How to Remove Beer and Liquor Stains From Clothes

How to Remove Beer and Liquor Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-10

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

Stain Type Alcohol-based/water-based
Detergent Type Laundry detergent and oxygen-based bleach
Water Temperature Cold

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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Running water
  • Clean white cloth or paper towel
  • Washing machine (optional)
  • Soaking basin or sink (optional)


  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol or regular ammonia
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent (optional)
  • Oxygen-based bleach (optional)


common tools for removing liquor stains
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

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.

  1. Blot the Wet Stain

    Blot away as much moisture as possible with a white paper towel.

    person blotting liquor stain with a paper towel
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  2. Flush With Water

    Flush the stained area with cold water. Run the water through the underside of the stain to push it outwards.

    person flushing liquor stain with water
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  3. 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.

    person treating a liquor stain
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  4. 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.

    garment soaking in a basin with laundry detergent
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  5. 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.

    closeup showing the garment is still stained after washing
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  6. 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. 

    person soaking a garment after washing
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

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.