Kids and adults alike may experience accidentally spilling food and getting dirt on their clothes. Depending on what they are wearing and the substance that came in contact with the garment, a quick dab with a napkin can often solve the issue. However, some substances can leave a visible mark on clothes and make them look less presentable. And this is where the challenge begins.

Stains can be removed with a little bit of effort and the right method. One thing to remember is to deal with the stain as soon as you can. If you let the stain soak into the fabric, it will be harder to remove. So before handwashing or tossing the garment into the washing machine, make sure to pretreat the stained area. Otherwise, the stain will remain and the clothes will not come out clean.  

To make sure that you are applying the right treatment, here are some of the most common stains you might encounter and tips for how to effectively remove them.


A lot of people enjoy eating fries and other fried foods with ketchup but this also increases the chances of getting a red-orange mark on their clothes. The next time this happens, there is no need to panic because there is a simple way to get rid of ketchup stains. 

Begin by working from the back of the stained spot and flushing it with water. Then, pretreat the spot with liquid laundry detergent and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat the process until you have removed most of the red sauce. Use a pre-wash stain remover on the stained area and wash the clothes as you normally would.  


Have you experienced grease getting into your clothes? If so, you know that simply washing the garment won’t remove it. While grease doesn’t leave any form of discoloration on the clothing, it is visible due to the wet-looking mark that remains on the fabric. Fortunately, there is a quick remedy that can be found on your kitchen sink.

Similar to how you will clean grease off your plates and utensils, you can use dishwashing liquid to remove grease stains from your clothes. After running the stained clothing under running water, apply an appropriate amount of dishwashing liquid on the affected spot. Using a soft toothbrush, gently scrub the stained spot in a circular motion. Then, rinse it thoroughly and proceed with laundering as normal.

Fruit Juice

Accidentally spilling fruit juice on clothes is very common, especially among kids. While it can leave a stain, it is simple to remove. The first thing you want to do is to lighten the stain as much as you can by rinsing the stained area with cold water. You can also dampen a cloth with white vinegar and use it to blot the stain. Then, rinse with cold water and toss the clothes into the washing machine. Make sure to follow the garment label’s washing instructions for best results.

Red Wine

Another common stain many people often encounter is red wine. As long as the stained garment is not made from delicate fabrics like silk or wool, you can remove the red wine residue from the clothes. Begin by laying the clothing item on a flat surface and placing some paper towels underneath the stained spot. The paper towel will help absorb moisture and some of the stain.

To remove the stain, soak a sponge in hot water and squeeze out the excess. Dab the stain using the damp sponge. Rinse the sponge after and repeat the process until most of the redness has been lifted from the garment. If the garment label indicates that it can withstand bleach treatment, you can apply some bleach-based stain remover on the stain and surrounding area. Once you have completed this process, you can machine wash the garment as per its label’s recommended washing instructions.  


A lot of people still carry pens in their shirt pockets because it is very convenient. You can easily reach for the pen when you need to write or sign something and store it when you no longer need it. However, forgetting to replace the pen’s cap can lead to ink bleeding into your shirt. For smaller ink stains, you can easily remove them with some rubbing alcohol or hairspray but if there’s a large pool of ink, try this method instead. 

Start by placing paper towels under the garment to absorb the moisture. Using a sponge, soak the stained portion with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Blot the saturated area with a clean white cloth and see if the stain is lifted.

Alternatively, you can apply some hairspray to the stain and dab the area using a crumpled paper towel. While this process can take a while before you see some positive results, using hairspray is very effective in removing ink stains from clothing items. Once you have gotten most of the stain out, rinse the stained spot under cold running water and proceed with laundering the clothes.

Even if you are very careful about your activities, you can still encounter little accidents like spilling and dropping food on your clothes—which can leave stains. Next time you get a stain on your shirt, try the quick solutions to remove some common stains mentioned above. While it might take a bit more time and effort, these methods will help save your clothes so you can wear them again stain-free. Don’t forget to check out my other cleaning hacks.

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Last Update: Thursday, 24th February 2022