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mud stainsGetty Images

Now that we've tackled
how to remove oil-based stains, it's time for part two in our stain removal series: Protein-based stains!

The most common protein stains include:

- Blood and other bodily fluids
- Dairy products (milk, cream, ice cream)
- Eggs
- Baby formula / baby food
- Mud
- Deodorant
- White glue

protein stains, glue, ice cream(Left) Corbis; (Right) Getty Images

The short trick to laundering protein-based stains is to avoid heat; hot water, ironing and/or dryers will cook the stain, setting it in place. Also, it's easier to remove protein stains when they're fresh (wet), rather than waiting until they dry.

For Lightly Soiled Protein-Based Stains:

Launder the garment and/or material as usual in an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent*, such as Wisk or Tide (but avoid using enzyme-based detergents and stain removers on wool and silk fabrics). Be sure to check that the stain has been fully removed prior to drying, and if necessary, repeat the process several times.

For Heavily Soiled Protein-Based Stains:

Let material soak in cold water for 4-6 hours prior to treating the stain. After soaking, opt for a pretreatment detergent such as OxiClean or Spray 'N Wash and follow instructions accordingly. Next, launder as usual, paying special attention to stain removal prior to drying.

Eco-Friendly Method:

After blotting the excess stain and soaking in cold water for 4-6 hours, pre-treat the stain with hydrogen peroxide and hand-wash with cold water. Repeat as necessary before placing garment or material in dryer.

Got a better tip for removing protein-based stains? Tell us!

  • Diana

    For grease stains the best I have used is Mrurphy's Oil Soap. Pour a small amount on stain, rub fabric together and let sit for about 1 hour. Was as usual using cold water. Voila !

  • eileen pangere

    I know there is a method for removing candle wax from clothing. All I can remember is a paper bag and using your iron. Does anyone remember how this works?

  • Jen

    For grease stains from greasy foods, brake cleaner works wonders. Treat the area very LIGHTLY though or the brake cleaner will leave marks behind and you'll have to wash again to get rid of them.

  • Carol

    Does anyone know how to get coffee stains out of a white filter basket and the lid of Mr Coffee coffee pots?

  • joann

    in reply to the person wanting to know how to remove stains on coffee pot lid....simply soak for a little while in a container with some bleach in it...i do this frequently when plastic cups get removes the stain perfectly........

  • madeline wilson

    How to get chocolate out.

  • Nora

    Is there anyway in which to get rid of the cigerett smoke smell from a home. My Aunt and Uncle in Europe have both been very heavy smokers and their condo smells like a dead ashtray. We plan to visit them and stay at their home in a couple of years. None of us smoke and we hate the smell. Is there anything we can spray around or put out to decrease the smell? Any tricks they can do in the mean time to remove the order? Thank you for any suggestions. Nora

  • Dusty

    To remove ballpoint ink from your clothes .....Spray hair spray on the ink and it will disappear. Wash as usual.

  • Jhowej3

    Why do you want to get blood out? Hell, I like blood. I'm covered in blood now. (someone elses blood not mine).

  • tia

    use peroxide to get blood out of clothes it works great believe i know

  • Reynold Montes

    All of these stain removers for Protein Based Stains, are great! However, I would like to know how to remove ink stains from clothing. can I have some answers out there? Thank you.

  • Mostly clueless

    As said earlier, hairspray work to remove ink. So does rubbing alchohol. You can use a cottonball to dab the stain or pour a small amount on it. Then wash as usual.

  • Kelly

    The BEST remedy for stains is one my mom passed on to me. She was known as the "spot expert" and could get a stain out of anything - just ask my friends - who know use this same remedy. It's called Fels-Naptha, and has been around forever. It is a rectangular, yellowish bar soap that comes in a paper wrapping. You can find it at most stores where the stain-removal products are. It requires some scrubbing, but there's NOTHING like it. I have even had checkers ask me what it was! My sons play baseball, so I was always scrubbing those grass and mud stains out of their white baseball pants. The best thing is always if you can soak the item overnight - I use Tide and Clorox II - which will reduce the amount of scrubbing you have to do. I have found no luck with Spray 'n Wash, Shout works O.K., but nothing like good old Fels-Naptha.

  • Michele

    The cheapest and best way to get rid of a protein stain is with Dawn dishwashing liquid rubbed on the stain and 2 Tablespoons of plain generic meat tenderizer in the wash water in a small load up to 1/4 cup in a large capacity load and my regular Tide with bleach alternative.
    No stain, bright colors and whites and I used my regular dish detergent on hand which is Dawn and I bought the meat tenderizer on sale at Rite Aid for 39 cents, normally 99 cents.
    No fancy smancy oxy products or sprays and no outrageous price for those chemicals.

  • Dianna Torres

    Please let me know how to remove deodorant stains from armpits; this is such a pain for me, I do wear a lot of white..Thank you

  • joann

    another way to remove ink from clothing is to soak the spot in keep repeating this til the stain is completely gone......

  • Sue

    For the wax on clothing carpet etc. I think you probably are talking about, putting the bag over the wax then ironing the top of the bag. I have tried using an old white towel and doing the same thing. It works good for other dark stains like Kool-Aid, juice etc. I spray with water then put the towel down and iron it. Spraying clothes with white vinegar works good, on oily stains, underarm stains, and some other stains that Shout and Spray and wash don't get out. The peroxide works good too.

  • Anne

    Ammonia and liquid detergent works well on these stains-- as well as grease and oil spots. But beware--if you use ammonia you cannot use bleach or a bleach product as the combination will produce toxic fumes that will kill you almost instantly.

  • rpleavitt

    Re protein stains, from a background of work in a hospital emergency department, getting blood and other body fluids on my clothes, I recommend commercial meat tenderizers. They contain proteolytic enzymes such as bromelein or papain. What they do to soften meat also works to degrade protein stains.
    RPLeavitt Hartsdale NY

  • kmdogg

    So I still don't see how to get the deodorant stains out. Isn't that what the teaser "headline" was for?


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