How To Get Stains Out Of Jeans, No Matter Where You Are

It’s safe to say that everyone at one point or another has stained their jeans with some crazily stubborn concoction that refuses to go away. The worst part is when you’re out and about and you suddenly find that (delicious) pizza grease just dripped down onto your favorite jeans. If you're wondering how to get stains out of jeans, I have the answers to help you, no matter where you are.

While its suggested that we should never wash jeans so that they stay looking new forever, sometimes life decides otherwise. In the past, I have thought my beloved denims ruined because I had been too clumsy and club soda could not do the trick. Quite recently, after basking in the joys of my new fountain pen, I saw that I had stained my jeans with ink and I was, yet again, down another pair of pants. But fear not! Whether it's grease, makeup, or wine, or something else, there is still hope to getting those stubborn stains out.

Before you give up on your jeans, try these simple, strange, and crazy ways to remove stains from denim. Just make sure to do these steps before you throw them in the wash.

Before Cleaning...

1. Resist The Urge To Wash With Water

This is more for oil-based stains (which are most of them in my life), so if you’ve smudged your denims with anything oily, don’t wash with water. Everyone knows that oil and H2O don’t mix, so trying to clear it away with water won’t help and could actually make the stain more permanent. For every other kind of stain, washing with water is OK, as long as it is cold water.

2. Blot With A Dry Napkin Or Towel — Don't Scrub

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Whether its ketchup, wine, or oil, the first you will want to do is blot it with something dry to absorb as much of it out of your jeans. This is especially important if the stain is oil-based (like pizza grease), because you don’t want it settling into the fibers. If you’re quick enough to blot, you could actually remove the entire stain. But, if it’s already soaked a bit through, at least you’ve prevented anymore from sinking in. However, don’t scrub away at it, as that could cause it to spread or sink deeper into the denim, making it harder to remove.

If You’re Out & About

This is the worst time to get a stain because you can’t strip down and attempt deep-cleaning in public. Thankfully, there are still a few tricks you can do to help remove the stain from your jeans (or other clothing) and make sure it’s not as hard when you get home.

1. Spray Hairspray On The Stain

Garnier Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray, $10, A mazon

It sounds weird, but when you’re in a pinch, hairspray can really do the trick. Some restrooms have hairspray at the sinks, or you can run into a convenient store and buy a travel-sized can. Once you’re ready, douse the stain in hairspray and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Afterwards, use a damp cloth and dab away at it until it disappears. If you’re at home, you can also wash your jeans as you normally would.

2. Dab With A Salt Water Mixture Or Club Soda

Salt and cold water are two ingredients available if you were at a restaurant, or you could ask for some club soda. If you don’t mind walking around with a wet stain for a short period of time, dissolve about a teaspoon of salt into a cup of cold water. Then, dab and blot the stain with a rag that has been dipped in the mixture or club soda until the stain disappears. If blotting isn’t working, alternative between gentle scrubbing and blotting until you can’t see the mark anymore.

3. Cover Oil-Based Stain with Talc or Baby Powder

Johnson's White Baby Powder, $3, A mazon

My father taught me this which I've definitely used more than enough times. If you’re able to get your hands on some talcum or baby powder, sprinkle some onto your stain to soak up the grease or oil. It may look a bit weird for a little while, but will effectively keep the stain from sinking deeper into the fibers. Keep the powder on for as long as possible, and then simply brush it away with something dry to see if the stain is gone. Or, better yet, leave the powder on until you get home and can properly wash your jeans.

4. Soak Up Grease Stains with Artificial Sweeteners

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I don’t tend to carry around talc or baby powder, but artificial sweeteners are readily available at most restaurants or fast food chains. All you have to do is smother some onto your grease stain and blot or let it sit like trick #3. This should effectively remove or help combat oil stains until deeper cleaning is available.

Once You Get Home

Unfortunately, some stains require more intense cleaning that just can’t be done when out in public. If this is the case, make sure you’ve tried to remove any excess residue by dry blotting with a napkin and try one of these tricks as soon as you can.

1. Use Dish Detergent Cause It "Cuts On Grease"

Dish soap is perfect for pots and pans because its made to break down oils and grease, so that your dishes are clean. Luckily, they also work well on denim and can easily break down stains on jeans. All you have to do is make some soapy water, dip a rag into it, and dab away until the stain goes away. Technically, you won’t even have to wash your jeans afterwards.

2. Lather Some Shaving Cream or Shampoo

A simple way to get out makeup stains is by lathering on some shaving cream to your jeans, waiting a bit, and then washing. Of course, you won’t actually be using a razor, but it will effectively remove the stain, especially if you’re a messy oil-based makeup doer. Or, you can also use your hair shampoo, which will work just as well as shaving cream.

3. Ground Up Aspirins for White Jeans

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Using aspirin to remove stains from jeans is not that common, but aspirin is similar to white vinegar and will lighten the area as much. You simply mash up aspirins into enough water to make a paste. Once it’s ready, apply to the stain and let it sit for an hour before washing your jeans.

4. Wash Jeans with Coca Cola

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Maybe this idea came from washing your hair with coke, but it happens to work. If you happen to have some coke lying around, add a can with your normal detergent and wash your jeans as usual. For an even better result, pair this step with a previous trick to make sure the pesky stain is really gone after the wash. This is particularly good for blood stains (old or new).

5. Crack An Egg & Wait

A strange hack for removing coffee stains is to use an egg yolk and a few drops rubbing alcohol. Mix the two ingredients together and apply onto the stain. Afterwards, wait around five minutes and then throw the jeans in the wash like normal.

6. Let Your Jeans Soak Overnight In A Mixture

This mixture will help remove stains from jeans. Mix 1 quart of cold water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Then, let your jeans soak overnight before washing as usual the next day.

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