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University of Illinois Extension


Treat stains as soon as possible after staining. The older the stain, the more difficult it will be to remove.

All stain removal methods should be applied prior to laundering washable garments. Stains that have been laundered and dried are almost impossible to remove.

Washable Fabrics

What you will need

  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent
  • Dilute solution of all-fabric powdered bleach
  • Liquid chlorine bleach
  • Commercial color remover

Steps to Clean

  1. Pretreat the stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Rinse.
  2. Soak fabric in dilute solution of all-fabric powdered bleach.
  3. If stain persists and garment is white or colorfast, soak entire garment in diluted solution of liquid chlorine bleach and water. Chlorine bleach may change the color of the garment or cause irreversible damage. Check for bleach tolerance on a hidden seam. If stain does not come out in 15 minutes of bleaching, if cannot be removed by bleaching.
  4. If bleaching is not safe or does not work, use a commercial color remover according to package directions. Note that color remover will take out the fabric color as well as the stain. Do not exceed 160 degrees Fahrenheit water with any synthetic fabrics*. Launder.

*Synthetic Fabrics are: Acetate, Acrylic, Polyester, Nylon, Olefin, Triacetate and anything labeled static-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, permanent-press, no-iron, stain-proof or moth-repellent


What you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol

Steps to Clean

  1. Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol.
  2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the vinegar/alcohol solution.
  3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears.