You might not be too keen on keeping up with household chores or knowing what dish detergent will prevent the machine from comically bubbling up and flooding your kitchen, but knowing how to remove an unwanted stain from your clothes is a smaller, insignificant chore that you can really master. It will not only save you a costly trip to your dry cleaners, but make you feel like a badass, stain-removing-Houdini: You’ll be able to make any stain disappear. These laundry hacks will arm you with mostly everything you need to know to keep your clothes stain-free.
1. Removing a wine stain
Whether you’re out on a date or at a party, one thing can lead to another, and you end up spilling red wine on yourself. Fear not! GQ suggests that as soon as you get home, you take off the item you stained, grab a large bowl and fill it with 3 cups of warm water, ½ cup of non-alkali dishwashing liquid, and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide. Then, give your piece of soiled clothing a little bath.
If your stained piece is made of a delicate fabric, like silk or satin, the story suggests pouring salt on top of the stain first and leave it to sit in the bowl overnight (or sink if you don’t have a large enough bowl). After soaking, put your item in the laundry, and you should be good to go. In seriously bad cases or if you’re a little uneasy, you can always take it to a professional.
2. Removing a pen stain
A quick slip or drop of your pen (or fountain pen, if you’re the kind of guy that rolls like that), or an explosion of one in your pocket can easily leave a less-than desirable ink stain on your clothes. What’s great about this stain (not that there is anything great about having a stain) is that it is easier to remove than you may think. The removal method is an oldie but goodie, says Apartment Therapy. For this one, put your garment in a large bowl, top it with enough milk to cover then add about half as much vinegar as milk. Let it soak, checking on the stain periodically. Your stain should eventually disappear, then just wash as per usual.
For even more tips on how to get ink stains out of your clothing, head to Cleanipedia.
3. Removing a sweat stain
You shouldn’t have to showcase your manliness or sheer athleticism in the form of a sweat stains on your clothes. It’s time to really do something about it when you see yellowing around the collar and/or under the arms of your dress shirt or favorite tee. PopSugar outlines the process. First, soak the shirt in a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts warm water for about 20 minutes. Next, make a paste out of baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide, then wring the shirt dry and cover the stains with the paste. After 20 minutes, just toss it in the laundry.
4. Removing food stains
If you had to stain your clothes with something, you’d want it to be food because it’s the easiest to get out of your clothes. GQ offers a foolproof method that anyone can manage. Take the item off and cover the stain with any of these easy to find items around your house: talcum powder, baby powder, or corn starch. Next, lie the garment flat in a warm place overnight, like your steamed-out bathroom. In the morning, simply brush the powder off and throw it in the wash.
Not enough for you? Here is the holy grail of food stain removal for any type of fabric from The Art of Manliness.