Can't get that coffee or wine stain out? Here are 9 easy stain removal hacks

Woman looking at a stain (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Woman looking at a stain (PHOTO: Getty Images)

For most people, lockdown has meant doing things that they haven’t gotten the time to do before being at home for so long. Whether it is trying new recipes, participating in a viral challenge or spring cleaning the house.

Read more: Meal planning and other ways you can save on food during the lockdown

Doing laundry is another weekly activity that many of us now have time to do properly. Don’t cry over spilt wine, coffee or ink – just try these simple stain removal tricks with stuff you can find in your pantry! After applying the remedy, wash the item as normal.

Red Wine

Dab, don’t rub, the stain with a clean, damp cotton cloth to absorb any excess wine. Then put the stained portion of the garment over an empty bowl, secure with a rubber band and sprinkle a generous portion of salt on the stain. Pour hot water over the area and let the stained section soak in the salt and water for a few minutes. Clean the salt off.


Dishwashing liquid is made to clean greasy dishes so it’s perfect for oily lipstick stains. Blot the stain with a paper towel, then cover it with dishwashing liquid and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Rinse with water.

Read more: Blush, concealer and lipstick all in one: 4 alternative ways you can use your lipstick


Rid white shirts of unsightly armpit stains (caused by deodorant and sweat) by applying a paste made of lemon juice and baking soda to the stain. Let it sit for at least 1 hour.


There are a number of common household items you could use to rescue your favourite shirt after spilling oil on it. Liberally cover the stain with baby powder, chalk or cornflour, then rub the substance vigorously into the stain and leave over­night. Shake it off before washing.


Blot the stain with a wet cloth, rinse it thoroughly then leave the item to soak in a cold saltwater bath for several hours. Rinse once more with cold water – never use hot or warm water on blood stains as the heat will “cook” the protein in the blood and set the stain. To get rid of stubborn blood stains, mix salt with a little cold water to create a paste and work it into the fabric with an old toothbrush.


The next time you’re confronted with a stain from a leaky pen, check your medicine cabinet for rubbing alcohol. Put a paper towel under the stain to absorb the ink, then dab at it with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol or an alcohol wipe. Repeat if needed.


Cover the grass stain with a solution of one-part white vinegar and one part water and let it soak in the mixture for 15 minutes. Then use either a rag or an old toothbrush and work the solution into the stain.


Mix a beaten egg yolk with a little warm water. Using a clean cloth or soft brush, work the egg solution into the stain for about 1 minute. Rinse the garment well with water.

Candle Wax

Freeze the garment to harden the wax, then scrape it off with a knife. Get rid of the residue by cove ring the stain with a paper towel and ironing over it (moving the paper towel constantly) to melt the remaining wax into the paper. If there’s still wax on the fabric, spread the affected area over a bowl, secure it with rubber bands and pour boiling water over it to melt the wax.