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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

  • Blunt kitchen knife
  • Liquid hand dishwashing Detergent
  • Ammonia
  • Enzyme product
  • Chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach
Caution: Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia - fumes are hazardous.

Steps to Clean

  1. Scrape off excess material.
  2. Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of 1 quart lukewarm water, one-half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon ammonia.
  3. Rub gently from back to loosen stain.
  4. Soak another 15 minutes in above mixture. Rinse.
  5. Soak protein stain in enzyme product for at least 30 minutes. Soak aged stains for several hours. Launder.
  6. If color stain remains, launder, using chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or with oxygen bleach.


Chemical solvents and supplies

  • Vacuum
  • White vinegar
  1. Blot up excess material with clean towel. 
  2. Sponge with cool water and blot, then sponge with a solution of equal parts of water and white vinegar and blot well. 
  3. Shampoo, let dry; and then vacuum.

Steps to Clean


What you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda

Steps to Clean

  1. Sponge fresh stains with cloth using detergent solution.  Rinse with another cloth using white vinegar solutions (equal parts of white vinegar and water).   Let air dry.  If odor remains, sprinkle stained area with baking soda or calcium carbonate.  Wait one day; then vacuum. 
  2. Old urine stains and odors may be impossible to remove.