and sold at natural food stores (I dropped some on the sap full strength, let it sit for a minute and then wiped it off with a paper towel, and it worked great). Then I tested Purell and Citra-solv on dried tree sap (caked with dirt) on my plastc ground cloth and found the Purell ineffective whereas the Citra-solv (after sitting for a minute) was very effective." Thanks for taking the time to research these tips Bill!Kristen from Grafton, MA writes; "I learned recently that using alcohol, such as vodka, can remove tree sap from clothing. I rubbed a little vodka into the sap on the clothing and then washed the item as I normally would and the sap was gone!" Thanks loads Kristen!
Melissa Kelly from Glasgow, UK writes; "The best way to remove turmeric stains is to rub the area with a lemon wedge and leave to dry in direct sunlight (Don't worry if its overcast, I live in Scotland and it still worked!)" Thanks for the great tip Melissa!
For red wine, soak with white wine! Then rinse with cool water and wash with an enzyme laundry detergent. Diver writes; "To remove wine from washable fabric soak stain in club soda, then wash in cold water." Thanks Diver! Cindy Wilson wanted to add her super wine stain tip; "Pour salt over the stain. The salt will soak up the wine. Then vacuum." Thanks Cindy! Joy from Seattle, WA writes: "Soak the wine stained item in milk overnight. In the morning, rinse the item well and wash as usual. This really works!" A Winemaker from Sonoma, Ca. writes; "Whole milk or half and half immediately poured on red wine stains will remove the stain like an eraser. It's the fat in the milk. It absorbs the molecules. Let it soak awhile to penetrate and absorb; the red will disappear immediately, but if it's on a carpet give it time, carpets are treated to repel liquids." Thanks Ms. Winemaker! Karen Barrie, from Canada writes; "An excellent way to remove red wine stains, even if they have been sitting overnight, is a 50-50 mix of Dawn dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Just let it sit a few minutes, then wash as normal. It works amazingly, and it has never removed the color from any of my garments!" Thanks Karen!


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