How to remove six common household stains

Home and store-bought remedies that work wonders

Published: August 13, 2015 01:00 PM

Find Ratings

Before you toss a shirt soiled with wine, gravy, or mustard into the washer, make sure you make every effort to remove the stain first. It's good to plan ahead for such mishaps and to keep dishwashing liquid, nail-polish remover, Fels-Naptha and other cleaning agents on hand. In addition to the items that you toss in the wash, most of these remedies will work on carpets and furniture, too.


Blot with solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (like Ivory) in 1 cup warm water. Red-dye remover works on red fruit punch.


Dab with extra-strength Bengay, heat with hair dryer, scrape with press-to-seal bag. Blot with detergent solution and rinse.


Pretreat with a paste of Fels-Naptha soap, then wash. Repeat if necessary. Don’t put item in the dryer until the stain is gone.


Apply repeated applications of detergent solution to remove solids. When stain is reduced, rinse and dry in bright sunlight.


Blot with acetone-based nail-polish remover, followed by the detergent solution, and rinse.


Blot with water. If stain remains, try detergent solution. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is effective on red wine.

Tide Ultra Free & Gentle

Best laundry detergents from our tests

Find Ratings

Laundry Detergents Ratings

View and compare all Laundry Detergents ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Appliances News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more