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The College Student’s Guide To Stain Removal

Stains. Never something we want, but somehow they always appear…especially in college. To help you with the struggle that are stains, here is the college student’s guide to stain removal; instructions on how to get rid of some of the most common (and annoyingly stubborn) stains you’ll encounter.

1. Wine

Curse you red wine.


  1. Take a paper towel and blot the excess liquid.
  2. Apply salt to further soak up the liquid and stop seepage.
  3. Apply white wine. Yes, really (it neutralize the stain).
  4. If that doesn’t work, try making a paste with baking soda and water and cake it on. Wait an hour and remove.

2. Chocolate

Oh chocolate, the one thing we all love…but not when it melts onto any sort of material (that isn’t an ice cream sundae).

  1. Scrape away the excess chocolate (wait for it to dry and harden first).
  2. Use cold water to rinse away as much chocolate as possible.
  3. Rub liquid laundry detergent onto the stain and remove after a half hour.

3. Blood

Sometimes things can get messy in college…like after your first party and fall walking up the stairs.

  1. Use cold water to rinse away as much blood as possible.
  2. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water and rub onto the stain, until a foam begins to form.
  3. Wipe away the form and pour more solution onto the stain.
  4. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.

4. Coffee

Coffee may be something we need as college students, but the stain it can leave behind is definitely something we don’t.

  1. Use cold water to rinse away as much coffee as possible.
  2. Rub liquid laundry detergent onto the stain and remove after a half hour.
  3. Rinse with warm water for 5 minutes.

5. Lipstick

Because sometimes we forget to take off makeup from last night’s festivities. #struggles


  1. Spray the stain with alcohol-based hairspray so it’s fully saturated.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes and then blot with a wet cloth or sponge.
  3. Repeat if necessary.

6. Pen (Ink)

Worst moment ever? A pen exploding in your shirt.


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  1. Spray the stain with alcohol-based hairspray so it’s fully saturated.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes and then blot with a wet cloth or sponge.
  3. Repeat if necessary. (Yep, just like those darn lipstick stains.)

7. Nail Polish

When nail polish spills, the consequences aren’t pretty. Believe me, I learned the hard way.

  1. Dab up as much polish as you can with a cloth (don’t rub, it will just spread the liquid further into the material).
  2. Apply nail polish remover to the stain (but keep in mind that the remover might also remove color out of the material. If this is the case…sorry but, you’re screwed).
  3. Rinse with warm water.

8. Gum

Technically not a stain, but still a pain to remove.

  1. Remove as much excess gum as possible.
  2. Freeze the rest with ice (or throw the garment in the freezer for a half hour)
  3. Scrape off the frozen gum with a knife.
  4. Scrub any remaining bits with vinegar and an old toothbrush.

9. Hair Dye

Sometimes college means a new start…and if that means a new hairdo, then by all means. Just be careful – those stains aren’t fun.


  1. Combine 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish liquid, and 2 cups warm water.
  2. Blot until the stain begins to lift.
  3. Repeat if necessary.

10. Vomit

It’s college. It happens.

  1. Remove as much excess vomit as you can.
  2. Sprinkle with baking soda or cornstarch and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon detergent, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 cups warm water, then apply mixture liberally to stain.
  4. Apply warm water to remove the solution and then blot dry again.

Have you tried any of these stain removal tips or know one of your own? Share in the comments!

Featured image source:
Alison Mandara

Alison Mandara is a college student at Fredonia. She is studying to be a childhood inclusive education major and also has her concentration in English. When she has the time you can usually find her watching Netflix (One Tree Hill), doing some sort of DIY project (thank you Pinterest) or is hanging out with her friends.

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