Summer Stain Removal with Wayne


When summer comes, so too does a whole new category of clothing stains, including those caused by grass, mustard, mud, and strawberries. If you find these stains on your clothes, don’t give them up for lost; as Wayne Edelman, of Meurice Garment Care in New York City, notes, it might take some effort, but with the right chemicals and techniques, you can get these stains out. To mix the tannin solution called for in the techniques, combine 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent with 1/4 cup each of white vinegar and cool water. This solution can be used to remove stains such as those caused by ketchup, red wine, black coffee, and fruit juice.

Tools and Materials

  • Plate
  • Alcohol or lighter fluid
  • Tannin solution
  • Ammonia
  • Peroxide
  • Tamping brush

To Remove a Mustard Stain

Working on an overturned plate, scrape off any excess with the edge of a spoon. Apply a squirt of alcohol or lighter fluid to the stain. Soak the stain with the tannin solution, and then use a tamping brush to “beat out” the stain. Slip a towel underneath the affected area, and flush with water. If more color remains, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, followed immediately by a few drops of ammonia. Rinse with cool water, apply a few drops of vinegar, and rinse with water again. Wash the garment.

To Remove a Strawberry Stain

Follow the above steps, but proceed directly to the tannin solution, and omit the alcohol or lighter fluid.

To Remove a Grass Stain

Apply alcohol or lighter fluid to the stain, and soak the clothing in a mixture of tannin solution and water. Working on an overturned plate, use the tamping brush to work the stain out. Follow the above steps for removing the last remnants of color.

To Remove a Mud Stain

Soak the garment in a solution of water, detergent, and ammonia to release the stain. Wash as usual.

Other Links

Dress and Grooming for Men

The Guide to Mens Suits

A Guide to Borax and Its Uses