Photo: Shutterstock

You’re looking crisp and sharp in an impeccable white outfit. And then… Ketchup. Or bird poop. You know how it goes. When it comes to white, stains are inevitable. Here’s how to combat 5 types of common stains.


1. Grease

Photo: Shutterstock

You’ve discovered, to your horror, that there are stains on your white shirt after devouring a bowl of laksa. Your first instinct is to use water to remove the stain. Don’t do it —  water will help the stain set in. Instead, reach for the soap dish. Bar or hand soap works if you let the suds sit on the stain for 5 minutes.

Rinse the soap off with water after, and you’ll notice a reduction of the stain. Once you get home, wash the garment with detergent to remove any remaining stains.


2. Make-Up

Photo: Shutterstock

It’s all right if you spilled some of your liquid foundation onto your favourite white blouse — life happens! But most make-up products, like liquid foundation and lipsticks, are oil-based, which means that you should avoid using water to remove the stain. Instead, products like hairspray, shampoo and shaving cream should be used. If it’s foundation that you’ve got on your shirt, first dab any excess product off with a clean cloth or tissue.

After that, work a generous amount of shampoo or shaving cream onto the spot. Rinse off under cool running water after 10-15 minutes.

For stains from lipsticks and mascaras, follow the instructions above, but use hairspray instead.


3. Sweat

Photo: Shutterstock

These unsightly yellow stains only develop when the aluminium in your deodorant reacts with your sweat. First off, swap your deodorant products for those that contain natural ingredients, or those that are aluminium-free. To combat the stain, a mix of salt and lemon could do the trick. Sprinkle some salt onto the stain, then apply some lemon juice to the same area and gently rub in a circular motion.

Do this for about 5 minutes before rinsing the garment in cold water.


4. Red Wine

Photo: Shutterstock

If you like your Cabernet and Merlot, we aren’t judging. But if you’re finding that more wine is going onto your shirt and not in your mouth, it’s time to stop and take stock. Use a paper towel or napkin to soak up any excess spillage. Then, use white wine (yep, you read that right) to neutralize the red stain. Pour a capful of white wine onto the area. Gently rub the spot for a few minutes till you see a reduction in the stain. Throw the garment into the wash after that.

Another alternative is to press a teaspoon or tablespoon of salt (how much depends on the size of the stain) onto the wine-drenched area. Leave it for 5 minutes before washing. Repeat if required.


5. Dirt

Photo: Shutterstock

If you enjoy gardening, you’ll get dirt on your clothes. The dirt tends to grind in and settle into the threads of your clothing. Reach for a bottle of shampoo or vinegar. Apply either onto the affected area and leave it for 10 minutes. Throw your stained garment into the wash straight after.