There are a multitude of do-it-yourself stain removing tips on the internet. Many of them simply don't work. So, I tried them to find out which DIY stain removers you can use to save your clothes from the rag drawer.
For some of these, I consulted with Dan Miller, founder and CEO of Mulberrys Garment Care in Minneapolis and San Francisco for the best DIY stain remedies. "All you need to know is the type of stain that you have and you'll be on your way to clean clothes," Miller said.
"Any stain that comes from a fruit or plant, whether it is coffee, tomato sauce or wine can be removed with something in your home that is acidic," Miller said. Vinegar or lemon juice, for example, are great at breaking down plant stains.
"Ink or dye stains can be broken down with acetone, which is in most nail polish removers," Miller said. First, make sure to test the nail polish remover on a small piece of the fabric to make sure the acetone won't damage it. Then, use a small piece of sponge to dab the nail polish remover on the stain.
"Stains that come from animals or humans, such as blood, can be removed with alkaline substances," Miller said. Baking soda or ammonia are alkaline, so if you have either one, you're in luck. Rinse the stain with water and put a little baking soda or ammonia on the stain. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, throw the item in the laundry machine or wipe it down with a wet rag.
Then, rub a warm iron over the paper towel. Keep doing this with a new piece of paper towel until the wax is totally absorbed. Next, dab the spot with a little rubbing alcohol while the fabric is still warm. Finish up by hand washing it with a few drops of dish soap. Amazingly enough, this trick works great!