Worst Stains to Get In and Out of Fabrics

Worst Stains to Get In and Out of Fabrics
By: eMaids of Broward County

It’s your only daughter's wedding. You couldn’t be prouder. As you twirl her around on the dance floor during the daddy-daughter dance, she notices a schmear of chocolate on your white shirt. Your face flushes, but you remain calm. To not spoil her day, you do your best to hide the blemish. If only you knew how to remove the stain before it was time to give the toast.

Here are some great tips to help in that situation, and more!


It’s okay to love chocolate, just not okay to wear it. When this happens, remember these easy steps. First, gently remove any lingering chunks or glops of chocolate. Be careful not to push anymore into the material. Second, dab or soak the material in cream or whole fat milk. Let the cream sit for 25-30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Once the stain is removed, rinse with cold water then wash normally.

Pet Messes 

Some of the foulest and most stubborn stains come from our dear fur family. If you find a “surprise” on your clothes, pretreat the item(s) with one part vinegar to three parts cold water for one hour. This can be done in a basin or in your washing machine, but the urine could leave a residue. When finished, air dry. Feel free to repeat this step if the stain/odor is especially strong. Once satisfied that the stain is gone, wash normal but air dry. If you find a mess on the carpet, absorb any excess moisture then apply baking soda to the spot and let rest for up to an hour; vacuum. For especially tough stains and odors, you have a pet enzyme spray.


To tackle blood stains, soak or moisten the material in cold saltwater only. Next, spot treat the item with hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to test an area first to prevent bleaching. Once the stain is removed, wash the item as usual.


Whether you’re working with rusty machinery, rubbed up against something rusty, or found your grandmother’s lace curtains under a rusted pile of antique tins there’s an easy solution to remove those stains. First, mix ¼ cup of Borax with 2 cups of cold water. Second, spot-treat this mixture to the stain. Let sit for 30-60 minutes. Finally, wash in cold water. Do not dry unless the stain is completely removed or the heat of the dryer will set the stain. Rust in your home is something a professional cleaning service can help with as well!


Who hasn’t indulged in a greasy, fried burger or cooked one on the grill during the big game? With good food comes hefty stains. To remove grease or oil, sprinkle the stain with baking soda and let it rest until it becomes crusty. Like a grease fire on the stove, the baking soda will absorb the grease/oil in the stain and stop it from spreading. Shake loose the crusted baking soda and wash as normal. Do not dry unless the stain is gone. Repeat if necessary.


You wouldn’t be the first person in history to find a leaked ink pen in your shirt pocket, carry on luggage, the bottom of your purse, etc. Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution to this problem. To loosen the stain, gently apply rubbing alcohol with a cloth or cotton ball to the stain. Next, wash the soiled item in cold water, but don’t dry it until you are certain the stain is removed. Repeat if necessary. 

Red Wine 

It’s the dawn of a new year. The parties are all over. The guests have gone home, but some of them have left a gift behind. As you move about the house cleaning, you find Merlot splashed across your beautiful white chaise, but you’re not discouraged. To clean fabric sofa stains, mix equal parts of detergent and peroxide together. Blot the mixture onto the stain. With this method, you may wish to test a small area first. For clothing, cover the stain with coarse salt to absorb the moisture. Once the salt changes color, place the material in cold water with detergent and soak overnight. Wash the following day in cold water. Do not dry unless the stain is gone. Repeat if necessary.

As you hold your daughter in your arms, the words of your mother float into your head reprimanding you for getting chocolate on your clothes yet again. You laugh at yourself, then remember her simple solution for how to remove color stains from clothes. As you finish the dance, you pull your daughter in close and hug her tightly. You whisper your love as a tear slides down your face. You watch as she replaces your hand with her husband’s hand and you choke back more tears. She looks back at you and smiles, then points to the stain on your shirt. You burst out laughing, shake your head, and head to the kitchen for some milk.

Jan 14, 2020
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