How to Remove Beer Stains From Clothing

Oktoberfest 2015 - General Features Day 1
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A beer stain is usually light in color and may not seem like it is a big deal.  But dealing quickly with stained clothing can mean the difference between a set stain and an outfit that looks good as new.  The sugar in a beer stain will set with any heat, so resist the urge to use hot water.

Remove Fresh Beer Stains

Rinse the beer stain thoroughly from the back of the clothing with cold water. We want to go through the back of the stain, so the beer has to travel through fewer fibers to be removed.

Remember that heat will set the stain. Use a liquid laundry detergent mixed with cold water and pour onto the beer stain. Allow the detergent to stand on the alcohol stain for at least 5 minutes.

If you don't have laundry detergent, use a dish soap instead. Rinse the stained area thoroughly. If the beer stain is set in, you can try blotting the stained area with a 1 part vinegar/2 parts water mixture. First, make sure your clothing is colorfast and test the vinegar on a hidden seam or area to make sure it isn't damaging. Vinegar will bleach some types of clothing, so you'll want to rinse this out immediately and thoroughly with warm water. Wash according to the clothing directions.  Before drying, make sure the stain is fully removed.  I recommend allowing the clothing to air dry to make sure the stain is gone.  Once it is fully removed, clothing can be washed and dried normally.

Remove Dried Beer Stains

For dried beer stains, you need to start by wetting the stained area with cold water.

Use a few drops of liquid laundry detergent or dish soap and rub it onto the stained area and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.  Dried beer stains can start to have an odor, so you'll want to apply some baking soda onto the stained area to help absorb the odors and any leftover stain. After about 15 minutes rinse away the baking soda.

Repeat with laundry detergent or dish soap and rinsing until the stain is gone.

You can try the vinegar step above, but be aware that some clothing can be bleached by vinegar.  You may want to test it on a hidden seam of your clothing, first.

Remove Beer Stains on Delicate Fabrics

Delicate fabrics can be tricky to work with.  If there is a beer stain on your delicate fabric, you need to try using cold water first to remove the stain.  Rinse through the back of the stain with cold water.  Next get a light colored mild dish soap and mix a few drops with a cup of water.  Take a clean white cloth or towel and gently sponge the dish soap mixture onto the stained area.  Blot the area with a towel dipped in water. Never scrub at the area.  Blotting is just applying gentle pressure without rubbing.  Rinse the stained area completely.  Repeat this procedure once or twice until the stain is fully removed.   Allow the clothing to air dry.

Remove Beer Stains on Difficult Fabrics

If you are trying to remove beer stains from cotton t-shirts, and other lightweight, washable fabrics, you are in luck, and will likely have easy success.  But if the beer stain is a thicker fabric like denim, sweater material, or flannel, you may need to repeat the stain removal steps a lot.

These absorbent fabrics tend to hold onto the beer or at least some of the sugars, and it can be more difficult to remove them.  Likewise, delicate fabrics, although more lightweight, won't be able to hold up to as many repeated washings that might be necessary to fully remove the stain.  But with a little bit of extra caution, even these fabric types can have the stain removed.