How to get stains out

Stains. They’re annoyingly unavoidable, no matter how careful you try to be. Many a white shirt has been lost to a coffee spillage or rogue piece of pasta which somehow missed your mouth.

Below is an array of easy-to-follow tips on removing stains of all kinds without having to spend a fortune on cleaning products and – spoiler alert! – there’s a lot of white vinegar involved…


Grass stains

To remove grass stains, soak the stains in white vinegar for 30 minutes, then put it in a normal wash. If this doesn’t do the trick, mix together some white vinegar and baking soda and using an old toothbrush, coat the stain before washing again.

Mud stains

With mud stains, it’s best to let them dry. Once dry, brush off the hardened soil before soaking the item of clothing in a solution of warm water (about two pints), washing-up liquid (a teaspoon), and white vinegar (a tablespoon) for about 15 minutes. Then rinse with water.

Tea/coffee stains

To remove coffee or tea stains, soak the fabric in a mixture of one part white vinegar and two parts water for around 15-30 minutes. Hang the garment outside to dry and then pop in the washing machine.

Ink stains

Banish pesky ink stains by spraying the area affected with hairspray (try and ensure it contains a high-ish level of alcohol) and then dab with a white vinegar-soaked cloth until it’s all removed.

Some other stuff…

Coffee stained cups

Coffee/tea-stained cups can stay in the sink for weeks and when you get round to them, water and washing up liquid doesn’t always do the trick. A quick and easy hack to leave them sparkling is to just add some baking soda to your washing up liquid and then wash as normal.

Wine on carpet

Spilling red wine onto a cream carpet is one of those real-life slow-mo moments. It’s best to blot the stain to remove the liquid which hasn’t be absorbed yet using paper towels. Mix together a small bowl of warm water, white vinegar (a tablespoon), and washing up liquid (a tablespoon) and dab at the stain using the solution until removed. 

Stainless steel stains

For simple stains, just mix together equal parts baking soda and washing up liquid until it forms a paste. Using an old toothbrush, gently scrub the mark, making sure you are brushing along the grain of the stainless steel. If the stains are really tricky, just add some white vinegar.

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