Red Wine Stains
“You should bring anything stained with red wine to the dry cleaners, because they can get it out easily,” says Dae. While some red wine stains can be removed using at-home methods (and there are many, as a quick Google search will show), DIY techniques don’t always work. If you’re unsuccessful in removing red wine yourself, you could permanently stain your garment.
As we discussed, timing is everything—and Dae suggests bringing wine-stained garments to the dry cleaners within five days. “The longer you hold it at home, the harder it will be to take it out,” he explains. And if it’s a delicate item (think: silk or cashmere), the long, harsh process required to remove a stain that’s been sitting for a while could end up damaging the piece.
Annie and Dae agree that in most cases, coffee stains can be handled at home. “Let’s say you’re like me, and you spill coffee on yourself on your morning commute, which I’ve done many times,” says Annie. “I always follow my dad’s advice: When I get to the office, I gently blot the area with a dry cloth to remove excess coffee. When I get home that evening, I immediately soak the stain with a little bit of water and an equal-parts solution of dish soap and white vinegar for about 15 minutes (for small stains, use a q-tip). Finally, I rinse the area with cold or lukewarm water. This, in my experience, gets the coffee out right away, but if you wait too long and let it sit in your hamper, there’s a big chance this method won’t work. At that point, it’s time to bring your garment to the dry cleaners (or in my case, have my dad add it to my tab).”
Dae adds that Dawn dish soap works best for stain removal, but cautions against using too much of it. “The goal,” he says, “is not to have so much soap that it leaves suds on the garment.”