Stain Removal ¶ 

Alcohol ¶ 

Denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are degreasing agents that work best as spot cleaners, removing surface soils that aren’t affected by soap or detergent. Denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol will safely remove stains from many fabrics. Use to remove ink or sap. Do not use on acetate, rayon, wool or silk.

To remove stubborn stains, moisten a cotton ball or cotton cloth with a few drops of denatured alcohol. Test the alcohol first on an inconspicuous part of the garment and allow the fabric to dry. If there is no discoloration, wet a second cotton ball and rub the stain, but do not saturate the fabric. Allow to dry. Using a toothbrush on woven fabrics is okay, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain disappears. Rinse the garment in warm water and blot dry with a clean towel.

Ballpoint Pen ¶ 

At the root of many bad days is a leaky ballpoint pen. Whisk away those heartbreaking stains with either denatured alcohol (found in the paint department of most home stores), isopropyl alcohol or lemon juice. Stubborn stains require persistence, so don’t quit after one attempt. First, test an inconspicuous part of the garment to ensure the color doesn’t change. Start by wetting a cotton ball or cloth with a few drops of alcohol or lemon juice and blotting a small area. Allow the fabric to dry. If there’s no discoloration, wet a second cotton ball and blot the stain. Use dry cotton balls to absorb the ink stain until the cotton ball no longer wicks ink from the fabric. Allow the garment to dry. Next, use a toothbrush and clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent; scrub until the stain disappears. Rinse the garment in warm water, then blot dry with a clean towel.

Beer ¶ 

With a few simple steps you can easily remove beer stains, and no one will know how you spent the night after you first climbed Yosemite’s Astro Man. Rub a solution of vinegar and warm water into the stain, then wash as directed by the garment care tag.

Blood ¶ 

If possible, immediately rinse blood stains from fabric with cold water. Follow the rinse with an extended soak in salt water. If the blood has dried, try soaking the garment in a solution of ammonia and water before washing as directed by the garment care tag. Do not use hot water; hot water will set stain permanently.

Blueberries ¶ 

One of the rewards of alpine bouldering is picking incredibly tart blueberries along the way. Remove blueberry stains by soaking the stained garment in buttermilk or lemon juice. Rinse thoroughly with cool water, then rinse again with warm water.

Butter ¶ 

Great on toast, not on clothes. Still, butter bloopers abound as do stain removal techniques. We like the simplest approach: Remove all excess butter and treat the stain with a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent. Launder as usual. You can also make a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water. Rub the paste on the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and wash as directed.

Chocolate ¶ 

Chocolate goes well with most anything (we think it tastes best after a long, untracked powder run), but not with clothing. Start by scraping away as much of the stain as possible. Next, immerse the stained portion of the garment in milk or in a mixture of egg yoke and denatured alcohol for a few minutes until the stain starts to lift. Finish by washing the garment with warm soapy water.

Coffee ¶ 

Coffee fuels a pre-dawn alpine start or a late night drive across Nevada, but spill it down your shirt and you’ll have a different kind of wake-up call. To remove coffee stains, start by blotting up the excess with a clean cloth. Mix a solution of one quart warm water, one-half teaspoon detergent and one tablespoon white vinegar and soak the stain for 15 minutes. Rinse well with water. Blot the stain with denatured or isopropyl alcohol and then wash in warm, soapy water.

Felt-Tipped Pen ¶ 

Stains from a felt-tipped pen want to stay put, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts to remove them are unsuccessful. Try blotting (not rubbing) the stain gently with a cotton ball or clean cotton cloth dampened with a few drops of denatured or isopropyl alcohol (this may take several tries). Test the alcohol first in an inconspicuous part of the garment and allow the fabric to dry. If there’s no discoloration, wet a second cotton ball and blot the stain, but do not saturate the fabric. Allow to dry. Using a toothbrush, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain has disappeared. Rinse the garment in warm water and blot the fabric dry with a towel.

Grease ¶ 

Whether you’re working in the shop or commuting on your bike every morning, there’s a good chance you and your clothes will come into contact with some type of grease.

Luckily, grease comes out of fabrics quite easily. Simply washing your garment in warm, soapy water with a liquid dishwashing detergent will usually remove the stain. If that doesn’t work, try blotting the stain with isopropyl or denatured alcohol before washing in warm, soapy water.

Gum ¶ 

It keeps blown rivets from swamping your boat, patches a hole in your waterbottle and keeps your mouth moist as you launch into the crux lead. But if you get gum stuck on your clothing, it may want to stick around for awhile. You can remove it by freezing or cooling it until it hardens. Then brush or scrape the gum from the fabric. If necessary, use a cotton ball or cotton cloth moistened with a few drops of denatured or isopropyl alcohol. Wash with warm soapy water.

Ink ¶ 

Whisk away those heartbreaking stains with either denatured or isopropyl alcohol or lemon juice. Start by wetting a cotton ball or cotton cloth with a few drops of alcohol or lemon juice and rubbing an inconspicuous part of the garment. Allow the fabric to dry. If there’s no discoloration, wet a second cotton ball and rub the stain, but do not over saturate the fabric. Allow to dry. Using a toothbrush, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain disappears. Rinse the garment in warm water and blot the fabric dry with a clean towel.

Oil ¶ 

If you find yourself under the car or truck on a long road trip for any reason, you might end up with oil in places where it doesn’t belong. Luckily, oil cleans out of fabrics quite easily. Washing your garment in warm, soapy water using a liquid detergent will usually remove the stain. If that doesn’t work, try blotting the stain with denatured or isopropyl alcohol (if the stain is stubborn) before washing in warm, soapy water.

Pine Sap ¶ 

If during a road trip you find some part of yourself or your gear covered with pine sap, grab some butter patties from the coffee shop. Work the butter into your tar, resin and grease stains. The stain should scrape off once the butter has soaked into the fabric. Wash with warm, soapy water to remove the butter and voila.

Red Wine ¶ 

Act as quickly as possible. Apply a solution of two cups water, a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid detergent. If that doesn’t work, apply a solution of hydrogen peroxide, detergent and water. Blot with a clean dry cloth. Once the stain is out, launder per garment-care label.

If the stain does not come out, pour yourself another glass of red wine and forget about it.

Comments Comments are onturn off

Any ideas on how to get out overwhelming perfume? I've washed this nylon shell/polyester lining jacket many times in several detergents and hung it outside in the weather to air for weeks and months at a time, but the smell is still overwhelming...

ps my husband bought it on line - no mention of perfume. Nice jacket, but I can't stand to be anywhere near it...

Andrea Loft, · Reply

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