8 Ways to Hide Stains on Clothes

How to Hide Stains on Clothes

The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

Some people are messier than others, but it is impossible to go through life without getting an ugly stain on a favorite piece of clothing now and then. And some of them just won't wash out no matter how creative you get in the laundry room. Whether you have a bleach stain, ink stain, oil, or other splotches, here are eight clever ways to hide it and keep wearing that favorite garment.

  • 01 of 08

    Color It In

    White and gray shirt with blue stain colored in with fabric marker

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    If the stain is light enough, you might be able to camouflage it by coloring over it. Use a fabric marker, also called a dye pen, to color in an offending bleach spot. If the stain is darker, you might draw a doodle over it. This won't work with every outfit, but it could be an answer for some. Now you have a work of art, not a stained blouse.

  • 02 of 08

    Spray It Away

    White and gray shirt with blue stain sprayed with fabric spray paint and stencil

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Pick up a bottle of fabric spray paint and a stencil and create a fun, new design over the stained area. Let your inner artist out to play! You might enjoy it so much that you'll start looking at your unstained shirts as blank canvases.

  • 03 of 08

    Bleach It

    Pink shirt with white circle painted with small brush and bleach

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Looking for an easy fix for a bleach spot? Try more bleach. You can use a bleach pen or a small brush dipped in bleach to create an original design on any dark-colored fabric. This is a fun way to turn an accident into an actual design. Fight bleach with bleach.

  • 04 of 08

    Add an Iron-On

    White and gray stained shirt ironing clip art on transfer paper

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    If you're not confident in your artistic skills, this hack lets you make use of the talents of others. Search the web for interesting clip art and then print your pick out on a piece of iron-on transfer paper. Apply it directly to the stained area—it's the perfect cover-up for any size spot, and you don't have to rely on your own talents with a brush.​

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Remove the Stained Part

    Jeans with green stain being cut off by scissors

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    If you have decided the stain just can't be camouflaged, you might have to perform surgery. Cut off that offending stain, and rework your clothing into something new and fabulous, like making a​ ​skirt out of jeans.

  • 06 of 08

    Patch It

    Pink shirt with stain sewing on ice cream patch with pink yarn

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Stitch on a colorful patch and no one will ever know there's a stain lurking beneath it. This hack is good for casual clothes, but you might even experiment with making it into something fashionable. If one patch over the stain looks too random, add several patches so they look like a "look."

  • 07 of 08

    Tie-Dye It

    Canvas bag with yellow stain with tie dye package and rubber bands

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Use the stain as an excuse to rock a '60s look. Grab a couple of packages of dye and some rubber bands and tie-dye that stain away. You will look groovy in your new duds. If you don't want a swinging '60s look you can go for a more subtle ombre shading.

  • 08 of 08

    Cover It With a Button or Brooch

    Gray shirt with stain covered with pineapple button

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    This fix requires no sewing, coloring, ironing, or painting. As a bonus, you can do it on the go, and it's a temporary rather than a permanent fix. Slap a button or a brooch over that spot, and you'll have a fix that you can update whenever the mood strikes you.