Home » Blog » 8 Kinds Of Stubborn Stains And How To Remove Them

By: Rain City Maids
Oct 02, 2023

A world where every stain quickly vanishes with just water and soap is every homeowner's dream. Sadly, many stains are hard to take out and, even worse, pretty common.

If you want to be always prepared for the battle against some of the hardest stains to remove, take a look at these tips, and don't let them surprise you!

Why are some stains harder to remove?

As a homeowner, you may have dealt with tons of stains, some far easier than others. But why is that? It basically boils down to a stain's chemical composition and how quickly it can penetrate the surface it's in.

Now, not every stubborn stain is challenging for the same reason. For example, red wine stains your clothes due to oxygen reacting with them (so you have to act fast!); meanwhile, grass is known for leaving dye stains, which get instantly imbued on fabrics.

The surface where the stain is also matters. While stains can't easily penetrate ceramic or glass, materials like fabrics and wood let stains get through more easily because they are more porous.

However, all this babble doesn't mean there's a one-size-fits-all solution, so let's see the more common stubborn stains and how to erase them!

Red wine

Red wine spills can quickly turn a celebration into a stain-induced panic. Whether it's on your favorite shirt or the living room carpet, acting fast is crucial!

Get rid of these pesky stains by mixing one part of hydrogen peroxide and two parts of water. If you have a washing machine handy, apply the solution and enzymatic laundry detergent to the stain. Wait three minutes, then machine wash with cold water using the same detergent.

If no machine is around (or the item is not fit for it), just use the hydrogen peroxide solution on the spot, wait three minutes, and then gently rub and rinse the stain with cold water.

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce has a knack for clinging to fabrics because, like wine, its stains oxidize pretty quickly. So, as soon as you notice a tomato sauce stain, scrape off any excess with a spoon or butter knife.

Then, grab some laundry detergent, dish soap, or hand soap and rub the stain. Next, rinse the spot under cold tap water and toss it in the wash in a cold cycle and an enzymatic laundry detergent.

Grease and oil

These spills can happen anytime, whether cooking a delicious meal or enjoying it. While small stains can easily be removed in a washing cycle, large stains may need an alternative treatment.

First, blot the excess grease with a paper towel or cloth. Next, sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the stain to absorb the remaining oil. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then gently brush or shake off the powder. Apply a liquid dish soap solution and blot again. Wash as usual.


Ink's composition makes it evaporate and oxidize crazy fast, so it becomes cured on many surfaces almost instantly.

Grab some rubbing alcohol and gently rub it into the stain to dissolve it, then rinse with cold water. Do this twice or thrice, and then wash the area with some heavy-duty laundry detergent. If possible, toss the item into a warm wash with the same detergent afterward.


Whether you went for a picnic or your kid came back from soccer practice, you may have to deal with grass stains at one point or another. These are especially challenging because chlorophyll in grass acts like a dye.

Keep grass stains at bay by covering the area with a mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon each), and warm water (three teaspoons). Let it all act for ten minutes. Once time has passed, you can wash the area with your laundry detergent as usual.

Pro-tip: if the stain comes with soil, be sure to remove it (by brushing it off or vacuuming it) before attempting to clean the green spot.

Organic stains

Knowing how to get rid of organic stains is crucial if you're a pet owner. Urine, feces, vomit, and even blood belong to these types of stains—and can be hard to remove without the right cleaning solution.

The big secret to dealing with organic stains is to use an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaning products take advantage of non-harmful bacteria to eat away the stains. If you want to remove blood spots, make sure that the cleaner contains special enzymes called proteases. 

Also, remember to always follow the label instructions!


Makeup is designed to last long, so it's not a surprise it can get difficult to remove from some surfaces.

Attack those makeup blemishes by removing the excess and then pretreating the area with rubbing alcohol. Next, rinse with cold water and wash the stain with a trickle of laundry detergent.

Nail Polish

Nail polish stains must be addressed a little differently due to their composition. If fresh, quickly remove as much as possible by tapping it with a slightly dampened cloth.

Once done, use a non-acetone remover and a small dropper or sponge to wet the area and rub it away. For large stains, work from the outer edge to the center to avoid the stain from spreading.

Pro-tip: Use a knife or razor to scrape off dried nail polish before applying the previous method.


Due to its similarities with ink, paint is removed more effectively if quickly tackled before it dries up. Also, the solution is the same: rub the stain with rubbing alcohol a couple of times until the stain dissolves, then use a heavy-duty laundry detergent to wash away the remaining paint.

What about wooden surfaces?

Your furniture and floors can also be common victims of stains, but the situation worsens if they are made of wood, as you wouldn't want to damage them.

Luckily, you can try all the previous methods on any wooden surface as long as it's sealed or finished. Just keep in mind two more things:

  1. Spot-test before applying the solution. Although you can safely apply the solutions above, try them in an inconspicuous spot to completely ensure no damage is done.
  2. Don't apply the solution directly. Use a dampened cloth to slightly wet the area and avoid swelling or twisting.

If you want to clean untreated wood, refer to this guide for better and safer results.

What if the stain doesn't go?

Although some are more stubborn than others, virtually every stain can be treated and removed. However, after a certain time (depending on the stain and the surface they're on), some stains can get permanently imbued no matter how hard you try to tackle them.

If you're facing one of those stains, don't risk it. At most, you can make the stain fainter. Trying to take it out may cause irreparable damage to the cloth or surface you're trying to clean. If you're up for it, be extremely careful!

Learn more cleaning tips to keep your home spotless!

Maintaining a clean home is not an easy task. Besides dealing with spills and stains everywhere, you also need to keep on top of many other cleaning tasks. Time is essential, and Rain City Maids has all the tips to help you do your chores quickly and effectively!

Visit our blog for more tips and tricks!

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