How to remove different kinds of stains at home

Wash a stain on white clothes under water stain dirty bathroom

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Stains are a fact of life. Whether you’re an adult trying to drive while downing a cup of coffee or a mom caring for toddlers, it seems none of us are immune to stains. Whether they are ground into our carpets or smeared onto napkins or the result of a leaky pipe, different stains call for different solutions.

You might wonder if an organic stain remover will work as well as a standard mix (yes!) or if the best mattress stain remover you have on hand handles both sweat and odors.

Today, we take the guesswork out of stain removal for a few common household stains.

Green and white eco cleaning supplies

MORE: This Amazon stain remover gets out all my kids’ clothing stains

General Stain Removal Tips

Act swiftly. Fresh stains, no matter the culprit, will always be easier to wrangle than dried versions. Whenever possible, test an inconspicuous spot to make sure the cleaning solution won’t damage the fabric. Try not to mix stain removal products. This could wind up damaging the area even further because of a chemical reaction between ingredients.

Stains can be annoying, but don’t give up! Sometimes a spot takes a couple of tries before the stain lifts. Do your best to remain patient.

If you’re in the market for an all-around household stain remover, check out this selection that’s been vetted by a team of experts.

We hope these cleaning tips make stain removal less of a chore.

Grass Stains

Fresh grass stains are easy to treat. Ones that have been set from heat make the task a little harder. Treat the area with a stain remover first. If you don’t have one on hand, you can pour a small amount of liquid laundry detergent onto the spot. Then work it in with a soft-bristled brush or rub with your fingers. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then toss it in the wash.

If the stain remains, try soaking the stain in an oxygen bleach solution.

MORE: 11 Easy Ways To Remove Grease Stains, Because They Happen To Everyone

White Wine Spills

Whether it’s been splashed on your blouse or the carpet, white wine can leave a mark. First things first, blot the area with a paper towel and then add water to the spot using a sponge. Blot it again with a clean white cloth. When wine spills, it’s best to clean it up right away because dried stains will require additional work.

For carpets, use a solution of 1 tablespoon liquid soap to 2 cups of warm water and work it in with a soft-bristled brush. Then rinse with a water-filled sponge and blot dry.

For blouses, skip the solution and opt for an enzymatic detergent and wash with hot water. (If the stain isn’t discovered until it’s dry, try using an oxygen-based bleach and wash with tepid water. You can also soak it for 4-8 hours as well.)

MORE: This woman had the most genius trick for saving her all-white outfit from a red wine stain

Mattress Refreshes

Mattresses collect sweat over time, which can create stains or smells. You can reach for a bottle of the best mattress stain remover or create your own mix using baking soda, salt and water. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wipe it off with a clean, damp rag and blot dry.

MORE: How to clean your mattress—and why you really should

Mystery Stains

If you have a mystery stain, try soaking it in cold water for 30 minutes and treating it with a general stain remover. If the stain remains after washing it as usual, soak it overnight in an oxygen bleach solution. (Avoid reaching for standard chlorine bleach.)

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About the Author
Emily OBrien
Emily O'Brien is a freelance writer based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money and loves to shine the spotlight on products worth buying.

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