Inside: After 3 kids, I’ve become an expert at getting rid of tough stains. These are the best tips for how to remove stains from clothes, plus a free printable guide!
With three young kids (and a husband), I’ve had to become an expert at cleaning stains of every kind.
I’m sharing all the best products you NEED in your laundry room, plus the how to remove those stubborn stains from your clothes.
I list all of the stains I’ve run into as a mom and the product and technique that works the best to remove each one.
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- What is the best stain remover for clothes?
- How To Get Stains Out Of Clothes
- How to get food coloring out of clothes
- How to get red sauce out of clothes
- How to get chocolate out of clothes
- How to get berry stains out of clothes
- How to get watermelon stains out of clothes
- How to get mac and cheese out of clothes
- How to get oil out of clothes
- How to get grass stains out of clothes
- How to get dirt out of clothes
- How to get blood out of clothes
- How to get baby poop out of clothes
- How to get pen out of clothes
- How to get marker out of clothes
- Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Stains
- Want More?
- Your Turn
What is the best stain remover for clothes?
I use lots of different products for cleaning stains. These are my favorites:
OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover Spray
OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover Spray
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder
Spray ‘n Wash Laundry Stain Remover
Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bar
Clorox Bleach Pen
Clorox 2 Stain Fighter and Color Booster
Dawn Dish Soap
That may look like a long list, but most of the items are cheap and last a long time. They also each do a different job for cleaning stains and I find myself using them all on a weekly basis (because, yes, my kids are SUPER messy!).
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How To Get Stains Out Of Clothes
OK, now let’s jump into each stain and how to treat it:
How to get food coloring out of clothes
This is one stain that my kids get all of the time!
After they eat things like popsicles, candy, colored drinks, or slushies I always get nervous that they’ve stained their clothes for good! But this is actually one stain that’s pretty easy to get out consistently.
- As soon as you can, pour Dawn dish soap over the stain.
- Then, soak in a sink full of vinegar and cold water.
Dawn dish soap is great for cleaning stains from food coloring!
How to get red sauce out of clothes
- First, spray the stain with either product and let is sit.
- If that doesn’t do the job, add Dawn dish soap and scrub under cold water.
How to get chocolate out of clothes
- Spray chocolate stains with Spray ‘n Wash or OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover and let it sit.
- Next scrub the stain under cool water with Fels Naptha.
How to get berry stains out of clothes
Cleaning stains from berries was one of my toughest challenges, but then I started using OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover!
I spray a little OxiClean Stain Remover on my daughter’s jam-covered clothes and by the time she’s out of the bathtub, the stain is completely gone! It’s like magic!
Just don’t use Fels Naptha on the berry stain. It turns it a weird color that’s difficult to get out.
How to get watermelon stains out of clothes
Watermelon stains used to be my arch enemy come summer time, but I’ve figured out a system to get them out 99% of the time.
- First, soak the stain in cold water with Dawn dish soap as soon as you can. The longer you let the stain sit the harder it will be to get out.
- If the stain hasn’t come out, sprinkle some OxiClean versatile powder on the watermelon marks and let it sit for at least 3 days.
- Check the stain before you’re going to wash it and if it’s gone, wash like normal. If it’s still there, wet the stain, add some more powder and let it sit for a few more days.
How to get mac and cheese out of clothes
This stain may take a few different tactics, too.
- First, soak the stain with Dawn dish soap.
- Next, spray the stain with OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover and OxiClean Max Force.
- Let sit.
- If stain still remains, use a little of the Clorox Bleach Pen on any white parts and it should come right out!
How to get oil out of clothes
Dawn dish soap is great from removing grease from dishes AND from clothes.
- Add some Dawn to the stain and scrub it under cold water.
- Let it dry and if the stain remains, add some baby powder and rub it into the stain.
BONUS TIP: Sometimes after I dry my laundry I’ll find some oil stains on the clothes. Rub some baby powder on the stain and it will be good as new!
How to get grass stains out of clothes
For grass stains, you can try a few different things until the stain comes out. I’ve used Spray ‘n Wash, OxiClean Laundry stain remover, or Dawn dish soap and vinegar. You can also try pre-treating it with Clorox 2.
How to get dirt out of clothes
I panicked when Hudson got mud on one of his light-colored button down shirts, but I was able to get the stain out over a few days.
- Spray the stain with Spray ‘n Wash and the OxiClean Laundry stain remover.
- After it sits for a few days, scrub it under cold water with your Fels Naptha bar.
How to get blood out of clothes
Fels Naptha does wonders on blood stains; even dried blood stains! Scrub the stain under cold water with the Fels Naptha and the stain comes right out! (If it’s on white clothing, you can also use the Clorox Bleach Pen if any of the stain remains).
How to get baby poop out of clothes
I’ve cleaned my fair share of blowouts!
Of all the stain removers, Dawn dish soap works the best to get baby poop out of clothes! Just squirt some Dawn dish soap on the stain, rub it really well, and rinse it under warm water and the stain should be gone.
How to get pen out of clothes
The common suggestion to get pen out of clothes is to spray the stain with hairspray or dab it with rubbing alcohol.
Hairspray works the best for me! Just make sure it has alcohol in it because that is what breaks down the ink.
How to get marker out of clothes
This is another stain I haven’t been 100% successful at getting out. My daughter got marker on her shirt so I put a rag underneath it and dabbed the stain with rubbing alcohol. It was a black stain which turned blue. I can’t remember all of the other products I used but the stain eventually came out.
Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Stains
- These are the best stain removers I’ve found for the specific stains, but if one stain remover doesn’t work, try the others! Sometimes I make a “cocktail” of the stain removers until something works!
- For really tough stains, let them sit with the stain removers on for as long as they need. The instructions for the OxiClean Max Force say to let it sit on the stain for up to 7 days and sometimes I do!
- Check pre-treated clothes before you put them in the dryer! If a stain is not completely removed, the dryer will set them in and make them nearly impossible to get out.
- Use the OxiClean powder if a stain isn’t coming out. If a stain hasn’t come out after being pre-treated and washed, I’ll just sprinkle some OxiClean powder on the stain and let it sit until I do laundry again. 9 times out of 10 the powder removes the stain on its own!
- For extra soiled clothes, wash the whole load with the Clorox 2 Stain Fighter and Color Booster! It does the trick every time!
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It may seem like hard work to clean stubborn stains, bit it will save you so much money on clothes! I hope you’ll use these tips to stay on top of your children’s stains (and, maybe your husbands too!)
Check out this easy home cleaning checklist and don’t forget to download your free printable for cleaning stains!
Download your FREE printable Stain Removal Guide below!
Do you have any great tips for cleaning stains to add to my list? Are there any tough stains you still need help with? Let me know in the comments!