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Coffee, Tea, Wine: How to Get Rid of Common Stains

Coffee, Tea, Wine: How to Get Rid of Common Stains

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While we love red wine, we’re less than fond of its tendency to take up residence on our clothes, tablecloths, and carpets. It seems that no matter how many precautions we take, if we host a party where red wine is served, we're going to have to figure out how to get it out of a surface or two.

Coffee, Tea, Wine: How to Get Rid of Common Stains (Slideshow)

Coffee, too, has a way of leaping out of your mug and onto surfaces where it’s not welcome. If you drive, you know the nose-wrinkling disappointment that comes with your coffee landing all over the passenger seat, and the knowledge that your day just got derailed; time to spend an hour trying to figure out how to get the stain out of your upholstery!

Juices and teas pose their own problems, especially those made with richly colored foods like like cranberry and hibiscus.

But while drinks can be the problem, they can also offer solutions. For instance, did you know that the best stain remover for an ink stain is cream? Whole milk or half-and-half will work too, but the higher the fat content, the better; the dairy fat actually helps lift the ink.

Some general tips for stain removal: always keep plain white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, ammonia, a commercial stain remover, and regular laundry detergent on hand. Generally speaking, some of these in combination will be able to help you out of most stain-related situations, although occasionally you’ll want something more specific. Read on for tips about getting the most common drink-related stains out of any number of surfaces, and if you have questions about specific drink stains not covered here, always feel free to send a tweet.

How to Get Black Coffee Out of a Fabric Car Seat

Blot up as much of the coffee as possible with a towel or paper towel, then mix two cups of water, one cup of white vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap. Using a rag, dab the mixture onto the stain until fairly well-saturated. Allow to sit about 20 minutes, then dab with a fresh cloth and rinse with a little cold water.

How to Get Red Wine Out of Carpet

Blot the area without rubbing the stain further into the fabric. In a bowl, combine ½ teaspoon ammonia, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 4 teaspoons dish soap, and 1 cup of water. Stir until well combined, then dab onto the affected area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then blot with a rag dipped in cold water.

Read more about Coffee, Tea, Wine: How to Get Rid of Common Stains

Jess Novak is the Drink Editor of The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesstothenovak

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Detergent is the must-have item for clean clothes, but it can also be your must-have item for stain removal. Apply a bit of liquid laundry detergent to your stain, and rub it in with a brush or your fingers. Then, toss the soiled garment into the wash along with the rest of your clothing, and forget about it.

Do you like the convenience of commercial stain remover sprays? Just fill an empty spray bottle with equal parts liquid laundry detergent and water, and you'll have the perfect replacement.

Mustard stains require a bit of persistence. Start by applying undiluted vinegar to the stain and allowing it to soak in. If that doesn't do it, you may also need to treat the spot with laundry detergent. Just work it into the stain and throw the clothing in the wash, checking to make sure the stain is out before you dry the garment. Repeat the process, if necessary.

Red, Red Wine

In this small study, which appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed 10 healthy middle-aged men. For the first 15 days of the study, the men had no wine or other alcohol. This was followed by three 20-day periods in which the men were given one of three beverages to drink each day: They received either 9 ounces of Merlot, 9 ounces of low-alcohol-content red wine, or about 3 ounces of gin.

Unlike the red wines, gin contains no polyphenols, so it served as a comparison.

Throughout the study, volunteers were asked not to change their diets or exercise habits. They were also told not to drink any additional alcohol. Blood, urine, and stool samples were collected from each man during all four study periods. And their weights and blood pressures were monitored.


The findings showed that the balance of intestinal bacteria shifted in the men in a similar way whether they drank the Merlot or low-alcohol red wine. In both cases, they had a larger percent of certain beneficial gut bacteria.

After drinking the polyphenol-rich beverages, the men also had lower blood pressure. It also decreased triglyceride levels, HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol), and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a measure of inflammation.

"This study was the first to show that regular, moderate consumption of red wine could have a noteworthy effect on the growth of select gut microbiota," the researchers conclude.


Queipo-Ortuno, M. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online May 2, 2012.

How Can Your Dental Professional Help You Whiten Your Teeth?

If you’re looking for a more immediate and effective whitening solution than over-the-counter options, you might consider a professional whitening at your dental professional’s office. They'll be able to safely apply a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than what is in over-the-counter products.

