How to Remove Stains on Cotton/Polyester

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Things You'll Need

  • Cool water

  • Soap detergent

  • Washing machine


For solid, hardened-on stains (such as wax), you will need to scrap off as much of the hardened solid as possible before cleaning. Additional procedures and products might be required to remove these kinds of stains.


Do not use hot water with stains on cotton or polyester. The hot temperature will likely make the stain set in.

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Cotton/polyester fabric is fairly simple to remove stains from. The sooner the stain can be treated, the more likely you are to remove it. Different kinds of stains may require repeated procedures such as grease, red wine or tea; however, most stains require a simple procedure to eliminate them.


Step 1

Fill up a bucket or sink with cool water and add approximately 1 tbsp. of soap detergent to the mix.

Step 2

Soak the fabric in the water/detergent mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Before draining the water, rub the stain using another part of the fabric a couple of times to loosen up the stain's bond to the material.

Step 4

Drain the water and rinse the fabric. Do not worry if you did not remove all of the detergent from the fabric.


Step 5

Wash in the washing machine using cold water, but do not put in the dryer.

Step 6

If the stain has not completely disappeared after the washing cycle, repeat Steps 1 through 5, allowing the fabric to soak overnight.

Step 7

Once the stain is completely removed after a washing cycle, dry it in the dryer or hang out to dry.



Janet Veverka

Based in Vancouver, Janet Veverka is a freelance writer and artist for Pink Olive Designs. She also blogs under the tag IMAGINATIONmama for Veverka received her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999 before working in Europe for 5 years and then returning to North America.