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How to Remove Any Type Stain From your T-Shirt

By Shirtspace | Jun 08, 2016 |  Updated Oct 23, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, any stain is removable — and that’s good news for sloppy eaters, parents of kids, pet-owners, and the rest of us who just have a case of perpetual butterfingers. 

If you act fast you can get a coffee, tea, or even a stubborn wine stain out of almost anything. This includes some of the most stubborn stains, like perspiration, “tomato-based” stains, ink and dye, gum, and glue.  

To remove any type of stain from your fabrics and upholstery, there is also a specific process. Oil-based stains, for example, will need an absorbent first, followed by a solvent. You need to cater your approach based on the stain, which is where this guide can help. 

Use our ultimate guide to stain removal to learn exactly how to remove a coffee, tea, wine, or any other type of stain from your clothing.  

1) How To Remove Coffee or Tea Stains from T-Shirts

If you’re wondering how to remove a coffee or tea stain from a t-shirt, it’s a very simple procedure. Though both types of drinks are strong enough in color that they’re frequently used as light, natural dyes, a little elbow grease and fast action will help protect your clothing. 

All you need is:

  • A toothbrush

  • Laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

  • Water

Start by rinsing your clothing out under cold water. Don’t scrub, just run it under the water and thoroughly soak the fabric. Next, create a mixture of laundry detergent, white vinegar, and water. It should form a paste. Work this into the stained part of the fabric with a toothbrush. Once you see the stain start to soften and disappear, you can wash out the fabric. Coffee and tea stains begone!

2) How To Remove Red Wine Stains From Clothing

The only thing worse than a coffee or tea stain is learning how to remove a red wine stain from your prized fabrics. It’s actually far easier than you think and you have two different options open to you.  

To remove a red wine stain from fabric, you’ll need:

  • Club soda

  • Cold water

  • Salt

  • A bit of boiling water

Start by blotting the offending area with club soda. Use a rag or a paper towel to do this. Next, run cold water over the fabric or wash it in cold water. You can also first cover the red wine stain in salt. Let it absorb for a minute or a so and then stretch the fabric and pour boiling water directly over the salt (which is sitting on the stain). The salt will dissolve and eliminate the wine stain. 

3) How To Make Mustard Stains Go Away

Let's face it: hot dogs and burgers are only as good as their condiment toppings. But things can get messy real fast. So here’s how to remove a mustard stain for that inevitable moment when you’re just too busy enjoying your burger to notice the big yellow blotch on your t-shirt. 

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 10 ounces of water in a big bowl

  • Next, submerge your fabric or t-shirt into the solution

  • Let it linger there for a few minutes. Now, rinse under hot water or at the highest temperature the fabric is designed to withstand

  • And there you have it. Mustard no more! 

4) Removing Tomato Sauce Stains from Clothes

Critics agree: Tomato sauce stains are as cringe-worthy as red wine stains. Granted, the process of how to remove tomato sauce stains is a little more time consuming than red wine, but the results will leave your clothing spotless.

Make sure to have the following household items on hand:

  • Liquid laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

  • A sponge

First, flush the back of the stain with cold water on the fabric. Next, rub in liquid laundry detergent onto the offending area. Work this in for a few minutes before rinsing the soap out completely. Next, dip your sponge into some white vinegar and work this into the stain. Rinse and repeat the process once over. Your fabric will be de-tomato-sauced in no time!

5) How To Eliminate Ice Cream Stains

Just because you’re having vanilla ice cream doesn’t mean you’re in the clear — you still need to know how to remove ice cream stains. A great, big vanilla splotch on dark fabrics is just as terrible to have as a chocolate ice cream on white fabrics. For this disappearing trick, you’ll need some club soda and laundry detergent. 

  • Turn the fabric over and flush the back of the stained area with club soda. 

  • Next, gently rub laundry detergent into the stain. Let this soak for about 15 minutes. 

  • Now, run your t-shirt through the normal setting or cycle in your washing machine

  • You should see an instant elimination of ice cream stains!

6) Quickly Clean Lipstick Stains from Shirts

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, removing lipstick stains is the easiest of them all. You don’t need too much time or too many implements to remove lipstick stains. Here’s how it works:

  • Grab your fabric and spray the stained area with hairspray

  • Let it simply sit this way for about 15 minutes

  • Now, soak a second cloth in warm water. Wipe the hairsprayed area down with the warm, wet cloth. 

  • This will easily and effectively get out your lipstick stain!

7) Getting Out Grass Stains from Your Clothing

The good news about learning how to get out grass stains from fabric is that you don’t need to panic and treat the fabric right away. You certainly can attack the stain quickly if you want, but you can treat it just as well when you’re ready to do laundry because the process allows for running the fabric through a machine. 

Here's how remove grass stains, simply:

  • Soak the fabric in cold water first

  • Remove, wring out the excess water, and then treat the area with stain remover. Leave this on for 15 minutes. 

  • Wash out with normal laundry detergent or you can rinse it in a regular cycle

  • The stain remover will grab onto your grass stain with ease!

8) How To Remove Blood Stains

Unlike every other stain on our stain removal guide, blood is the trickiest because it’s a human bodily fluid. Its iron-rich content makes it a strong stain contender which requires a bit of a chemical nudge to really break those stains down. Blood also soaks its way right through multiple layers of fabric very quickly so you’ll really need all the help you can to remove blood stains. 

  1. Start by soaking your blood-stained fabric in cool salt water. Try and dissolve the salt as best as you can by stirring, but it’s okay if there are still visible salt particles floating around. 

  2. Next, apply a solution of one part ammonia mixed with two parts water to the stained area

  3. Toss your fabric into the appropriate wash cycle in your laundry machine. This combination of intensive removal and washing should lift those blood stains right out!

There Are No Impossible Stains

If there’s one thing the Shirtspace Stain Removal Guide should prove to you, it’s that there’s really no stain that a trusty combination of water, timely scrubbing, laundry detergent, white vinegar, and, yes, at times even ammonia (handled carefully), can’t properly fix. It’s a good idea to keep a full stock of these items in your laundry room, just in case you need to treat clothing right before popping them into a wash cycle.  

There really are no such things as “impossible to get out” stains. Use this guide to help you break down and remove your toughest ones. 

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