ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Laundry Stain Removal Guide

Updated on June 26, 2011

Stain removal is a crucial, yet often daunting skill in a homemaker's arsenal of knowledge today, but it doesn't have to be complicated. If you learn to distinguish the type of stain, and have a few handy tools on hand, you can remove just about any stain, no matter how un-homemaker-ee you are! The following is a list of common stains, according to type (ie: protein, wax, etc...) and how to treat them. Be sure to check out my upcoming post for a complete list of items you should keep on hand to handle those tough stains.

Common Oil-Based Stains

  • Automotive, hair, and other Oils
  • Bacon fat/lard, cooking fats
  • Face creams, lotions, sunscreen
  • Mayonaise, butter

Oil-Based Stains

When possible, begin treatment as soon as you notice the stain as waiting allows the stain to set into the deeper layers of teh fabric, making it more difficult to remove.

Lay garment on a flat surface and sprinkle a generous amount of baby powder over the stain. After several hours (overnight if possible), brush away powder to check stain. Repeat process if neccessary. Next, apply a grease-cutting laundry detergent to the stained area with HOT water and scrub wiith an old toothbrush. Blot with a clean "junk" towel until all of stain is removed.

Wash according to tag specifications and check stain BEFORE drying. If stain is still visible, repeat scrubbing with dishwashing liquid.

Common Protein Stains

  • Baby food, formula. glue
  • Milk, Ice cream, pudding, creams, egg, cheese sauce, gtelatin
  • Feces, urine, vomit, blood, mud

Protein Stains

Apply a solution of vinegar and water to stain and rub with old toothbrush. Soak and agitate garment in cold water. Launder like normal. Check for stain before putting in dryer.

Looking for a complete guide to stain removal? Try one of these books from amazon!

Common Dye Stains

  • Berry juices, wine
  • mustard
  • grass (also a protein stain)
  • felt-tip pen (permenant ink may not come out)

Dye Stains

Dye stains are some of the hardest stains to remove and as such, require special care to remove. Pour some denatured alcohol (found at most hardware stores) over the stain. Rub clear dishwashing detergent over stain using an old toothbrush and rinse well. If stain is still present, rub glycerin into the stained area. Let stand 20 minutes and flush with denatured alcohol, followed by cold water. Launder like normal.

Common Wax Combo Stains

  • Inks, typewritter ribbon, carbon paper
  • Eye makeup, lipstick
  • Candle wax, floor wax, furniture polish, shoe polish, tar

Wax-Oil or Wax-Dye Combination Stains

For wax-oil stains like gum, mascara, lipstick or candle wax, place garment in freezer until frozen and scrape to crack off as much as possible; then apply mineral spirits or an oil solvent to the stain.

For wax-dye stains like inks, rub glycerine or a bleaching agent into the stain using an old toothbrush. Rinse and rub vinegar-water into stain. Launder as normal.

Common Protein-Combo Stains

  • Bar-B-Q sauce, tomato sauce, catsup, chocolate, gravy
  • Face make-up (powder, foundation, blush)

Protein-Dye or Grease-Combo Stains

Remove excess and rub dishwashing liquid into stain using an old toothbrush. Rinse. Flush with vinegar-water solution. Launder as normal.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)