Urban Road

Stain removal for the most common types of stains

Stains happen. They’re part of life! An annoying part of life, but common all the same. So we’ve done our research, tested each and every stain removal method to bring you this helpful article. How to remove the most common types of stains from upholstery and clothes.

From wine stains, oil stains, tomato stains to grass stains and everything in between, these home remedies to remove stains are quick and easy methods we know they work!

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How to remove stains from clothing

How to remove oil stains

You know the one. A splash of oil on your favourite shirt and you think it’s ruined forever. Fear not! We have a super simple way to remove oil stains from clothing and upholstery. Check out our quick video for the how to or follow the step-by-step method below.

Tip: The sooner you can clean the stain, the better your results will be.

Items you will need:

  • Bi-carb soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
How to easily remove oil stains
All you’ll need for easy oil stain removal is washing up liquid and bi-carb soda


1. If the oil stain is fresh, blot (don’t rub!) off the excess oil.

2. Sprinkle a generous amount of bi-carb soda over the stain. Tip: you can place a plate underneath the stain if it’s on a T-shirt or other item of clothing where the oil could seep through to the other side.

How to remove oil stains from clothing
Rub the washing up liquid over the bi-carb soda

3. Add a dash or 2 of washing up liquid on top and gently rub together to form a paste. Be sure that the paste fully coats the oil stain.

4. Leave for 15 minutes.

How to remove oil stains from fabric
Add some washing up liquid to the stain

5. Wash the garment on a warm wash cycle (providing it is able to be washed on warm) then air dry. If you’re applying this method to somewhere like your couch, gently remove the bi-carb mixture with warm water and allow to air dry.

6. Repeat again if it’s a particularly stubborn stain.

How to remove grass stains

Grass stains are a fact of life, especially if you have kids. Like those brand pants you bought that they wear once and end up with huge grass stains on both knees (true story). Yep, you definitely need these grass stain removal methods in your back pocket!

Method 1: Grass stain removal

Items you will need:

  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
How to remove grass stains


1. For an effective fabric stain removal that works great on grass stains, simply work salt and lemon juice directly into the stain.

Squeeze lemon onto stain
Squeeze lemon juice directly onto the stain
Use salt to remove grass stain
Then apply a generous amount of salt and gently rub the stain

2. Wait 10 mins and rinse clean. Again, for stubborn stains you may need to repeat this step.

Method 2: Grass stain removal

Items you will need:

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush


1. Make up a mixture using 2 parts water and 1 part of vinegar (eg. 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar).

2. Rub the mixture onto the grass stain with a toothbrush, then run it through the wash.

How to remove blood stains

From minor injuries to women’s monthly cycles, blood stains are one of the most common types of stains. We’ve found 2 different methods for you to try, whether you’re looking to remove dried blood stains or remove blood stains from sheets.

Give one of these a try the next time you find an unwanted blood stain.

Tip: You need to wash out your bloods stain in cold water. Using hot water will set the stain and make it a lot harder to remove.

Method 1: Blood stain removal

Items you will need:

  • Salt
  • Cold water


1. Create a paste over the blood stain using salt and cold water.

2. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse clean with cold water. Depending on the stain, you may need to repeat the process several times.

Method 2: Blood stain removal

Items you will need

  • Bar of soap ā€” we like the pure soap bar, Sunlight soap. You can find it in the laundry aisle of the supermarket.
  • Hydrogen peroxide ā€” found in the health and beauty section of the supermarket.
  • White vinegar


1. Rub the blood stain with the bar of soap in cold water.

2. Rinse it off then soak the stain in a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and top it up with white vinegar.

3. Allow to sit for 15 minutes then wash on a cold cycle.

Bicarb soda for stain removal

How to remove sweat stains

Sweat stains are caused by a build up of aluminium compounds, found it many antiperspirant deodorants. These react with the salts in your sweat and cause those awfully unattractive yellow sweat stains.

Try one of these methods to remove stains from clothes.

Method 1: Sweat stain removal

Ah the humble bi-carb soda. Useful around the house for so many reasons. Including how to remove stains from clothes with baking soda (aka bi-carb soda).

Items you will need:

  • 4 x tbsp bi-carb soda
  • 1/4 cup x warm water
  • Sunshine


1. Make a paste with the bi-carb soda and warm water and rub into the stain.

2. Leave in direct sunlight for 2 hours.

3. Wash as per usual.

Use peroxide to lift stains
Use peroxide to lift sweat stains

Method 2: Sweat stain removal

Items you will need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide ā€” found in the health and beauty section of the supermarket.
  • Water
  • Bi-carb soda


1. Make up a mix of 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part water and 1 part bi-carb soda.

2. Place it over the sweat stain and allow to sit for an hour.

3. Wash as per usual.

How to remove red wine stains

We may be guilty of this one more so than any of the other common household stains! So as far as stain removal methods go, these are worth a shot if you spill some of your precious liquid red šŸ˜‰ .

