Guide to Fighting Stains Slideshow

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Coffee
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Coffee
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Begin by rinsing the fabric with hot water to remove any excess coffee before it sets. Then, add a dime-sized amount of dish soap directly to the stain and rub well until the stain begins to lift. Rinse and repeat, if necessary. Launder as usual.

Credit

istock/simmisimons

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Tomato Sauce
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Tomato Sauce
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Begin by removing any excess tomato bits and blotting the stain with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Combine ¼ teaspoon dish soap with one cup hot water and soak stain in solution for about 30 minutes. If the stain persists, blot at stain with a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water, starting from the outside of the stain and working in. Wash with an enzyme detergent in warm water.

Credit

Veer/Corbis Photography

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Pomegranate Juice
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Pomegranate Juice
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Rinse the fabric with hot water as soon as possible. Add about a dime-sized amount of dish soap directly to the stain and work it into the fibers with your fingers, rubbing for about one to two minutes. Soak the garment in warm water for about 30 minutes, then rinse. Launder as normal in warm water. If the stain persists, carefully dab it with hydrogen peroxide (assuming the fabric is colorfast).

*Works for other berry stains, as well. 

Credit

istock/elise kurenbina

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Beets
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Beets
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Begin rinsing fabric in hot water from the inside out. Squeeze fresh lemon juice directly onto the surface of the stain, gently blotting the fabric with your fingers to ensure the juice reaches the interior fibers. Rinse with hot water. If stain persists, repeat again, this time letting the lemon-soaked stain sit in the sun for about 10 minutes, if the fabric is colorfast. Launder as usual in warm water. Don’t have lemon juice? Dish soap also works well.

Credit

Veer/colour

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Grape Juice
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Grape Juice
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Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Carefully pour hot water over the back of the stain. If the stain persists, saturate the fabric with fresh lemon juice and work it into the fabric. Launder as usual in warm water.

Credit

istock/easybuy4u

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Butter
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Butter
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Begin by immediately scraping off any excess fat from the fabric. Run hot water through the stain, from the inside out. Apply a dime-sized amount of dish soap directly to the fabric and gently rub it into the fibers with your fingers for a minute or two. Let the stain sit for a couple minutes longer. Rinse with hot water, again from the inside out. Launder as normal in hot water.

Credit

istock/multiart

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Coca-Cola
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Coca-Cola
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Begin by rinsing fabric with warm water. Apply a dime-sized amount of detergent to stain and rub into fibers. Rinse with warm water. If stain persists, create a solution of one tablespoon dish soap to one cup water. Rub solution into fabric. Place an absorbent towel on both sides of the fabric and place something water-resistant and heavy on top. Let sit overnight to absorb moisture. Launder as normal. If stain persists, repeat again and launder.

Credit

Itemmaster.com

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Raw Egg
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Raw Egg
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When removing protein stains from fabric, always use cold water to ensure the stain doesn’t get cooked into the fabric. Begin by blotting any excess residue away with a paper towel. Rinse the fabric with cold water from the back of the stain and then rub in a ¼ teaspoon or so of dish soap or detergent to break down the stain. Rinse and let fabric soak in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Launder as normal.

Credit

istock/malerapaso

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Soy Sauce
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Soy Sauce
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Run cold water through the back of the stain. Apply ¼ teaspoon dish soap directly to the stain and gently rub for about one minute. Rinse with cold water. Apply a teaspoonful of white vinegar to the stain and blot with a clean, damp towel. Rinse again in cold water. If the stain persists, let it soak in a solution of one tablespoon dish soap and one cup warm water for about 30 minutes. Launder as normal.

Credit

Veer/kia cheng boon

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Red Wine
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Red Wine
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Our pick for fighting red wine stains is white wine. Simply soak the fabric, rinsed in cold water, in white wine for about five minutes and then gently rub the fabric together for a minute. Repeat about four times, or until the stain nearly disappears. Launder as usual in cold water.

Salt is another common red wine stain-fighting agent. Immediately sprinkle the stain with salt so that it’s covered. Let it sit for about 15-30 minutes, soak the fabric in cold water, and then wash it in cold water as normal. 

Credit

istock/lauripatterson

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Chocolate
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Chocolate
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Dish soap is king when it comes to battling chocolate stains. If there is excess chocolate on the fabric, be sure to scrape it off (freezing it until the chocolate is solid helps) first so that you don’t compound the problem. Then let hot water run through the back of the fabric to help lift the chocolate from the fibers. Add a bit of dish soap to the stain and gently rub for a minute. Let the fabric sit for four more minutes, then launder in warm water.

Credit

Veer/Giovannafotos

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Tea
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Tea
Description

Begin by rinsing any excess tea from the fabric with hot water. Soak fabric in a solution of ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup hot water for about 30 minutes. Launder in hot water as normal.

Credit

Veer/Sergey Galushko

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Mustard
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Mustard
Description

Scrape off any excess mustard from the stain with a spoon. Rinse the stain with warm water. Apply a teaspoon of white vinegar directly to the stain, then blot excess away with a damp cloth. Repeat until the stain is removed. Launder as normal.

Credit

Itemmaster.com