Stain Removal From Washable Fabrics

Protein stains

  • After shave lotion
  • Antiperspirant1
  • Baby food
  • Baby formula
  • Blood2
  • Collar/Cuff soil
  • Deodorant1
  • Egg white
  • Eye drops
  • Feces
  • Fish slime
  • Gelatin
  • Mouthwash
  • Mucous
  • Sherbet
  • Soups containing meat
  • Urine
  • Vomit
  • White glue, school glue

To remove protein stains

  • Scrape off excess material.
  • Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of one quart lukewarm water, one-half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon ammonia.
  • Rub gently from back to loosen stain.
  • Soak another 15 minutes in above mixture. Rinse.
  • Soak in enzyme product for at least 30 minutes. Soak aged stains for several hours. Launder.
  • If color stain remains, launder, using chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or with oxygen bleach.
  1. Pretreat by rubbing in undiluted liquid hand dishwashing detergent. Launder in hottest water safe for fabric.
  2. Treat blood stains immediately. First run cold water through stain. Then treat as above. For a blood stain that is not completely removed by this process, wet the stain with hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. Do not leave in this mixture longer than 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.


  • Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Service. Quick 'n Easy Stain Removal. Ames, Iowa, 1986.
  • Johnson Wax. Form ED2-11. Laundry Products. Shout. 1989.
  • Maytag. Stain Removal Guide Form number 19 YG1087
  • North Central Regional Cooperative Extension. Stain Removal for Washable Fabrics. Publication 64. Extension Services of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, 1979.
  • Proctor and Gamble Educational Services. The How to Clean Handbook, 1986.
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension. FACTS: A General Guide to Stain Removal. West Lafayette, Indiana, 1979.
  • Soap and Detergent Association. Laundering Problems — Causes, Solutions, Preventive Measures, n.d.
  • Soap and Detergent Association. Removing Stains from Washable Items, n.d.
  • United States Department of Agriculture. Removing Stains from Fabrics. Home and Garden Bulletin number 62. Washington, D.C., 1976.
  • University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Recommended Procedure for Removing Liquid Paper Correction Fluid From Clothing, n.d.