How Do I Remove a Stain?

On a Regular Basis Customers Ask Me How to Remove a Stain:


That’s a simple question that is difficult to answer. A lot comes into play with stain removal; is the garment colorfast, how long has the stain been on the garment, what type of stain is it, what type of material is the stain on, are you wearing the garment, how is the garment constructed. I hate to sound vague and not advise you on how to remove a stain, however, depending on your answer to these questions will dictate my response with the type of technique to use.


Generally speaking, it is easier to remove a liquid stain (coffee, wine, tea, soda, juice, milk) while it is still wet. Once that stain has dried it is a completely different game.


Let’s assume you are wearing the garment and out of the house. The simplest and safest technique is to place a dry white paper towel (napkin) behind the stain and blot the front of the stain with a white wet paper towel (napkin). The water from the wet paper towel will force the liquid stain through the fabric onto the backing paper towel as you apply pressure from the blotting. Use a white paper towel for two reasons; 1) color paper towels (napkins) will often bleed in color when wet causing you to permanently dye your garment from the color transferring from the paper towel to your garment, 2) you can check the white paper towel for color transfer from your garment to the paper towel. Do not continue if there is color transfer, removing dye from a garment is irreversible damages. You may need to blot several times to completely remove the stain. Finish up by blotting the wet area with a dry white paper towel to remove excess moisture. Never rub the fabric as rubbing will remove color.


On our blog site has thousands of detailed stain removal tips, stain removal techniques and garment care advice. Or email me with a specific question. Or consult your local certified green dry cleaner in regard to your specific garment.


Karl Huie

Pacific Heights Cleaners in San Francisco and Sausalito is your
resource for garment cleaning and garment care information.

We are San Francisco and Marin’s 1st Certified Green Dry Cleaner by

San Francisco Environment and the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Your non toxic dry cleaning alternative serving you with an EPA approved Eco Dry Clean (Wet Clean) System that is safe for your health and is environmentally friendly.

Other Articles of Interest:

How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Silk.

How to remove a Blood Stain from Cotton.

How to Remove a Coffee Stain from Rayon.

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Wool.

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