How to Remove Stubborn Stains (Coffee Stains, Wine Stains And More!)

by June Chen
LIFESTYLE  |  August 22, 2017
  • Remove stains like a pro
    1 / 9 Remove stains like a pro

    You know what’s frustrating? When you’re wearing your favourite white top (or your branded leather bag) and your buttery fingers get the better of you. The next thing you know, you’ve spilled your americano on your blouse. Just perfect.

    You can try to scrub your blouse but these stubborn stains are here to stay. Here’s where our guide comes in handy – we teach you how to get rid of common stubborn stains.

    First things first: You have to pre-treat as soon as you get the stain on your clothing. The earlier you do so, the higher the chances of you being above to remove it. Even if you’re trapped outside, try to scrub the stain with some soap at the nearest toilet possible. When you get home, practise the following steps for each respective stain.

    All photos:

    A version of this article originally appeared on

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  • Red wine
    2 / 9 Red wine

    So you’ve accidentally knocked your glass of wine over, don’t panic. Get yourself a handful of salt and apply it on the affected area as it will help in absorbing the colour away. Then, soak the garment in cold water with detergent and allow it to soak overnight. (Also Read: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Removing Period Stains Like a Pro)

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  • Ink
    3 / 9 Ink

    You’ve forgotten to cap your pen before stashing it away in your pocket and you drew a large line across your skirt but that’s okay. To stop the ink from spreading (if it’s a fountain pen), apply petroleum jelly (read: vaseline) around the area to create a protective layer. Then rub some isoprophyl alcohol, which can be easily found in pharmacies, with a toothbrush. Use a cotton ball to dab all residual liquid and rinse the area with a dish-soap solution.

    Alternatively, dish out your bottle of hairspray, or buy one if you do not have one, and place a paper towel under the affected area. Then, spray it till the entire area is fully covered. Soak for a few seconds before blotting the ink with a clean cloth. Repeat this till the stain is gone and you’re sorted.

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  • Lipstick
    4 / 9 Lipstick

    You’ve accidentally stained your top with some lipstick while you’re trying to remove it for the wash. We feel your pain. Grab a piece of white bread and remove the crust before wadding up the soft centre and rubbing it on the stained area. Trust us, the piece of bread will pick up the all lipstick. (Also Read: 8 Liquid Lipsticks That Make You Look Pretty All Day)

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  • Tomato-based substances
    5 / 9 Tomato-based substances

    Once you’ve stained your garment, rinse the area with cold running water. Next thing you have to do is to soak it in warm water before dabbing the spot with a sponge that is coated with dishwashing liquid.

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  • Coffee
    6 / 9 Coffee

    A perfect morning jolts you awake but did you know that it has a beauty benefit as well. Alls well, until you ruin your t-shirt with it. Quickly run cold water on the stain before applying a strain release detergent. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub and work the detergents into the fabric. Let it sit for a few minutes before placing it in the washing machine for a regular wash on the highest wash temperature.

    Alternatively, carefully drench the area with boiling water, followed by an oil solvent. Thereafter, throw it into the wash.

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  • Fruit juice
    7 / 9 Fruit juice

    Treat that tricky acidic stain with some cold water to dilute it. After which, saturate the area with stain removal detergent and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse a small part of the area to check if it has dissolved. If not, repeat the steps again and sit for another 20 minutes before washing it as per usual. (Also Read: Fruit Juice is Not Much Better Than Sugar Water)

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  • Mud
    8 / 9 Mud

    You’re washing away your detoxifying mud mask but some of it got onto your shirt, what should you do? Allow it to dry off, and then brush off as much residual mud as you can before rinsing the area with cold water. Thereafter, mix one part white vinegar with one part water to get rid of the stain. Gently scrub the area with some detergent and let it soak for 15 minutes before sending it to the wash.

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  • Oil
    9 / 9 Oil

    If you’ve stained your clothings with anything oil-based, try to rinse it immediately with cold water before gently rubbing some soap onto the area. The soap acts as an emulsifier to loosen up oil particles, making it easier for the detergent to work its magic. Apply the detergent directly onto the grease stain and make sure that the entire area is saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it as per normal.

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