A Guide to Fighting Stains at Home - Movement Mortgage Blog

“Don’t drink coffee on that couch.” “What is this grease spot?” “How did you get blueberry splattered all over your pants!?” They’re a common enemy in our household: stains. While stains are inevitable, they needn’t be permanent. Here are a few typical stains and how to remove them.

Berry stains  
Courtesy of Debby Hudson

Berries are delicious, but can get messy fast. According to today.com, whether you are chowing down on blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries, you must treat the stain as soon as possible for effectiveness.


  • Put lemon juice or vinegar on the stain and let it soak for 5 minutes and then rinse.
  • Rub the stained area with detergent and machine or hand wash.


  • Try to soak up as much berry juice as possible without pushing it deeper into the fiber.
  • Spray lemon juice sparingly onto the affected area, spray or sponge 1 tablespoon dish soap and 1 cup of water. Let this soak for a few minutes and then blot up the mixture with a white cotton towel.

We all like to relax with a nice glass of red wine, but when it spills, panic ensues. According to Real Simple, the key to this stain is blot, don’t rub.

  • Dab the stain with a towel dampened with club soda to absorb any excess wine.
  • Coat the stain with a generous amount of salt and let sit for at least five minutes.
  • Pour boiling water over the stain from a height of at least eight inches. (Pouring from this height gives you enough force to flush out the stain.)
  • Wash on the hottest setting your fabric allows.
Courtesy of Raphael Lovaski

Makeup looks great on you, but on your furniture… not so much. According to Magnolia Journal’s A Guide to Stain Removal, here are some ways to remove a few everyday makeup stains.


  • Blot the stain with a paper towel.
  • Next, dab the back of the stain with rubbing alcohol while you apply a paper towel to the front.
  • Apply dishwashing detergent, massaging the stain until it is gone, and wash.

Eye makeup

  • Spray non-gel shaving cream onto the stain. Rub gently and let it dry before washing.


  • Pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and work it into the fabric with your fingers.
  • Add a drop of liquid dish soap and rub.
  • Rinse and wash.

You know that feeling when you spill oil or grease on your favorite shirt? You figure you might as well give up, since grease/oil are IMPOSSIBLE to get out. Before you set it on fire, see below (according to Reader’s Digest): 

Baby Powder

  • Try dabbing the stain with baby powder or flour. Make sure you rub it in well, and then remove/brush off any excess powder. Repeat until the mark is gone.

Baking Soda

  • Wet the stain with a little water and cover it with a bit of baking soda.
  • Soak in white vinegar and scrub with dish soap before washing as normal.
Courtesy of Nathan Dumlao

There is nothing like waking up to a hot cup of coffee, that is unless your half-awake self accidentally spills it. According to Magnolia Journal’s A Guide to Stain Removal, there is a quick and easy way to treat this.

  • Dab the stain with white vinegar before washing as normal.
  • Tip: For best results, immediately pour boiling water over the stain before it sets.

When living in your home, stains are inevitable. However, there’s no reason to admit defeat. With a little work and patience, you can remove them in no time!


About the Author:

Adam O'Daniel

Adam O'Daniel is Movement's Communications Director. He leads corporate communication and public relations efforts across the organization. Email him at adam.odaniel@movement.com.