Stained shirt? The best stain removers you already have at home

Even the tidiest of people are going to eventually deal with stains. Whether it’s from food, dirt, pets, or kids, odds are you’ve had to contend with a pesky stain on your favorite shirt and have frantically searched online for a solution. The best way to remove stains is to treat them right away, and there are many at-home treatments and products you can buy depending on the stain. Most will take care of the stain quickly so you can get back to your day.

Here are some of the best stain removers.

hot water
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Hot water

If you’ve ever made jam, picked berries, or dropped strawberry jelly on your crisp, white blouse, you know the panic you felt as you saw it. Luckily, berry stains can be fairly easily removed using boiling hot water. Simply lay the material over a bowl and gently pour the boiling water over it, taking care not to pour too quickly. If it’s covering a large part of your shirt, you can submerge the material in a pot of water and remove it using tongs to dry. You may need to do a bit of scrubbing, but the stain should come out relatively easily.

vinegar bottle cleaning
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Vinegar and water

This at-home stain remover is one of the best coffee stain removers you can use. Combine one part white vinegar to two parts water, stirring together and rubbing onto the coffee or tea stain. If a spot remains, you can also use a spot treatment or stain stick and put the clothing into the washing machine as you normally would. Make sure to check it before you put the item in a dryer and repeat if the stain remains.

Flour, talcum powder, or corn starch

Flour, talcum powder, and corn starch can be a brilliant way to remove oil and butter stains. The key is neutralizing the fat by sprinkling one of the above on both sides of the stain and letting it sit for about 30 minutes. This helps stop the spread of the oil and absorb it. Once you shake off the powder, if a stain remains, you can gently rub it with your dishwashing detergent (powder or liquid will work) and rinse it under hot water.

white wine in glass
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White wine

Who knew you could get red wine stains out by using white wine? Not only is it a fun party trick, but it really works. As quickly as possible, pour white wine over the red wine stain, gently blotting the area each time. It may take several applications, so you may have to sacrifice an entire bottle if the stain covers a large area. (This is a perfect opportunity to keep a cheap bottle of white in the back of your cabinet, just in case.) You can also blot with white vinegar for an added punch and then launder the item as usual.

There are tons of stain removers on the market, and while many fight stains on the carpet, tile grout, clothing, and countertops, the items above are all ones most of us already have in our cabinets, and they do just as good a job at removing stains. Stains happen. It’s nice to know you can quickly remove them and save your favorite clothes from becoming future rags.

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