Win Your Stain Battles

Despite the warning in my head, I had spaghetti bolognese while wearing a brand new white blouse this past weekend. I so rarely even buy white because, although I looove a good white blouse, I almost always find a way to ruin it (and just FYI: I’m a mom, so it’s not always ME doing the ruining ūüėČ ). So, as I took a gigantic bite of pasta at Filomena’s on Wisconsin, I literally saw a noodle fall off the fork in slow motion and land onto my once bright, white blouse. I was too heart broken about losing yet¬†another battle with tomato sauce to accept defeat so easily; I immediately turned to google, determined to find a stain remedy. Not only did I find something that actually worked, but it inspired me to spend hours on google looking for ways to get rid of all the other stains that I had hidden in my home! I’ve been on a stain removing frenzy and want to spread the word:

Tomato Sauce on Clothes 

What you need: 

  1. Spoon or butter knife
  2. Cold water
  3. Liquid laundry detergent
  4. White vinegar (optional; for white/colorfast clothing)
  5. Hydrogen peroxide (optional; for white/colorfast clothing)
  6. Lemon juice (optional; for white/colorfast clothing)
  7. Stain remover
  8. Mild dish soap (optional; for oily stains)


1) Remove as much tomato sauce from the fabric with a spoon or the  back of a butter knife.

2) Run cold water through the back of the stain as quickly as possible post “incident.” NOTE: Run water through the back¬†of the fabric, not the front. This will push the stain back out of the fabric as opposed to helping it settle deeper into the fabric.

3) Rub a liquid detergent into the stain. Work it into the fabric gently in a circular motion beginning on the outside of the stained area, and working in.

4) If the garment is white, or you have tested it for colorfastness, apply a mild bleaching agent. Possible agents include hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar applied with a sponge. You can also use lemon juice on white fabrics. Rinse well.

5) Repeat with detergent followed by a mild bleaching agent until the stain no longer appears.Hold the stain up to the light to make sure it is fully gone.

6) Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes.

7) Wash normally with detergent. Before drying, double-check the stain. Stains that are dryed will often be permanent.
If it remains, rub detergent into the tomato stain. Next, soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

8) If the tomato stain stubbornly¬†remains, apply stain remover stick, gel, or spray and launder according to directions. Perhaps do this even if you don’t see any remaining stain, just to make sure you’re sauce free!

Tips: If your stain is a combinations stain, treat the oily part first with some mild dish detergent before proceeding with the directions above. A lot of spaghetti sauces that are made with meat will be oily.

Soda stains off your carpet: 

Where there are kids, there is soda. And for those who only let their kids have organic soda — don’t be fooled! They stain, too! Here’s what to do:

What You Need:

  1. Clean white cloth(s)
  2. Liquid laundry detergent
  3. Water
  4. Vacuum cleaner


1) Blot up as much of the soda stain as possible with a clean cloth. Make sure you work from the outside-in, in an effort to avoid spreading the stain.

2) Mix 1/4 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with 1/2 a cup of water. Pour the mixture onto the stain.

3) Using a different, clean, dry cloth, blot the area again; moving from the outside, inward. Allow the area to dry fully.

4) Vacuum the stained area thoroughly. Any dry bits of residue will be pulled up off the carpet, giving you a better idea of how much of the stain (if anything) is left.

5)¬†If the soda stain remains, try a carpet stain remover. Whatever remains will be obviously less than the original mess, so a stain remover should have a much easier time removing any residue. I actually repeated number 2, 3 and 4 twice and didn’t need a stain remover! Depending on how bad/deep your stain is, consider repeating different steps a number of times before giving up. Excess carpet cleaner can be difficutl to remove and can actually attract dirt in the future, so be be sure you’ve done all you can with your stain before turning to the last step.

Stained White Countertops 

As you know, I work in real estate. A client of mine was hoping to sell her gorgeous home and I figured it would be an easy job. Unfortunately for me, my client was a big time chef, and although her kitchen was fabulous, she had white caesar stone countertops complete with all of her cooking stains. One of them was actually the dye from a napkin that was used to clean up a spill………well, my late night google session on Saturday even solved my work problems!

Mixing baking soda and water and scrubbing with a microbfiber cloth completely got the job done. For quartz countertops, I learned that powdered ajax or comet with small amounts of water completes the job without even scrubbing. Thankfully, I also have a few homes with quartz countertops that could do with some brightening!

Voila! Your stain fears are cured.

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