  • Dental Supervision
    When you go in for a professional whitening procedure, an examination will be done to ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy enough for the treatment and that you're not at risk of any adverse effects. They'll also check to see if you have any crowns or veneers that don't need to be whitened.
  • Stronger Whitening Agents
    Your dental professional will be able to use a higher concentration of whitening gel than what you can use at home, and they can monitor you while you undergo the procedure. For some people, tooth whitening gel can cause temporary sensitivity, and your dentist can take precautions to ensure the soft tissues of your mouth are not irritated.
  • Faster Results
    Because the concentration of professionally applied whitening gel is stronger than what you'd get in at-home whitening products, you'll notice the results are visible immediately rather than several weeks after daily applications.

Mix a poultice paste of baking soda and water (for oil-based stains), or baking soda and peroxide (for others), until it&aposs as thick as peanut butter. Spread the mixture over the spot, cover it with plastic wrap that you&aposve poked a few holes in, and secure it with masking tape. Let the poultice paste stand for 24 hours.

Pull off the plastic, and clear the white residue with a wooden or plastic scraper. Then rinse the surface with distilled water and polish the stone with a cloth.

How to wash wool

Wool is a natural product that can be woven to make the most beautiful jumpers, throws and accessories. But, however soft and indulgent, the fibres can be hard to wash, especially if they incur a stiff stain such as wine, coffee or blood.

During this year's Wool Week (7th - 15th October), we asked the experts at Campaign For Wool to share their tips on how to care for wool and how to remove stubborn stains.

Can your wool go in the washing machine?

First things first, you need to check the labelling on your garment or home accessory and understand whether it is dry clean or hand wash only, or whether it is machine-friendly.

If you decide to treat the stain yourself, follow the below guidance. All safety precautions recommended by chemical suppliers should be followed.

Tip! When treating stains, it is important to ensure they are fully removed before ironing because the heat from ironing can make a stain permanent.

1. Alcoholic drinks

Dab gently with an absorbent, lint-free cloth (£6.36 for pack of 10, Amazon) to remove as much excess liquid as possible.

Sponge the area sparingly with a mixture of warm water and surgical spirit (£1.25 for 100ml, Amazon) or rubbing alcohol in equal parts.

2. Black Coffee

Mix alcohol and white vinegar (£1.35 for 500ml spray, Amazon) in equal parts, soak a lint-free cloth in the solution and lightly dab the stained area before pressing gently with an absorbent cloth.

Buy now: The Healthy Back Bag in Halo Teal, £139.00,

3. Blood

Remove excess blood immediately with a damp sponge, then gently dab the area using undiluted white vinegar followed by cold water.

4. Butter / Grease / Sauces

If a greasy mark forms, firstly scrape the surface of the stain with a spoon or knife to remove any excess oil. Then soak a lint-free cloth in proprietary grease remover or white spirit and gently dab the area.

Buy now: The Rhosdir throw, from £132,

5. Chocolate / White Coffee / Tea

Dab gently around the edge of the stain with a cloth soaked in white spirit before following instructions for black coffee.

6. Egg/milk

Dab gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat the action with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar.

7. Fruit / Fruit Juice / Red Wine

Immediately dab the stain with a mixture of surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol and water (3:1 ratio).

Buy now: The knot garden cushion, £49,

8. Grass

Apply soap very carefully (using a mild tablet soap or flakes) or dab gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol.

9. Ink / Ballpoint Pen

Dab gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat the action with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar or surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol.

10. Lipstick / Make-up / Shoe Polish

Rub gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in turpentine or spot cleaning spray or fluid. Rinse with mild soapy water.

Courtesy of The Woolmark Company

Ever seen how wool is collected? We went to a sheep shearing competition at the Royal Highland Show this year. Watch the video below.

Your Teeth

Having a glass of red wine every night may be good for your heart, but it may make your smile a little less bright.

To keep your pearly whites, well, white, the American Dental Association recommends limiting red wine (in addition to coffee and tea) because it can stain your teeth. This holds true for both natural teeth and veneers.

So, what's a red wine lover to do? Plaque invites stains, so ensure you're a good brusher, ideally even before you indulge in that glass of red.

One Thing to Keep in Mind

For most healthy adults, one 5-ounce serving of red wine each evening is OK. However, if you feel the need to refill that glass over and over, consider speaking to a health care professional.

