Berry Blog

Stubborn Stain Survival Guide


We’ve all seen it: a perfect and pristine garment ruined by a stubborn and unsightly stain. Especially with oil, makeup/lipstick, and ink, time can be your worst enemy, or your best friend! Here’s a break down of the most common tricky stains and how you can get them out before it’s too late!


Oil: Ever dropped a French fry on a brand new blouse and that stain just won’t come out? That is our good friend oil at work. Oil can be tricky to remove because traditional stain removers, such as laundry detergent or bleach, can’t break the oil down. The reason for that is–just like in science class–oil and water don’t mix! Fortunately, Mother Nature has created something even better for getting rid of oil than detergent: enzymes, specifically lipase. The enzyme lipase breaks down oils much like your stomach breaks down food in your body. While lipase is not found in most detergents, it can be found in a few select stain removers (Zout or Poof are two examples). Splash a little of these stain removers on your oil stain, let it sit for a while so that the enzymes can begin to break down the stain, and then throw it in the wash. After some lipase action, that oil stain will be history!

Ink: Luckily, the days of a fountain pen exploding in your pocket are gone. Unfortunately, ink stains still do happen and they can be a bear to get out. There are a variety of different inks out there, so no one method is fool-proof. Regardless, a safe bet is to use glycerine, which again can be found at your local drug store. Pour glycerine on a rag and then blot the ink out, pouring additional glycerine as needed. It is critical to blot the stain, not rub, to prevent the ink spreading to other parts of the garment.

Make up and Lip stick: This group of stains are the trickiest of them all because they are a combination of several different stains rolled into one, which makes their removal all the more difficult. To remove a combination stain, you have to tackle each of these stains one at a time. In the case of lip stick, you’ll need to remove both oil (see above) but also the dye. After following our oil-removing tips (above), you’ll then have to tackle the remaining pigmentation. The safest way to do that is to use a color-safe bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide. You can find hydrogen peroxide at your local drug store, or buy branded versions such as OxyClean. After treating the oil and the dye, there may be some light residue remaining, but that should pop right out in the wash. Voila!

Of course, there are a number of other stains that can ruin you day, but with these three helpful tips you’ll be able to drop French fries, rub lipstick, and spill ink on yourself with reckless abandon. Enjoy!

Note: Certain dry clean only and bright color fabrics could be damaged easily. In those cases, we recommend bringing it to a dry cleaning professional to ensure that your garment is preserved. And, as always, the Mulberrys Team is happy to help you with all of your garment care needs!

Thanks for stopping by!

Team Mulberrys