STORAGEWORKS - February 29, 2024

The Ultimate Stain-Removal Guide: DIY Tips to Keep Your Clothes Spotless

We've all been there - wearing your favorite top only to spill coffee or wine right on the front. Or your brightly colored shirts somehow attract stains like magnets. Talk about frustrating.

In this handy guide, you'll learn how to banish those unpleasant stains from cherished clothes and make them look brand new again. We'll provide easy step-by-step instructions for getting out all kinds of stubborn stains, from oily salad dressing spatters to lush red wine.

With the right techniques, like cold water, dish soap, and other DIY formulas, you can outsmart stains and keep your wardrobe looking its best for less. Read on to become a stain removal master!

The Ultimate Stain-Removal Guide: DIY Tips to Keep Your Clothes Spotless

All these hanging organizers feature strong boards to support the weight of your belongings safely and to keep the shelves from losing shape. They also have useful side pockets to hold your smaller items while giving you easy access to the contents. The elegant, minimalist style means they can be employed openly, and they will blend into your decor with ease. Ideal for storing sweaters, shirts, knitwear, pants, handbags, shoes, hats, socks, ties, etc. Also, they are all collapsible, meaning that they can be easily stored when not in use.

Outsmarting Stubborn Fruit Stains

Few things seem as innocent as the juices from fresh summer fruits, but vibrant berry, peach, or watermelon stains can be tricky to take out. When fruit decides to leave its mark on your shirts or pants, don't panic. Arm yourself with these fruit stain removal tips and watch them disappear.

Act Fast!

The quicker you can treat fruit stains after they happen, the better. As soon as you notice that strawberry or mango blob, spring into action. Blot the stain immediately with a clean paper towel or cloth to soak up excess juice. This will prevent colors from setting further into the fabric.

Bust Out the Dish Soap

An excellent household item for tackling set-in fruit stains? Good old dish soap! Apply a few drops directly on the stain and gently scrub the spot with a toothbrush. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing. The soap will break down sugars and lift stubborn stains caused by fruits' natural pigments.

Try Hydrogen Peroxide

No dish soap on hand? No worries - head to the medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide is magical when it comes to obliterating fruit stains. Pour some straight onto the stain, let bubble for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water before washing as normal. Say goodbye to even berry stains that look resolutely set in.

Wash in Cold

Always wash fruit-stained items using the cold-water setting. Hot water can set in stains, whereas cold water helps lift them away. To get clothes ultra clean, you'll want to pre-treat stains with dish soap or hydrogen peroxide first before washing.

Conquering Oil Stains

Greasy oil stains are pesky, especially if you have butterfingers around salad dressings and oils when cooking. But don't retire a beloved blouse just because Crisco attacked it. Tackle even intense, set-in oil stains on clothing with a few tried and true tricks.

Blot Gently

Immediately start blotting excess oil. Avoid aggressive scrubbing right away, as that can push the stain further into the fabric. Gently dab from the backside of the fabric instead, working from the edges of the stain inward. This helps lift oil away without smearing.

Sprinkle on Cornstarch

Cornstarch is an absorbent ingredient perfect for soaking up oily messes from clothes. Cover the entire stain area with cornstarch, pressing into the fabric. Let it sit for 30 minutes to give the cornstarch time to extract oils. Then, shake off the residue before the next step.

Break Out the Dish Soap

Good old dish detergent is a powerhouse for breaking down oils. Apply a few drops directly onto the stain and let it penetrate for several minutes. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. This method can rescue clothes from intense oil stains that already look hopelessly set in.

Wash Promptly

Don't let pretreated oil stains sit too long before washing. For best results, launder oily clothes the same day you remove stains to avoid new oil rings. Hot water can set oily residues so stick to cold or warm cycles.

A person putting clothes into the washing machine.

What About Red Wine Stains?

A splash of red wine can instantly put a damper on an evening and leave behind a lasting stain. Red wine is notorious for setting into fabrics and being difficult to remove. Thankfully, you can save your clothes from a red wine catastrophe without too much trouble. You can bid adieu to pink cabernet stains on your whites with rapid response and a few handy tricks.

Blot Quickly

When red wine spills, each second counts. Immediately blot the fabric with a cloth or paper towel to soak up excess wine. Avoid scrubbing, or you may end up forcing the pigment further into the weave. Carefully dab it up instead.

Use Seltzer Water

The bubbles in seltzer work wonders at lifting fresh red wine stains. Pour seltzer liberally over the stain. Let it fizz for a few minutes while the carbonation helps pull out the wine. Blot occasionally with a cloth. The seltzer neutralizes acids and loosens color.

Bust Out Baking Soda

For more stubborn dried-in wine stains, make a thick baking soda paste. Mix baking soda and just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Gently rub it onto the stain using a damp cloth, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse. The alkaline baking soda neutralizes acids in wine to remove discoloration.


Before washing wine-stained clothes, apply a pre-wash stain remover. Oxyclean mixed with water makes an excellent stain-attack solution. Or try a few squirts of hydrogen peroxide. This gives clothes an extra wine-fighting boost in the wash cycle.

Conquering Chocolate Stains

Chocolate is delicious, but chocolate stains? Not so much. Since it contains fat and natural pigments, chocolate can easily stain clothing, especially lighter fabrics. But don't despair if you've been a victim of a chocolate spill disaster. Using common household items, you can still salvage your favorite sweaters, shirts, and other items.

Let Dry & Scrape

If the chocolate stain is still wet or sticky, let it partially dry first before removal. Avoid smearing the stain while wet. Once dryish, gently scrape off any excess chocolate globs with a dull knife. This prevents the sugar and cocoa butter from penetrating deeper.

Use Dish Soap

Dish detergent is a powerhouse for breaking up chocolate's fatty oils that cause stains. Apply a few drops of Dawn directly onto the stain. Gently rub the spot using an old toothbrush and let it sit 5-10 minutes before rinsing. The soap molecules will cut through the oils.

Try Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide also does an excellent job at removing set-in chocolate stains, even on delicates. Pour peroxide liberally over the stain. Let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, allowing it to break down residual oils and pigments. Rinse thoroughly before washing.

Wash Cold

Always wash chocolate-stained clothes using cold water. Hot water can set in chocolate stains, whereas cold water lifts them away. Wash soaked or pretreated items ASAP for best results.

A person folding clothes.

Keep Stains Away with These Tips

When stains happen, act quickly by blotting and pretreating spots before tossing items in the wash. Harness the power of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, seltzer water, and other household staples to break down and lift stains away. Remember to always use cold water cycles and wash soon after pretreating.

Why let stains win when you can easily salvage clothes using everyday items already in your home? With the proper methods, you can confidently wear those favorite shirts without fear of new stains, knowing you have the know-how to make them look good as new.