Dietitian Elizabeth Ward, RDN, of Better is the New Perfect, reminds us to stick to just one glass for women and two for men. "Having any more than that every night may be a sign that you are using alcohol to deal with anxiety, depression or sadness."

If you're not a drinker, or don't like red wine, you can get the same benefits of those polyphenols in red wine by eating red or purple grapes as a snack. You also get a little boost of hydration and fiber as well. Splashing some 100-percent grape juice into sparkling water can be a refreshing a light evening drink as well.

How to Remove Stains: From Ink to Tea & Coffee

Remember to read all clothing wash care labels thoroughly before washing and to test any stain-removing solutions on a hidden area of the garment first. It will also come in really useful if you have a bottle of OMO laundry detergent on hand!


Have the kids come home from school with pen on their uniform? Grab a can of hairspray! It might sound odd, but the alcohol in the spray will help to lift the ink from the fabric – apply directly onto the stain, leave for around 30 seconds, and wipe away with a damp cloth.


Muddy clothes are likely to be a regular occurrence, especially if you have adventurous little ones – but a quality pre-treatment should solve this problem. OMO laundry detergents are great for helping to remove all sorts of stain.


Is there an enthusiastic artist in the family? Luckily most kids’ activity paint is water-based – this can be removed by rinsing the back of the stain with warm water, before washing in the machine with your regular laundry detergent. OMO laundry detergents provide great stain removal for yellow water based paint and blue poster paint. To deal with oil-based paints, dab the stain with a small amount of turpentine or white spirit – don’t forget to test on an inconspicuous area first and to wear rubber gloves. Remember to always check garment care labels and do not attempt this method if your clothing is made from rayon, acetate or triacetate. Instead, take it to the dry cleaners.


Whether it’s due to a burger or a bike ride, grease can easily ruin clothes – but only if you leave the stain to linger. To quickly tackle the stain, try sprinkling on some baking soda ­– it’s super absorbent so it’ll help draw out the grease.


Don’t panic about chocolate stains! Remember the ‘chill out’ trick – avoid hot water, and simply place the item of clothing in a plastic bag and leave inside the fridge to cool for a while. Once the chocolate has hardened, it’ll be easier to scrape off with a blunt knife or spoon.


As well as a few tears, cuts and scrapes can result in tough stains. The trick here is to use cold water to rinse the affected garment through ­– hot water will merely set the stain further. If you don’t have time to put it in the wash yet, try rubbing with a little bit of toothpaste – the compounds will help break it down.

Tomato-based Sauce

Did you know that lemon can help get rid of many sauce stains? The natural acidity works to cut through the oil – simply rub half a lemon over the stain before flushing with water. Now you can enjoy your spag bol without worrying about ruining your shirt.

Red Wine

A red wine spill doesn’t have to mean an item of clothing is ruined. Firstly, blot the stain with white wine to neutralise it – then, sprinkle on some table salt to soak up the moisture. Finally, wash with OMO Auto Liquid to help tackle any remaining residues.

Tea & Coffee

There’s no use crying over a spilt cuppa ­– simply mix together one-part white vinegar to three-parts water and apply to the fabric with a sponge ­– then go and make yourself another cup! No matter what the stain is, don’t forget to follow up stain removal with a wash with OMO Laundry Detergents to help shift any remaining traces. Just remember to use the recommended dosage and wash at the temperature recommended on the garment’s care label. Why not print off our laundry stain cheat sheet and keep it handy? With stain removal tricks for all situations, it’s sure to become your saviour, (just in time for the next stain emergency!).

Tip 8: On-the-Go? No Problem

We&aposve all encountered the annoying instance of being out at a restaurant, spilling red wine, or having some of your meal fall into your lap. In these instances, with limited tools and perhaps only the bathroom soap, it can often be a toss-up between letting the stain sit and trying to fix it on the spot, only to worsen the situation potentially.

Smallin Kuper has some solutions. Carrying a stain treatment tool in your purse or bag, like the Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pen ($6.49 Amazon), can help pre-treat the issue after removing excess food and blotting the area dry.

While these types of on-the-go removers won&apost work a miracle, the stain should come away more easily when you launder your clothes later. According to Smallin Kuper, "Press the tip of the Tide To Go Pen several times onto the stain and rub tip gently across the stain to remove it. Blot with paper towel and repeat if necessary. Later, rinse the material and wash as usual."