How to remove common stains

It’s a common frustration to be tucking into some food or drink, only to end up wearing it. If you’re out of the house and don’t have a change of clothing, it can be even more disastrous. But you can worry less about a stain ruining your favourite clothing (or your sofa!) with these simple home remedies for battling stubborn stains.


Red wine

The dreaded red wine stain isn’t the end of the world if you act fast. For furniture or carpets, it’s best to mop up as much of the stain as you can, then cover the stain with salt to soak up the remaining liquid. Once the stain has been fully absorbed, simply vacuum up the leftover salt.

For clothes – oddly enough, the remedy is more wine! Cover the fabric with white wine to neutralise and clear up the stain. Then, if necessary, cover in baking soda. Wash as usual and there should be no trace of the stain left.

Tip: The quicker you act the better.



For chocolate stains, a good trick is to firstly put the fabric in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer. Then you will be able to scrape the excess chocolate off easily (this tip also works for chewing gum stuck to fabric by the way). Rub the fabric with some laundry or dishwashing detergent, soak in cool water and wash as normal.

Tip: If the stain refuses to budge use a stronger stain remover.



To make sure ketchup stains don’t stick around try scraping as much of the excess off as you can.  Soak the stain in vinegar or lemon juice for 30 minutes and dab. Repeat if necessary and then wash as normal and the stain should be gone.

Tip: Avoid rubbing ketchup stains or washing at high heats as this could cause a deeper set stain.


Small cup of coffee on a table



Coffee stains are an annoyingly frequent part of the morning rush and, if you drink it black, they can be especially stubborn. To tackle them head on, first blot the stain to get rid of any excess liquid, using one cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of washing up liquid and half a cup of cold water.

Tip: If you have more time, fill your sink with warm water and detergent, let the fabric soak for a few hours and then wash as normal.



Spray some hairspray over the stain and dab. Wash the fabric normally and voila!

Tip:  If you don’t have any hairspray to hand you might want to try soaking it in another alcohol based substance, such as hand sanitiser, until it begins to lift.

Got any other tips? Share them in the comments below.


clean shirts on clothes hangers