Valentine’s Day: The holiday where we celebrate romance—and, apparently, all the hardest-to-remove stains on the planet. Whether the wine has tipped over, or your lipstick got where it shouldn’t, here are some all-natural stain removers for some common Valentine’s situations.
I don’t know about you, but if there’s a bottle of wine open in the room, there is a 90% chance I’ll find a way to spill it. (And of course, the more wine I consume, the higher those chances get!) If you’ve opened up a bottle for your romantic dinner and promptly dumped it all over your beautiful dress—or the tablecloth or the rug—all is not lost.
White wine should mostly come up by dabbing with cold water (or soaking, depending on the garment.) For red wine, use The Kitchn’s red wine stain salt trick. Use this castile-based DIY stain remover before washing. Hopefully you have an equally amazing backup outfit on deck! Although hey, it’s Valentine’s, so if you’re already home maybe you don’t need one :)
Everyone loves a pretty pink dessert, but the resulting strawberry or raspberry stains? Not so much. If the stained item is a napkin or piece of clothing, place over a bowl of boiling water to steam out the stain. The trick is to make sure you do it right away. For carpets/rugs, blot with a solution of warm water and dish soap. If all else fails, try our all-natural DIY bleach recipe.
That stunning, carefully selected lip color looks super hot…just not on collars and cloth napkins. Luckily there are a few natural ways to remove lipstick. Dab the area with a little petroleum jelly, then apply a few drops of white vinegar and rinse it all with cool water. Or try baking soda: Blot the lipstick stain lightly with a tissue, then scoop a spoonful of baking soda onto the stain.
Using a toothbrush, gently scrub the baking soda until it has absorbed much of the lipstick. Brush the remaining baking soda away, and add more baking soda – enough to just cover the spot. Add a few drops of white vinegar to the baking soda, and it will begin to foam. Lightly scrub with the toothbrush until the stain is gone, and then launder as normal.
Maybe you had a fondue incident. Or, you just got overzealous at the sight of a box of chocolates. No judgement here!
First, gently remove any excess without rubbing it in. Either try to flush cold water through the back of the fabric to push the stain out, or sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Then gently scrape the rest off with a dull butter knife. (Repeat if necessary). If needed, apply a stain remover (like this one) before you wash the item.
5. Nail Polish
Just like red wine, if there’s a bottle of this in the room, you can bet I’ll spill it. When you’re in a rush to get ready—and maybe have already opened the wine, hmm?—this can easily happen. And it can be really annoying to have to deal with.
First, scrape up any excess polish with a knife or folded piece of paper. Test rubbing alcohol, a white vinegar-citrus juice mixture, or nail polish remover (preferably an acetone-free, eco-friendly, water-based one) on an inconspicuous area (this is risky, be careful!).
If the solution doesn’t damage the test area, flush remover, vinegar or alcohol through the stain from the back to an absorbent pad or washcloth, changing out if necessary. If you’ve spilled on a hard surface, try to scrape up as much as you can; this might be easier once it’s dry.
6. Candle Wax
You tried to set the mood, and ended up with a pool of wax on the tablecloth. It happens. For clothing, put the item in the freezer, or rub with an ice cube until it hardens. Use a butter knife to scrape and crack off as much wax as possible.
Then put a few layers of paper towel on the stain and use a warm iron to pull as much of the remaining wax as possible into the towels. Replace the towels and repeat if they become saturated.
7. Eye Makeup
I seem to have enough issues with my pillowcases (and sometimes sleeves and collars, inexplicably) getting covered in mascara and eyeliner smudges, but when you’ve gone all out with a sexy smoky eye, there’s even more potential for streaks.
Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution, blotting until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the stain disappears.3