Clean stain

The best method to clean stain depends on the source of the stain. There is no such thing as one universal method for cleaning stains that would apply to all of them. In order to clean stain, it is necessary to choose the right method using the right cleaning solution. For example, some stains get clean with washing in cold water. This applies to for example protein based stains. Other stain get clean using hot water. This applies to for example tannin stains (see classification of stains for more). Cleaning stains from a carpet requires special carpet cleaning methods.

How to clean stains

This page provides listing of a few methods which can be used to clean stain that originates from various sources. Stains described on this page need unique treatment and cleaning methods.

Chewing gum stain

clean stain To clean a stain originating from chewing gum, you need to apply ice on the stain. You can also place the stained fabric into freezer. The goal of this stain cleaning method is to scrape off the excess of the gum and cooling the stain will help to harden it. The next step to clean stain is to spray the stain with a pretreatment aerosol product, or to at least rub the fabric with a heavy-duty liquid detergent. You may need to rinse the stain with hot water and repeat the whole procedure more than one time.

Deodorant, anti-perspirant stain

To clean stain caused by deodorant, for example a stain on a shirt under the arms, you need to pretreat the stain with a heavy-duty liquid detergent (presoak for 15 to 30 minutes) and wash the fabric in warm water. Deodorants or antiperspirants contain aluminum or zinc salts which may be impossible to remove.

Lead pencil stain

To clean lead pencil stain, you can use an art gum eraser. The eraser should be used gently without hard rubbing. More stained areas can be pretreated with an aerosol pretreatment product or with a heavy-duty liquid detergent.


Mildew stain

If you want to clean stain caused by mildew, you need to act quickly. Mildew eats cellulosic fibers which causes their permanent damage. To clean mildew stain, first brush the stain. Second, pretreat the stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent and then wash in hot water. Bleach marked as safe for fabric can help to clean the stain too.

Latex paint stain

how to clean stain To clean latex paint stain, you need to act while the stain is not set, that is while the paint is wet. First, presoak the stain in water. Then wash the fabric in cool water with heavy-duty detergent. This should help to clean stain.

Oil based paint stain

This type of stain needs to get clean quickly. To clean oil-based stain, you can use a thinner. Apply the thinner using the spot treatment technique. Apply the thinner on spots until paint is softened and can be flushed away in heavy-duty detergent wash. Terpentine or alcohol often works as solvent to clean oil stain.

stain clean

Rust stain

Rust stain is very hard to remove in normal wash cycle. To clean stain originating from rust, you need to use special a special stain removal chemical called a rust remover. Chlorine bleach should not be used to clean stain caused by rust as it makes such stains permanent. Be careful with rust removers which contain hydrofluoric acid. These and some other carpeting products too are extremely toxic and can burn the skin. Take cleaning safety precautions when working with rust removers. Sometimes, lemon juice and salt works to clean small stains. However, be careful as lemon juice can bleach some colors.

Smoke stain

To clean stain originating from smoke or soot, wash the fabric with the stain in wash machine using heavy-duty phosphate-based detergent or heavy-duty liquid detergent. Three or four washes may be needed for cottons and cotton blends to clean smoke stain.
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