Hardest To Remove Stains on Clothes | Vanish (2023)

Stains can strike at any time and can ruin your clothes, and your day, especially if they land on your favourite item of clothing. But why do some stains seem harder to get out than others?

Stains can be broken down into four different groups: enzymatic, oil-based, oxidisable and particulate – with many stains belonging to more than one group (combination stains).

Enzymatic Stains[1]– caused by organic substances such as egg, grass, chocolate and baby food[2]

Greasy / Oil Stains[1]such as hand lotion, hair mousse, lard and butter[2].

Oxidisable Stains[1]key ingredient in alcoholic drinks, coffee and tea (without milk) and soft drinks[2].

(Video) How to Remove Stains From Clothes At Home Better Than The Dry Cleaner

Particulate Stains[1]such as mud and ground in dirt[1].

Combination Stains[2] – these stains can be a mix of two or more of the above stain types. Combination stains can include a wide variety of stains from lipstick to tomato ketchup.

Whatever the stain, your usual washing detergent alone might not be able to remove it completely – it will only fade the toughest of stains. You may encounter the following stains in your weekly wash, but they will require more effort to get out, something laundry detergent can’t handle alone. By using Vanish alongside your detergent you have more chances to have your stain removed.

Egg (Enzymatic Stain)

Egg can be difficult to remove from your clothes, and it is always better to deal with this particular type of stain as soon as possible. But then, you may not be able to wash the stain off right away, especially if you’re out of your house at the time. At least blot out as much of the stain as you can, and then always rinse the item in cold water. Include Vanish in your wash to get rid of egg stains quickly and effectively.

(Video) How to Get (Almost) Every Kind of Stain Out of Your Clothes

Mud (Particulate Stain)

Children are prone to getting dirty – whether it’s after a sunny day in the park or a rainy day spent jumping in muddy muddles. The first step in removing the mud stain, no matter how deeply it is ingrained, is to let it dry and scrape off the excess. After that, you are free to pre-treat and wash using Vanish!

Check out our detailed guide on how to remove mud stains here.

Grass (Enzymatic Stain)

Grass is great to walk on and it cools the eyes as well, but its most troublesome property is that the bright green chlorophyll and the other pigments in it create the toughest stains. This happens because these pigments are similar in structure to most fabrics – thus, they they actually penetrate and bond with the fabric on contact.

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Check out our detailed guide on how to remove grass stains here.

Chocolate (Greasy/Oil Stain[3])

A sweet treat for all the family can also be a difficult thing to remove from clothes.

It’s easy to smudge a missed bit of chocolate on your hand into your jeans, like it is for a child’s sticky fingers to be wiped on their clothes - and there is no hiding the rich chocolate colour.

Unlike most other stains, you can make life easier by leaving the stain to dry, before scraping the excess chocolate off. Check out our detailed guide on how to remove chocolate stains here.

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Oil (Greasy / Oil Stain)

Because some oil stains aren’t brightly coloured, they may not be as obvious at first. However, they do tend to leave materials darker in the area that they stain[4]. Typically, an oil stain will appear grey on a white coloured cloth. Before tackling this type of stain it’s best to use a dry absorbent cloth and dab the oil to remove any excess.

Check out our detailed guide on how to remove oil stains here.

Detergent alone might not be enough to remove some stains and the more challenging ones might require extra help to shift. By incorporating Vanish into your washing routine you are guaranteed to remove some stains with just the first use, so you no longer have to battle with repeat washes and at worst, throwing away your clothes.

[1] http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resources/chemistry-in-your-cupboard/vanish/2

(Video) How to remove coffee stains from clothes ☕ - 👍 Best coffee stain removal

[2] http://www.stain-guide.com/stains.html

[3] http://housekeeping.about.com/od/stainremoval/ht/Remove-Chocolate-Stains-5-Easy-Tips.htm

[4] http://housekeeping.about.com/od/stainremoval/ht/Removing-Cooking-And-Vegetable-Oil-Stains.htm


What is the hardest stain to remove from clothing? ›

The Ten Worst Stains (and How to Treat Them)
  • Red Wine. ...
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Fruit & Fruit Juice. ...
  • Grass. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Grease. ...
  • Ink. A hand hack to remove ink from clothing is using a hairspray! ...
  • Perspiration. Perspiration is a difficult stain to remove.
Apr 30, 2020

Why are some stains more difficult to remove? ›

Stains are harder to remove after a long period of time because they have “time to set” and cling to fibers; most difficult to remove if petroleum based. It can be done by “pretreating” the stains with a remover that is specifically made to combat that particular type of stain.

Can some stains never be removed? ›

The short answer is unfortunately no, not all stains can be removed, and here are three reasons why. The longer a stain is left untreated, the less likely it is to be removed.

What to do when stains won't come out of clothes? ›

Douse the stain with white vinegar, then apply a paste made of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. If this doesn't work, immerse the item overnight in a bucket of water containing a few tablespoons of detergent and vinegar. Rinse and wash the following morning.

