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Do-It-Yourself Stain Remover

Updated on December 7, 2014

Stain-Removing Solutions

All good do-it-yourselfers know that home improvement comes at a cost often in the form of stubborn stains left behind after the hard work is finished. Below are some stain removers that have worked for me, plus a few home remedies that I have discovered along the way. (If you have a favorite product or idea not mentioned below, please let me know about it and I'll pass it along!)

One of my favourite groupings of products is Mötsenböcker's Lift Off. The folks at Mötsenböcker's have created different removers for different problems. Got house paint on your best shirt or jeans? Lift Off 5 is the solution. They also have a formula for food, beverages, or proteins and another for pen, markers, or crayon. Mötsenböcker's Lift Off solutions are great not only for clothes, but for your upholstery and carpets, too.

Some General Tips

1) Your results may vary. Test all products and remedies on a hidden area first for colorfastness and durability.

2) Black light can help to show up certain kinds of stains, such as pet urine. Also great for finding scorpions.

3) Blot. Never rub a stain, as rubbing can strip a garment’s color, leaving your clothes stain-free but also color-free in that area.

4) Pretreat reminder. Find a way to remind yourself of when an item needs to be treated for a stain. Put it in a special bin or tie a knot

Home Remedies for Oil, Grease, and Lipstick on Clothes

> Sprinkle corn-starch or baking soda on the stain. Place the garment stain side down on a large rag on top of an ironing board. Iron with a hot iron on the wrong side of the stain and most of the oil and the grease will come right out.

> Dishwashing detergent also works well on grease and lipstick. Lipstick is one of the hardest things to remove, unless you use this technique: Gently rub on liquid dishwashing detergent. Let it sit for about an hour and rinse with cool water. That should remove most of the stain and can be repeated as needed. Also, try rinsing with vinegar and water, then flush with clear, cool water.

> Soak stains in a solution of 3 parts detergent and 1 part ammonia. Swab greasy stains with a little shampoo and then run through the wash as usual.

Products for Removing Grease, Tar, Lipstick and More

> OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover works better than ever, especially for grease and grass stains. Simply spray on, gently rub into the fabric, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then wash as normal. The results are amazing.

> Lift Off 2 Adhesives, Grease & Oily Stains Tape Remover removes stains of a natural oil, petroleum, or solvent-based nature, such as tapes, adhesives, chewing gum, grease, tar, crayons, motor oil, salad dressing, and lipstick.

> Go Spot Go, made by the folks at


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