Method 1: Red wine stains

Items you will need

  • Hydrogen peroxide ā€” found in the health and beauty section of the supermarket.
  • Washing up liquid


1. Mix 3 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part washing up liquid and apply to the stain.

2. Allow to sit for about 1 hour.

3. Blot the stain and then wash the garment.

Use white vinegar to remove stains
White vinegar is powerful yet gentle at removing stains

Method 2: Red wine stains

Items you will need:

  • Soda water (aka sparkling water)
  • White vinegar


1. Mix together some soda water and white vinegar and blot onto the stain.

2. Soda water alone should work but add in some white vinegar if you need that extra cleaning boost.

Method 3: Red wine stains for carpet or upholstery

Try and clean stains from carpet or upholstery as soon as possible. This will give you the best chance at saving your fabrics from permanent stains.

Items you will need:

  • Salt


1. Simply pour a generous amount of salt over the stain and allow to sit for a few minutes.

2. Dab or blot (do not scrub) at the stain to remove the salt.

3. If this doesn’t remove the red wine stain, use the soda water and vinegar option from method 2.

Rinse stain under cold water

How to remove pasta sauce / tomato sauce stains

Dropping pasta sauce or tomato on yourself is bound to happen if you’re a) wearing white, or b) dining out at a restaurant. Plus if it’s your child eating it, it’s almost guaranteed to end in a stain! Give these low-tox stain removal options a try!

Method 1: Pasta sauce / tomato sauce stains

Items you will need:

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Spoon
  • Hydrogen peroxide ā€” found in the health and beauty section of the supermarket.


1. Remove as much excess food as possible.

2. Run the garment under water from the reverse side. This allows the water to help the stain run off the fabric, not soak further in.

3. Add a little liquid laundry detergent and rub with the back of a spoon. Rub from the outside of the stain, working your way in.

4. Rinse thoroughly.

5. If the fabric is white, use some hydrogen peroxide with a sponge and then rinse.

6. Repeat from step 2 if necessary until the stain is gone and then wash the garment.

Method 2: Pasta sauce / tomato sauce stains

Items you will need:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Ice
  • White vinegar
  • Cleaning cloth


1. Remove as much excess food as possible.

2. Add washing up liquid on top of the stain and rub with the ice.

3. If the stain does not fully come out, rub with white vinegar and a clean cloth.

4. Wash as per usual.

Use rubbing alcohol to remove stains

How to remove pen ink stains

You know the drill. You discover a pesky ballpoint pen mark on your clothes or worse, a pen leaks! Or perhaps it’s (cringe!) permanent marker. You may need to result to bleach for this one, but before you do that, why not give one of these stain removal methods a go?

Method 1: Pen ink stain removal

Items you will need:

  • Cleaning cloth
  • Liquid laundry detergent


1. If the stain is fresh, blot the stain with a clean cloth to transfer the ink to the cleaning cloth.

2. Pour a little laundry detergent on to the stain and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

3. Wash on a hot cycle (as hot as the garment fabric allows) and check the stain before drying. If it’s still there, repeat the process while the garment is still wet.

Method 2: Permanent pen ink stain removal

Permanent marker is called permanent for a reason. It’s a tricky one to remove but before you throw out the clothing or upholstery with pen on it, give this a try first.

Items you will need:

  • 2 x cleaning cloths or paper towel
  • Rubbing alcohol. We often use Isocol (the green bottle with a crocodile on it), available in the health and beauty aisle of the supermarket.


1. Place 1 cleaning cloth or paper towel behind the stain.

2. Using the second cloth or paper towel, blot the rubbing alcohol onto the stain. As the stain transfers to the cloth behind, move the cloth to allow more dye to transfer to the cloth.

3. Repeat until as much of the stain has been removed as possible.

4. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

5. If the stain is gone (hooray!) wash on the hottest setting suitable for the fabric.

6. If the stain is NOT gone (boo!) you may need to fully submerge the fabric* it in a solution of oxygen bleach and water (check the safe ratio on the bleach bottle).

7. Still there?! Make up another bleach and water solution and repeat the soaking process.

*Note: Oxygen bleach is not suitable to use on silk, wool, or fabrics with leather trim or wooden buttons.

We hope these stain removal hacks help you rescue a garment or your upholstered furniture! If you have any more life-saving stain removal tricks, we’d love you to share them in the comments below!

More cleaning tips and tricks

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

Iā€™m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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