How do I get that red wine or tomato sauce stain off my new white blouse or leather shoes?

Models Yasmin Wijnaldum, Alanna Arrington walk confidently in their off-white blouses and leather accessories
Models Yasmin Wijnaldum, Alanna Arrington walk confidently in their off-white blouses and leather accessories

When food or drink stains mysteriously or conspicuously appear on your clothes, the best thing to do is act fast because you don’t want the spill or smear to settle in and dry.

Remember not to panic. You don’t want to pour water on your suede bag or boil your silk dress because you're looking for a quick and immediate fix. Here's a guide on how to reasonably address stains on some of our favourite and classic fabrics.


The best way to go is to use care kits that are specifically designed for suede. According to Esquire, the suede eraser and brush can take care of just about any stain.

READ MORE: Wardrobe fails – and how to avoid them

Never throw water on your treasured suede accessory. If it does happen to come in contact with water try to sponge up the water and revive the suede before it dries. Water stains are not a good look. GQ suggests you push out the water with an absorbent material, like a microfibre or paper towel then brush with soft bristles as it dries.

Keep a care kit in your household when you have items made from this special hide.


After a wash, oil stains can be impossible to get off from that silk blouse.

Corn starch and baby powder are popular go-to remedies to use and may help lift the oil off - before washing. According to SELF, a sprinkle of one of the powders can absorb the oil stain after the powder has sat for 15 minutes or so. Then all you need to do is wipe it off.

READ MORE: How to wear this season's essential fabric with as much finesse as Rihanna and Kefilwe Mabote

A natural reaction to removing an oil stain is to apply hot water and perhaps some dishwashing liquid to lift the grease, but this OMO care guide says that’s a no-no. The detergent brand says the delicate silk material is better kept cool.

To make sure you attract less oil stains try use a non-greasy lotion on your skin and avoid spraying oil-based fragrances directly on your silk items.

White fabric

While the all white aesthetic was a trend for at least two festive seasons in a row, wearing white during the December holiday is actually an extreme sport.

With canapés, alcohol and all sorts of foods floating around your super cool outfit, a good stain remover is a must have in any household. Or even to carry on your person especially if you want to preserve your precious white items.

According to this W24 article, a healthy amount of preen aerosol stain remover left on the stain for 1-5 minutes does wonders and the stain will be as good as gone.

READ MORE: 11 cleaning hacks even lazy girls can use

The good old red wine spill feels like a punch to the stomach.

Whether you’re wearing cotton, linen or pretty much any fabric, a wine stain is disastrous. But it's not impossible get rid of it as long as you make sure you act very quickly. 

The OMO care guide suggests the following for removing red wine stains:

  • first blot the wine stain with a cloth to soak up the wine
  • then press in table salt crystals to further absorb the wine
  • keep the stain moist with cool water (hot water will make the stain stubborn), white wine or soda water until you can treat it further
  • wash it by following the garment’s care guide


Leather bags and purses will obviously be the most vulnerable this season, but maybe you are bold enough to rock a leather mini skirt, boots or the like.

A black leather jacket or pair of shoes is no cause for concern, but those light coloured leather items can create anxiety.

Flat leathers are usually relatively easy to clean and a damp cloth can pretty much take care of many household product you throw on it. Unless, of course, if it’s ink. You wrote too many Christmas cards and wanted to flex your calligraphy skills... Next thing you have ink on your precious leather skirt.

READ MORE: 14 clever ways to organise your wardrobe

The Spruce suggests you use isopropyl alcohol but with absolute caution. While the ink stain is still fresh, the site recommends you dampen a piece of cotton and dab on the ink working from the outside inwards without spreading the ink elsewhere.

Have you ever experienced a stain disaster? Let us know how you saved your investment here.

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