How to Remove Stains – 10 Tried and True Stain Removal Tips and Tricks!

Jul 5, 2021 | Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Lifestyle

Life can get messy… literally! Don't worry about it, mama. We'll teach you how to remove stains the EASY way no matter what messes life tries to throw your way. No need to run to the store—you probably already have most of these stain removers in your pantry!

Woman scrubbing carpet with brush for how to remove stains from Fun Cheap or Free.

Have stains you just CAN'T seem to get clean? Between snacks, crafts, and bloody knees… stains are bound to happen when you're living with kids! STOP tossing out those grass-stained clothes from the backyard soccer game and make them like new again with these helpful stain-removing tips.

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Leave no stain un-removed and let us show you how to remove stains the right way. Yes, there IS a right way! Whether it's spaghetti sauce on a shirt or play-doh in the carpet—we've got you covered!


Hands rinsing stain from clothing in the sink from Fun Cheap or Free.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of stain removal, let's go over some very important steps you need to know!

  • Treat Stains Fast – If you see a stain happen, treat it ASAP! The stain will be much easier to remove if it hasn't had time to set.
  • Always Follow Care Instructions – If your item says “dry clean only,” STOP! Leave that one to the professionals.
  • Spot Check – Before applying a stain removing solution, dab the solution on a small, discreet area to make sure it isn't going to further damage the item.
  • Don't Dry – Never dry a stained item. It will only cause the stain to set and become even more difficult to remove. Keep repeating the stain removal process until the stain is gone.

Now that you've got the basics down, lets move on to the good stuff!


Cold water is KEY when it comes to removing blood from fabric. For fresh stains, immediately soak the item in cold water (hot water will set the stain!) and gently rub the blood out with your hands. Once you have rinsed out as much as possible with just cold water, toss that baby in the washer and launder according to the care instructions.


Ink stains can be particularly tricky… but fear not! Grab that bottle of rubbing alcohol shoved in the back of your very organized pantry and put that sucker to work. First, dab the area around the ink stain with rubbing alcohol. Next, place the stain, ink-side down, on a paper towel. Dab the back of the ink stain with the alcohol and watch the ink transfer from the fabric to the paper towel! Magic, huh?

If your ink stain is oil-based or glue-based, you may have trouble getting it out yourself. That's okay—call up the dry cleaner and let them come to your rescue! No shame in that game. 😉

Pro Tip: Rubbing alcohol is good for more than just removing stains! Go find out what all magical rubbing alcohol uses it's good for when you're done reading this post! 😉


Woman looking at stain on shirt for how to remove stains from Fun Cheap or Free.

Between kids, pets, and just life in general… Let's face it, stains are just a part of life! Tackle common (but still annoying!!) stains with these simple and easy treatments to make your clothing look like new. Grab that super-versatile vinegar and let's get to work!

  • Grass Stains – Pre-treat the grass stain with warm water and vinegar, or water and rubbing alcohol, then wash it as you normally would.
  • Grease or Oil Stains – Make a solution with clear dish detergent, white vinegar, and water. Dab the stain with the solution and allow it to break down the grease or oil before rinsing and laundering as usual.
  • Sweat – Dab the stains with a white vinegar and water combo. Let it soak 15 minutes before laundering. If this is a common stain you treat, keep a spray bottle handy with the vinegar solution for quick treatment!

Stained clothing does NOT belong in the garbage anymore! *Air five!*


Ahh carpet… a blessing and a curse! While it feels so cozy on our toes it seems to be a magnet for stains, right? Well, regardless of what unintended substance finds its way into the fibers of your carpet, we'll show you how to get them out. Best part? You probably already have these items in your home!

  • Soapy Solution – Mix 1/2 tsp of clear dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn, and one cup of warm water. Dip a clean towel into the solution and thoroughly wet the area. Wait 15 minutes, then apply the vinegar solution below.
  • Vinegar Solution – Combine one cup of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Apply to stain on top of soapy solution (from above) with a clean cloth and let it soak for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Lukewarm Water – Once the soapy solution and the vinegar solution have been applied, dab the stain with lukewarm water to rinse. Repeat all three steps until the stain is GONE!

Side note: You have our permission to sing *NSYNC's song Bye Bye Bye while you're scrubbing. It may or may not help lift the stain faster. 😉

This carpet stain removing method isn't just for carpets. Use it lightly on upholstery, too. Just be sure to spot test first! For oil-based stains like certain paints or markers, lightly dab the stain with an oil solvent such as nail polish remover. Be careful, though, or you may damage or remove the color from the carpet or rug!

Pro Tip: If you find yourself with play-doh in your carpet, (it's okay, we've all been there) use a clear, dye-free nail polish remover to blot out what you can't get out with your fingers!


Bowl of baking soda and wooden spoon on marble counter top from Fun Cheap or Free.

Got a tough, set-in stain that just won't come out? Baking soda is here to save the day! Use baking soda for any tough stain that needs a little extra help. Make a paste with baking soda and a little water and apply to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, or until the paste dries. Continue with the stain removal process after that. Don't have baking soda? Use its cousin borax instead!

No matter what stain you're removing, toss on a little baking soda for some extra scrubbing power. It's great at lending a gentle scrub without damaging the item. In fact, baking soda makes a great homemade cleaner you can use all over your house!

Stains happen… but so does stain removal! Now that we've shown you how to remove stains with these awesome at-home techniques, you'll never cry over spilled spaghetti sauce again. Mom win, for sure!

Do you have a go-to stain removal technique? Share with us in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "how to remove stains" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Now, roll up your sleeves and let's get to work on those stains!


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