Whether your stain is from a mixed drink, a straight shot, or a can of beer, knowing how to remove alcohol stains can save your clothing. Beer stains are water-based, meaning the removal process is relatively simple and effective, but liquor mixed with colored dye or fruit juice may be more challenging to tackle. Still, you can use various items you likely already have in your pantry to create natural and inexpensive cleaning solutions. These include vinegar, dishwashing detergent, and bleach. Remember, never place a stained item in a machine dryer, as it can set the stain.
Click Play to Learn How to Remove Beer and Liquor Stains From Clothes
|Detergent Type||Laundry detergent and oxygen-based bleach|
When to Call a Professional Cleaner
If your stained fabric is labeled as "dry clean only," blot away as much of the drink stain as possible with a white paper towel before heading to the cleaner. If you are using a home dry-cleaning kit for a small stain, treat the area with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.
Equipment / Tools
- Running water
- Clean white cloth or paper towel
- Washing machine (optional)
- Soaking basin or sink (optional)
- Rubbing alcohol or regular ammonia
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent (optional)
- Oxygen-based bleach (optional)
How to Remove Beer and Liquor Stains From Clothes
After a night out with friends, or a night in watching the game, you'll probably have splashed a little beer or liquor on your clothes. Fortunately, you can use several at-home cleaning methods to prevent the stain from sticking around.
Blot the Wet Stain
Blot away as much moisture as possible with a white paper towel.
Flush With Water
Flush the stained area with cold water. Run the water through the underside of the stain to push it outwards.
Treat With Rubbing Alcohol or Ammonia
Sponge the stain with a bit of plain rubbing alcohol or non-sudsing regular ammonia and rinse well. When the stain is gone, wash as advised on the fabric's care label.
Treat With Laundry Detergent
Use a bit of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent (Tide or Persil are highly rated brands) to treat the lingering stain. These detergents contain adequate enzymes to break down any tannins in the stain. Allow the detergent to sit on the fabric for at least 15 minutes.
Wash as Usual
Wash the fabric as you typically would, but, but be sure to check the stained area before drying. If the stain is not gone, continue with cleaning and do not dry.
Soak and Wash With Oxygen-Based Bleach
Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OxoBrite) with tepid water following package directions, and submerge the garment. Allow it to soak at least four hours or overnight, and then launder as usual.
Additional Tips for Handling Alcohol Stains
Plain liquor stains can usually be removed by laundering the garment as usual in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Do not dry stained clothing in a machine dryer until you remove the stain entirely from the material. Machine drying a stained garment will make it very difficult to remove the stain entirely. If the liquor or beer is mixed with a brightly colored mixer such as cranberry juice, it is important to treat the stain as soon as possible to remove the dye from the fabric.