The 9 Best Stain Removers Made From Household Items, For Clumsy Fashionistas

Unless you happen to be the impeccably neat and tidy sort of sartorial mastermind, it's likely you've had the occasional infuriating boxing match with stains. Over the course of my incredibly graceful 24 years, I've managed to spill bleach on a brand-new burgundy dress, upset a precariously balanced glass of grape juice down a formal dress, and cover a wedding gown in subtle but ultimately detectable grease stains. I am the target audience for Tide-To-Go advertisements.

However, sometimes the best solution is the simplest, and in this world of potentially catastrophic food, drink, paint, marker, and pet stains, any cleaning hack is a good cleaning hack in my book. But what might these painless stain-fighting tips be? And do they really work? Nothing is quite so frustrating as realizing that you've made a stain worse by attempting to fix it in the wrong fashion. Luckily, hundreds of years of maladroit yet fashion-forward people have compiled quite the list of relatively effortless ways to restore even the finest clothing to its former glory. Here are seven quick and easy stain-removing solutions for the clumsy fashionista. Let's be honest: no one is eternally graceful, no matter how much they enjoy pretending.

1. USE RUBBING ALCOHOL

If you own the type of all-inclusive first aid kit which would make your parents glow with pride, chances are you possess rubbing alcohol. In addition to its disinfectant properties, rubbing alcohol also helps erase stubborn ink and deodorant stains from clothing. Apply rubbing alcohol directly to the stain and watch it ebb away.

2. RESTORE SILK WITH SOAP AND WATER

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Silk may be one of the most vexing fabrics to treat when stained. After all, silk is a material that shows water marks in addition to discoloration, making the all-powerful "spot treatment" a no-go. However, a simple combination of soap and water may be the ticket, according to Overstock.com. Using a drop of incredibly plain soap (meaning something other than your lotion-infused body wash or exfoliating hand soap), lightly dab at the spot or steep it in the soap and water solution for several minutes. After the stain has begun to wane, bathe the silk item in clean water, and then place it atop a clean, level surface while it dries.

3. POUR SOME SALT ON IT

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Salt has somewhat of a varied reputation, but when it comes to fighting the odd red wine stain, it is a miracle substance. Tapping a bit of table salt onto a red wine stain will allow the sodium to gradually soak up the wine before you begin the second step of your attack. Simply remove the salt after several minutes, and allow yourself to be awed by the dramatic reduction in red wine. Baby powder and corn starch also work as emergency stain-absorbers in a pinch.

4. SPLASH SOME CLUB SODA ON IT

Whether paired with salt, as Apartment Therapy suggests, or on its own, club soda miraculously breaks down stains without damaging fabric. So don't feel sheepish about keeping the odd oversized bottle of Pellegrino in your fridge; it does more than ornament your apartment.

5. JUST ADD VINEGAR

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White vinegar is useful for more than cooking. A concoction of white vinegar and water applied to a new stain works wonders in correcting even chewing gum stains, states Greenopedia, if you somehow missed the adolescent stage in which you outgrew adhering your gum to every possible surface. Vinegar also returns yellowing items to a glowing shade of white.

6. FIX BLEACH WITH DYE

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Bleach may be one of the cleaning cabinet/laundry room's more frightening substances. After all, one splash can leave you with white-blonde streaks in your hair or a dress that is suddenly, unexpectedly tie-dyed. However, you can use dye to adjust a garment back to its original shade. Before attacking your bleached garment with dye, first select several colors that appear to be close to the original color of your item. Test them out on an old white tee-shirt or towel you don't mind ruining, and determine which one or combination produces the desired color. Then apply the dye to your garment, and wait for the return of your unmarred attire.

7. WORK IN SOME SHAVING CREAM

Who knew that the substance you use to keep yourself fuzz-free can also keep your closet stain-free? Applying a dollop of shaving cream to a fresh makeup smudge will serve to lift the offending mark and save your item from permanent damage.

8. SPRITZ ON HAIRSPRAY

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The solution you use to keep your coiff in place is also ideal for keeping nasty ink stains at bay. Spritz hairspray on the spot, then either machine or hand wash in cool water to save your garment.

9. ADD A TOUCH OF NAIL POLISH REMOVER

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The acetone in your average nail polish remover — which takes off even the most stubborn of stay-put nail polish — is also an ideal solution for taking away stains. Though nail polish remover shouldn't be the first product you reach for it combatting stains due to its potent chemical makeup, it can serve as an in-case-of-emergency solution for less delicate garments when nothing else seems to work.

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