Remove your stains while they are fresh. If they dry, it'll be a whole new game. The-hard-to-win kind.
Don't just keep your garment's care instructions—follow them. They are there for a reason.
The more expensive a piece of clothing is, the less you should doubt taking it to a professional cleaner.
Test if the fabric is colorfast by dabbing a wet white cloth on a discreet area, such as the inside of a sleeve. If any dye transfers to the cloth, consider dry-cleaning.
Never use bleach on clothes—it will ruin the fabric.
Invest in environmentally friendly cleaners—they are less toxic to the planet and for you.
If you are unsure about a method, but really want to give it a try, test it on a similar, but cheaper, item.
Have fun—stain removal is jolly good leisure.
Don't let the stain get old and ugly. If you are not in the mood to deal with it immediately (or if your date takes an unexpected, but pleasant, turn), get a bucket of cold water, and soak the garment overnight.
You can use a similar approach when dealing with stains from berries, juices, chocolate, tea, and coffee. Before you treat a chocolate stain, though, gently remove any solid particles with the blunt edge of a table knife.
Don't pour hot water on a wine stain—you risk baking it there for good.
For lipstick or other makeup smears, use the method above. Alternatively, spray WD-40—the multi-purpose penetrating oil and water-displacing lubricant—over the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, rinse with hot water, and finish it off rubbing the stain with some laundry soap. Make sure the stain is gone before letting your garment dry.
If the stain is the result of butter or other grease melting onto your clothing, gently remove any excess with the blunt edge of a knife before using soap.
Abominations like oil, molten cheese, and tomato sauce dripping from a pizza, are known as combination stains. In such cases, tread with caution. Deal with the oil component first, and follow up with enzymatic cleaners, some sodium percarbonate stain remover, or Oxiclean for what's left of the stain, Ely says.
- The same approach works for Worcestershire sauce.
- If you find yourself on an island far from civilization, you can also remove a bloody stain by rubbing spit on it. Saliva is full of enzymes.