How to remove stains from your clothes.

Posted by smol on

Nobody loves a stain down their front, and why does it always happen when you’re wearing your best top or brand new trousers?

Many popular stain removal methods can bleach our clothes. So when it comes to coloured clothes, you need to be careful when choosing how to tackle those annoying marks.

Let’s check out some ways to eliminate common stains without causing discolouration and using household ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard! 

Of course, one of the keys to removing any stain is to use stain gelGet yours within the smol home bundle kit, a household cleaning revolution with all the fun of our 6 most popular smol products… in a one-and-done super switch! All with direct UK delivery.



    Now to those pesky stains… 

    How to remove sweat stains.

    White t-shirts are often prone to this issue. Aside from using stain gel you could try either of the following to remove sweat stains from your clothes:

    For white clothing.

    • Mix baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water in a bowl in equal parts.
    • Soak the stains in the bowl, for 15-30 mins.
    • Wash as normal at 30°C or 40°C. 

    N.B. Hydrogen peroxide sounds a bit scary but it’s an eco-friendly compound of water with an extra oxygen molecule. It occurs naturally when sunlight acts on water, and it’s also produced by  both plant and animal cells. It fully biodegrades.

    For coloured clothing.
    • Mix equal parts of clear vinegar and water.
    • Work the solution onto the sweat stain with an old clean toothbrush.
    • Soak the stains for 30 mins in a sink of cold water with a cup of clear vinegar.
    • Wash as normal with a smol bio capsule at 30°C or 40°C. 

      smol laundry capsules


    How to remove oil stains.

    Grease and oil stains are tricky to remove so act fast.

    • Blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove as much oil as you can.
    • Turn your item inside out and blot that side also.
    • Apply smol bleach-free stain gel and leave for 5 minutes.
    • Wash at 30°C or 40°C depending on fabric.

    N.B. If you don’t have any stain gel and your stained clothing is coloured - try some of our washing up liquid instead. 

    How to remove toothpaste stains.

    You might think toothpaste won’t stain - but many can bleach clothing so it’s worth removing quickly to avoid disasters.

    • Remove any excess with a blunt object.
    • Do not rub the toothpaste further into the clothing.
    • Blot the stain with a clean cloth and water.
    • Apply smol stain gel and leave for 5 minutes.
    • Wash as normal. 

      smol bottle next to a toothbrush

    How to remove ink stains.

    Ballpoint pens can be a real pain if they stain… so act quickly.

    Water and stain gel.

    • Don’t let the ink dry (or it’ll need a dry clean)..
    • Pop a clean cloth under the stain then blot with water on another clean cloth
    • Flip the clothing and repeat on the other side.
    • Add smol stain gel to the mark and leave for 5 minutes.
    • Wash on the warmest temperature allowed for the garment.

    N.B. You might need to repeat these steps more than once.




    • Spray the stain with alcohol-based hairspray or smol hand sanitiser.
    • Blot the hairspray or sanitiser with a clean cloth.
    • Keep blotting - using a clean area of the cloth each time.
    • Wash as normal once the stain has been removed.

    N.B. Always patch test a small area when using alcohol on an item of clothing.

    pen ink stain


    How to remove blood stains.

    Never a nice stain to treat - mostly because it means someone might be hurt. But the main trick to removing blood stains is reversing the fabric and running it under cold water to dislodge the stain. Then either:


    • Rub the stain with a bar of hand soap.
    • Rinse in cold water.
    • Repeat until the stain has gone. 
    • Wash on a cold wash with smol bio in your machine. 


    • Crush 2 aspirins in a bowl of tepid water.
    • Soak the stain for 30 mins in the blow.
    • Wash on a cold cycle.


    • Cover the stain with table salt.
    • Blot with cold water and clean cloth.
    • Wash as normal on a cold wash.

    How to remove fake tan.

    These stains look pretty dramatic but they CAN be removed.

    • Reverse the fabric and flush it under cold running water.
    • Don’t rub the fabric whilst you are doing this.
    • Add smol stain gel and leave for 5 minutes.
    • Wash on the warmest temperature allowed for your garment.

      smol stain gel

    How to remove red wine stains.

    With red wine you need to keep the stain wet. Dry stains are harder to treat.

    • Flush with cold water immediately.
    • Blot with clean cloth (never rub)
    • Repeat this until the stain has lifted.
    • Wash as normal.

    How to remove chocolate stains.

    Always use cold water - this is one time HOT chocolate is not a good thing! 

    • Remove any excess with a spoon.
    • Take care not to spread it further.
    • Add smol stain gel and blot gently for 5 minutes.
    • Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.

      chocolate next to smol stain gel

    How to remove foundation.

    You’ll first need to check if it’s an oil-based or oil-free product.


    • Gently remove any excess with a blunt item without  rubbing it into the fabric. 
    • Dampen the stain and apply washing up liquid to break down the oil
    • Pat the detergent into the stain with your fingers or the back of a spoon.
    • Soak for 5 minutes then wash as normal with smol bio.


    • Cover the stain with shaving cream.
    • Leave for 5 minutes. 
    • Gently massage the foam into the clothing
    • Leave for another 5 minutes.
    •  Rinsing with warm water and repeat as needed.

    How to remove grass stains.

    Grass stains respond well to a good soak so head to the sink!

    • Place the stained item in a sink of tepid water with your usual detergent.
    • Leave for 10 minutes.
    • Gently rub the stain with a clean cloth or toothbrush.
    • Apply smol stain gel directly to the stain and leave for 5 minutes.
    • Wash as normal with smol bio at 30°C or 40°C.

      smol bio laundry capsules

    How to remove tomato stains.

    If you catch a tomato-based stain quickly you can often remove it simply with lots of warm water but if not then try the following:

    • Wet the stain with cold water.
    • Rub a slice of lemon or dab lemon juice on the marks. 
    • Rinse with cold water.
    • Blot dry and try to leave in some sunlight.
    • Repeat if necessary.

    get your smol stain gel.

    We hope this encyclopedia of stain removal is useful! Of course, one of the keys to removing any stain is to use stain gel. Get your hands on the smol stain gel in the smol home bundle.

    It includes a fantastic stain gel, nine non-bio laundry capsules, nine dishwasher tablets, a multi-purpose cleaning spray, a fabric conditioner and washing-up liquid

    All that with direct UK delivery… for just £11!

    Maybe bookmark this page for future stain disasters and always remember our 5 smol stain basics:

    1. Read the clothing care label. All fabrics differ. If you can, patch test.
    2. Act quickly. Stains that set-in are harder to get rid of.
    3. Whichever method you use - blot stains, don’t rub..
    4. Never use hot water - it can ‘cook’ the mark into the clothing.
    5. Don’t put a stained item into the tumble dryer for this same reason.


    Older Post Newer Post