How To Remove 5 Common Stains

Accidents happen. If something spills over your clothing, furniture or carpets, it can have you running around trying to remove it as fast as possible before leaving a permanent stain.

However, if you do it the wrong way, you’re just going to make it worse. Let’s read about some of the most common spills and how to avoid them from ruining your garments permanently.

How to Remove Coffee Stains

When coffee gets spilled, it usually gets everywhere. Your desk or countertop, your documents, your phone and, of course, your clothes or carpet. Add that to the fact that it’s boiling and you’ll get a terrible way to start your day off.

There are three main techniques for removing coffee stains:

If the stain is fresh, just run water over the area until it’s gone. For carpet, saturate with water, then blot up the stain.

If the stain has dried you can apply laundry detergent on the area and scrub using a toothbrush in a soft, circular motion. Remember to do this gently. Let sit for 10 minutes and rinse with plenty of water. You don’t want water to be too hot or cold, preferably warm or lukewarm.

For more stubborn stains, mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with laundry detergent. Make sure it doesn’t contain ammonia (which is extremely unlikely, but you can never be too sure).  You’ll obtain a paste that you can apply on your stain, rubbing gently with a toothbrush. Next, let sit for 5 minutes and rinse.

Removing Wine Stains

Red wine spills can ruin a perfect evening. But don’t worry, it can be removed from most fabrics or carpets. Vinegar neutralizes red and purple stains effectively.

For white clothes, bleach can be a good option, particularly if the stain has dried. And, of course, never use bleach on carpets!

Whatever you do, don’t use heat before applying your cleaning agent, because the stain would set. This means no drier or hot water until you’ve tried removing the stain.

Cleaning Ketchup Stains

Ketchup stains are yet another major issue. They can be hard to remove but if you’re lucky, you’ll be fine as long as you act fast.

Before you start, notice if you can remove any excess ketchup, since there’s probably much more than what the fabric has already absorbed. You can use a the back of a butter knife for this.

Next, place your garment beneath your sink and run plenty of cold water. It needs to be cold because stains usually set after hot water (or after being in the dryer, for example). Run water through the back of the stain and not through the front. If you

After you’ve run plenty of water, use high quality laundry detergent or dish washing detergent. About a teaspoon mixed with half a glass of cold water should be enough as a cleaning mix, but you might need to double up everything if the stain is too big. Remember to always test your cleaning agents in a small, inconspicuous area.

Gently rub your cleaning mix with a microfiber towel and rinse with cold water.

If the stain is still there, blot it using a clean cloth with white vinegar. After removing your stain, put it in the laundry on a delicate cycle using cold water.

How to Clean Bloodstains

Small house accidents happen all the time. If you get blood on your favorite button-up shirt, you should act fast before it gets too hard to remove.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a go-to in this case. It works great for removing blood. This product reacts with the iron present in blood, breaking it down into easy-to-clean particles.  If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide nearby, just use cold water and hand soap.

Remember to rinse using cold water. Once again, hot water is a bad idea because it will set organic fluids, such as blood, into your garment.

The same principle applies to your dryer: make sure the stain is completely gone because heat will set whatever is left of it.

Bonus tip: if you have pets and carpet flooring, you may have heard about enzymatic cleaners.  Basically, they’re mostly used to remove dried urine stains.  Because they are effective for cleaning a variety of organic fluids by breaking down proteins, they will also work on blood stains!

Mud Stains

Finally, mud. This happens usually to children, but adults are not free from falling on a puddle. If you (or your kids) come home filled from top to bottom with mud, you need to act as fast as possible. The quicker you wash your items the faster stains will disappear.

For mud, you’ll need something powerful, like a garden hose for washing your car. Just grab your muddy clothes and rinse them off with a hose to remove the biggest pieces of mud and dirt.

Next, let your clothing soak in a bucket of water with laundry detergent overnight, or at least for a few hours.

Finally, run a regular washing cycle with cold water. If there are visible remaining stains, add borax on those spots and before running the washing machine.


Most stains are removable if you think smart and act fast. Do some research will just take you a few minutes before you jump into action. Ensure your stain is gone before putting it in the dryer. Otherwise, the stain will set in.

Keeping a clean house is a never-ending chore. So, remember that professional cleaning services like Love My Maids (West DFW) or Emily’s Maids (East DFW) are prepared to help you keep your home clean and in top-notch condition.

Ginger Whitson