Stubborn stains can ruin your clothes and your furniture. But chemical stain removers are often harsh and can do more harm than good. Try these DIY stain removers instead.

Wine, grass, ink and lipstick are some of the most common, and most stubborn, stains out there. Remove these four common stains with stain removers made from ingredients you didn’t even know you had in your home. Doing it yourself will save you money, hassle and the very real possibility of damaging your clothes further with harsh chemicals.

Related: Try garlic juice for stain removal

How to remove red wine stains

red wine
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Whether it’s a spill on the carpet or your favourite dress, red wine stains are dramatic and stubborn. To gently remove the stain, pour some white wine over it (even though this sounds like you will be making matters worse), pour baking soda over the white wine and then rub it in. Allow the white wine and baking soda to sit for up to a day and rinse with cold water.

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Related: Stained carpet? No problem

How to remove ink stains

If you have children, you know that ink somehow gets everywhere; out of the pen and onto clothes, furniture and walls. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can lift this kind of stain from most materials without damaging them. Apply a generous amount of hand sanitizer to the stain and leave it to stand for about an hour before washing out. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer might not seem like much, but it should be enough to dissolve and lift ink.

How to remove grass stains

grass, outside
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Grass stains are an outdoor hazard and they’re tougher than they look. While normal laundry soap and a good scrub are often good enough to remove light grass stains, things can sometimes get trickier. Add plain white vinegar to your wash to improve its stain removing power.

Related: Get rid of grease stains fast

How to remove lipstick stains

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That bright red lipstick may look great on you, but it certainly doesn’t belong on your clothing. Getting lipstick out of clothes takes more than just soap and water. Your natural instinct may be to try and rub the stain out, however you’ll quickly realize that all this does is spread the stain.

Instead, spray the lipstick stain with hairspray (remember only holding sprays will work, moisturising sprays will just add an oil stain to your lipstick stain) wait 15 minutes and wipe with a damp cloth.