What is the number 1 hardest stain to remove? ›

1. Hot Cocoa. Hot cocoa may be the drink that you've always turned to for comfort, but it can also be your worst and hardest enemy as a stain. Cocoa is made up of some of the world's toughest stains.

What stains are permanent? ›

Certain types of fibers, such as wool, cotton, silk, and some nylons are particularly susceptible to permanent staining from coffee, tea, wine, etc. Be aware of hot liquids, especially. Of course, bleach and household chemicals (see below) can cause permanent staining as well.

What causes permanent stains? ›


Certain types of fibers, such as wool, cotton, silk, and some nylons are particularly susceptible to permanent staining from coffee, tea, wine, etc. Be aware of hot liquids, especially. Of course, bleach and household chemicals (see below) can cause permanent staining as well.

What makes a stain worse? ›

Using hot or warm water

Flushing a fresh stain with hot water may seem obvious, but it can have the opposite effect. Hot water can permanently set some stains, particularly those that are protein-based, like blood. Instead, always use cold water.

What factors affect stain removal? ›

  • WATER. Water is the most important factor in cleaning. ...
  • MECHANICAL ACTION. Are you using scrubber or are you just using your hands? ...
  • TIME. There are some cleaning agents that you have to let work first on the surface and unto the deep layers. ...

Can some stains be permanent? ›

Unfortunately for everyone, some stains are permanent. They simply become part of the fabric. Continued attempts to remove them will cause dye loss or fabric damage, known as chafing or fraying.

Can permanent stains be removed? ›

To remove a permanent marker stain, dab the spot with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first). Rinse; let dry.

Are blood stains impossible to remove? ›

Blood is one of the most difficult substances to remove once it has stained a fabric, surface, or laundry. However, stain removal can be accomplished with some help, usually with everyday items that can be found around the house.

Why are my clothes still stained after washing? ›

If a washing machine is overloaded or detergent is not properly loaded, it won't properly dissolve in water – meaning it ends up on your clothes instead. Laundry detergent stains are annoying, but they don't have to be permanent.

Do stains eventually come out? ›

"The good news is that almost any stain will come out eventually," says Mr. Macpherson. As for stain-removal sprays and pre-treatments, these can be useful, but you will still have to rinse, check the stain and repeat if necessary.

Does hydrogen peroxide remove stains? ›

Hydrogen peroxide works differently than vinegar and is better at removing different types of stains. Hydrogen peroxide doesn't actually remove stains—it just makes them invisible! It breaks up strong chemical bonds in stains including ink, and in doing so it makes the stains colorless—but they're still there!

What material is the most stain resistant? ›

Vinyl fabrics are among the most stain-resistant fabrics, which is why they are often used for upholstery in public settings.

What is the best stain remover for old stains? ›

Stain Removers
  • OxiClean MaxForce Spray. Price. Sold by. ...
  • OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover Spray. Price. ...
  • Shout Triple-Acting Spray. Price. ...
  • Spray 'n Wash Laundry Stain Remover Spray. Price. ...
  • Spray 'n Wash Max Spray. Price. ...
  • Shout Advanced Action Gel Liquid. Price. ...
  • Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release. Price. ...
  • Persil ProClean Stain Fighter. Price.
Nov 27, 2019

What are the five types of stain removal? ›

In this chapter, we discuss eight physical stain-removal techniques: brushing, flushing, freezing, presoaking, pretreating, scraping, sponging, and tamping. Which technique to use in treating a particular spot or stain depends upon both the nature of the stain and the type of surface stained.

Which stain last the longest? ›

Solid wood stains. Just like regular paint, solid stains hide the grain of the wood, and the best should last three to five years on a deck, the longest of the three types of stains.

Why do my stains not come out of the wash? ›

Some stains come out quite easily in a routine wash and don't need to be pre-treated. And yet, there is an often-overlooked reason that a normal cycle doesn't get rid of the stain, and that is overloading the washing machine. When there are too many items of clothes stuffed into the drum, they can't move around.

Why do teeth turn yellow? ›

Teeth ultimately turn yellow as you get older, when enamel wears away from chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. Most teeth turn yellow as this enamel thins with age, but some take on a grayish shade when mixed with a lasting food stain.

What is the number one rule of stain removal? ›

1. Act quickly – scrape off solids with a blunt knife and blot liquid with absorbent paper. Never spot-clean any stain with hot or warm water as it can set the stain.

What color is most stain resistant? ›

Dark brown carpet, in particular, is the best color to have if you need to conceal any number of stains, from red wine to dirt.

Is hot or cold water better for stains? ›

Typically, cold water works great on blood, as well as food, beverages and water-based paint, while hot water works best on protein-based stains. Unfortunately, there's no golden rule to stain removal. For example, most food stains should be soaked in cold water, unless it's egg, mustard or a tomato-based product.

What is the most important aspect of stain removal? ›

It is important not to rub the material with the sponge, but to use a padding motion, so as not to spread the stain. The solvent dissolves the stain, which is deposited on the absorbent material beneath. To completely remove the stain it may be necessary to use more than one absorbent pad.

