Stain City: A Laundry Day Primer

print this out and keep it by your laundry basket

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Oct 13 2016

Like death, taxes, and Jason Statham movie sequels, stains are inevitable. I once accidentally poured Diet Coke down the back of a cream-colored silk top I had on when, trying to rush out the door to an event, I went to latch a necklace behind my head but forgot about the just-cracked open can in my left hand. It was ugly – and more than a little embarrassing trying to explain why I was late (“See, I forgot about the soda…so I raised my hands to my neck…and it tipped over…down my back..”).

Collisions with different food, drink and other daily residue require different solutions. Below, a few common stains, and their around-the-house remedies:


The Stain:
The Fix: Baking soda
What to do: Mix with water to make a paste. Spread it on the stain, then let dry before washing.

The Stain:
Pen ink
The Fix:
What to do:
Borrow bottle from girlfriend. Spray on stain. Let dry. Launder.

{this was the second image that came up in my google search. I couldn’t not use it}

The Stain:Ring around your shirt collar
The Fix: Shampoo
What to do: Brush lightly into stain with a toothbrush or dry washcloth, then wash

The Stain:
Sweat stains
The Fix: Aspirin
What to do: Pop two pills in the washing machine when it’s filled with water. Wash (and call me in the morning…ha…sorry).

{Like heights, I’m not really big on blood, so no image – sorry}
Treatment: Hydrogen Peroxide
What to do: Soak the stained area in hydrogen peroxide (diluted in water) then wash.

The Stain:
Red wine
The Fix: Salt
What to do: Sprinkle it on the stain immediately, throw some over your left shoulder for luck, and hope for the best. (Red wine’s no joke). Wash as soon as possible.

The Stain:
The Fix:
Foot powder
What to do:
First off, don’t act like you don’t have some Gold Bond in your medicine cabinet. It’s cool, I’m not judging you by your smelly feet. Next, sprinkle that stuff on the stain. Let it dry, then brush it off before you throw it in the wash.

It also helps to keep one of those spot treatment pens in your office desk, car – anywhere you think you might be exposed to…well, anything, really. You never know.

And a few, use-it-on-anything fixes: dishwashing liquid, club soda, and hand soap. Just make sure to wash the affected clothing pretty soon after treating it.