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How to Clean Stains from Clothes

Do you want to know the best ways to remove stains from your kids' clothes? This handy guide from Surf has some great stain removal tips to help you out!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to get stains out of clothes

There are so many different substances that can stain your clothes – from food and drink to ink, lipstick, and oil. Every stain has a different remedy, and how you clean it also depends on the material of your garment. So, what do you do when you get a stain on your favorite jacket, dress, or shirt? Here are some useful stain removal tips for removing a variety of stains from your clothing:

Washing clothes with a laundry detergent like Breeze Stain Action Bula Liquid will help you to fight stains with minimal effort! For tough stains, pre-treat the mark with the detergent and remember to always check the care label on the item before cleaning.

How to Clean Stains from Clothes of Different Fabrics

When treating a stain, you need to think about the fabric of your garment – whether it’s cotton, synthetic, wool, or silk. This will have an impact on how you remove a stain. Before doing anything, check the garment’s care label for any instructions; then follow these simple guidelines.

How to Remove Stains from Cotton:

  • Cotton is a durable fabric, so you can use a number of techniques to remove stains from cotton garments without worrying about damaging the fabric.

How to Remove Stains from Synthetics:

  • There are many different types of synthetic fabric; common types like polyester, lycra, spandex, rayon, and nylon are often seen in exercise clothes and underwear items. They are all generally durable, so you can be quite firm when you work on the stain.

  • Synthetic fabrics often respond well to regular detergents that contain enzymes, but harsh chemicals like bleach are not a good idea.

  • Check that any specific stain removers you are using are safe for synthetics.

How to Remove Stains from Wool:

  • Many commercial stain removers will damage wool fibers, so make sure to read the instructions on the label.

  • Use a non-bleach detergent like Surf Kalamansi Liquid or a specific one designed for wool, and then dry the garment flat to maintain shape.

  • If necessary, take the garment to a professional for specialized stain treatment.

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How to Remove Stains from Silk:

  • Even though you might be treating a small stain, it’s important to use an appropriate detergent on silk and to soak the whole garment to avoid water spotting.

  • Silk is incredibly delicate, so tough stains are better treated at the dry cleaners.


Home Remedies to Remove Common Stains

Let’s face it, most of us run for any available soap or detergent as soon as stains happen. But ingredients you can find at home, such as white vinegar, baking soda, and fresh calamansi squeeze, can help remove stains, too. Always remember to try out these methods on small, unnoticeable areas of your garment first to make sure that there is no discoloration or damage. You can also always take your garment to a laundry shop for advice.

Removing sunscreen stains

Removing Chocolate Stains with Milk

  • First, remove any excess chocolate by putting the garment in the freezer and then scraping the hardened chocolate off.

  • Then, pour hot (not boiling) water down the back of the chocolate stain to melt it and push it through to the front.

  • Rub dishwashing liquid into the stain and then soak the garment in milk for 30 minutes to an hour.

  • Wash as normal and repeat if necessary.

Removing Stains from Berries and Other Fruits Using Lemon Juice

  • When dealing with deep-colored stains from fruits like strawberries, blueberries, duhat and bignay, wash the stain as normal and leave it out in direct sunlight for some time to benefit from the bleaching effect of the sun’s rays.

  • If it’s a tough stain, rub a few drops of pure calamansi juice over the top, or lay a slice of lemon on the stain.

  • Rinse, dry and repeat if necessary.

Removing Tomato Stains with Vinegar

  • Soak the tomato stain for 30 minutes in white vinegar (1 to 2 tbsp).

  • Rinse, and then rub detergent directly into the stain before washing the garment with cold water.

  • Repeat as necessary.

Removing Ink Stains with Hairspray

  • An ink stain can be tricky to remove. Soaking the area in an alcohol-based product, like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer spray, or hairspray, will be the best way to get rid of stains on clothes in this case.

  • Dab at the stain with an absorbent cloth until it fades.

  • Then, wash as normal.

Removing Oil Stains with Dishwashing Liquid

  • Oil and any form of greasy stain can benefit from a squirt of dishwashing soap or liquid detergent applied directly and rubbed in.

  • Hand-wash in warm water or machine-wash on a hot cycle, and repeat if necessary.

Removing Blood Stains with Salt

  • Remember to act fast with blood stains – the sooner you can treat it, the better the outcome.

  • Create a paste with salt and a few drops of cold water.

  • Rub this paste directly onto the stain, ideally within 10-15 minutes of the stain occurring.

  • Rinse with cold water (not hot) and repeat as needed.

There you have it. With these easy-to-follow tips, removing stains in clothes should be a breeze!

  • It’s always best to tackle stains as quickly as possible.

  • Be sure to read the care label on your garment to determine which type of stain removal method to use.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on removing stains from clothes

Why is Calamansi good for removing stains?

You may already know calamansi is great in Filipino cooking, but did you know calamansi is good for cleaning and removing stains too? Calamansi has high levels of acidity which can help to remove a variety of marks from stains on clothing to rust in your bathroom.

Does hydrogen peroxide work for stains on clothes?

Unlike other stain removing remedies such as vinegar, using hydrogen peroxide for stains doesn’t remove the stains, but rather make them invisible to the eye. It breaks down the bonds that make up stains from berry juice to ink, making them colorless.

How do you take off detergent stains from clothes?

Detergent is meant to clean your clothing, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sometimes result in staining. The steps for how to take off detergent stains from clothes are simple, all you need is vinegar and water. Add 1 cup vinegar to 1 quart water in a bowl and place your clothing into the solution. Rub the stained area together keeping it within the solution, until the detergent stain is removed.

Does kamias work as a stain remover?

You can use kamias as a stain remover for pretty much every stain – even the toughest ones. A natural fruit extract, this organic stain removing remedy is the perfect choice for stain removal. It is chemical-free, making it ideal for humans, pets and the environment alike.

Originally published