How long will stains last? ›

Wood Finish Shelf Life: Can Stains and Finishes Go Bad?
ProductShelf Life
Traditional Oil-Based Stain3 Years
Gel Stain3 Years
Oil-Based Stain + Poly5 Years
Water-Based Stain + Poly3 Years
4 more rows
Jan 3, 2021

How do you remove tough stains naturally? ›

Use a solution of 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water on the stain. Apply liberally and then treat with laundry soap and water. “DO NOT put the garment in the dryer until you have seen that the stain is gone,” he warns.

What gets period blood out of sheets? ›

Mix one tablespoon of dish soap (any kind works) and two tablespoons of salt. Then, soak your stained sheet in the mixture for about 30 minutes. After, rinse with cold water. Ammonia: Ammonia is a great way to remove a variety of stains including urine and sweat.

Will OxiClean remove dried blood stains? ›

Even when you can't treat a stain immediately, the five powerful Stain Fighters in OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray tackle tough stains like dried-in blood.

Why does hydrogen peroxide remove blood stains? ›

When you apply peroxide to a blood stain, it will encounter an enzyme in the blood called catalase that triggers an oxidizing reaction. What is this? This reaction breaks down many of the chemical compounds that cause blood stains to cling to fabric.

How do you get old stains out of clothes naturally? ›

Baking soda: make into a paste with water and scrub into stains. Leave for a few minutes then rinse. White vinegar: soak clothes in water then scrub with a solution of a equal parts baking soda and white vinegar. Rinse and dry.

What stains does bleach not remove? ›

Always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather and spandex.

Does toothpaste work on stains? ›

Toothpaste is mildly abrasive, so it's great at scrubbing tough stains, yet it's gentle enough that it won't scratch delicate surfaces (you know, like the enamel of your teeth). Plus, some toothpastes are even formulated for whitening, making them more effective at removing stains.

How do you get 20 year old stains out of carpet? ›

Try Baking Soda + Vinegar

Sprinkle a layer of dry baking soda on the stain. Then, mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. The vinegar will foam when it hits the baking soda which will clean the stain.

How long should hydrogen peroxide sit on clothes? ›

Wash the stained item with cold water and normally used soap or detergent. You can also soak the entire garment in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the stained clothing from the hydrogen peroxide and rinse it out in cold water.

What happens if you leave hydrogen peroxide on clothes? ›

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Stain Clothes? As safe as hydrogen peroxide is for clothes, there are just some fibers that hydrogen peroxide can't befriend. Synthetic fibers don't react very well with hydrogen peroxide and often result in a yellow tinge or stain.

How do you permanently stain clothes? ›

Heat can set stains permanently. Once you toss the item into the dryer, the stain is set for good. If the stain remains after the first wash, pre-treat and wash again before drying to try and remove the stain.

How do I remove a stain that is too thick? ›

Simply use a lint-free rag soaked in mineral spirits or paint thinner to rub the areas of over-application—wherever the stain has puddled or is thick and sticky—to remove the excess stain.

Are all stains permanent? ›

Almost all stains can be removed if treated quickly enough. However, most stains will become permanent if left untreated too long. When first coming into contact with fabric, most stains will initially remain on the surface and can be removed relatively easily.

What are the 8 methods of stain removal? ›

In this chapter, we discuss eight physical stain-removal techniques: brushing, flushing, freezing, presoaking, pretreating, scraping, sponging, and tamping. Which technique to use in treating a particular spot or stain depends upon both the nature of the stain and the type of surface stained.

What are the five main stain-removing agents? ›

Such solvents can include laundry detergent, bleach, peroxide, vinegar, or a cleaning product with enzymes. Soaking in the water-solvent mixture allows for the stain to be loosened from the fabric, thus making it easier to remove with scrubbing or washing.

What makes a good stain remover? ›

Stain removers often contain alcohol which acts as a solvent for both water-based and oil-based stains. Hydrocarbon solvents, such as gasoline, may be used to dissolve some stains. The rule here is that "like dissolves like". Basically this means you want to use a solvent that is chemically similar to your stain.

Why do my clothes keep coming out with stains? ›

This can be caused by using more than the recommended portion of detergent, washing your clothes in cold water with powdered detergent or using the wrong type of detergent for the dispenser (powdered detergent in a dispenser meant for liquid detergent and vice versa).

Can solid stain be removed? ›

For harder to remove solid stains longer dwell times may be necessary. Once the solid stain begins to break loose from the wood surface, use a pressure washer at 1500-3000 psi to remove as much as the solid stain as possible. Reapply the stain stripper and repeat the process if stubborn areas remain. Rinse thoroughly.

Does vinegar dissolve stain? ›

Distilled white vinegar is actually one of the best stain removers we have been given from nature. Found in invariably every household, it is mildly acidic, so acetic vinegar removes the tough spots and blotches without ruining the fabric of your clothes.

Will excess stain eventually dry? ›

To remove excess oil stain from wood, simply apply another coat of stain, allow it to soak in for a few minutes, then wipe it off. Any excess stain will redissolve and come off, leaving only the stain that penetrated into the wood.


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