Hairspray on ink? Salt in the washing machine? Tips for stain removal are all over the internet. While most of them are helpful, there are a few that can do more harm than good. Here are three stain removal tips that you should stay away from.

Not sure how to treat a stain? Hangers Cleaners is here to help. We have a few tricks up our sleeves. Your garment will come back to you looking better than ever.


1. Use hairspray to remove ink stains.

To be fair, this was true back in the day. In the early days of hairspray the product was mainly alcohol. This is no longer the case. Today’s hairspray products are alcohol-free — Wait. Does this mean I can’t DIY a flamethrower anymore? (Asking for a friend).  

The hairspray will only leave a sticky mess on your garment. Here is what you should do instead.


  • Was the culprit a ballpoint pen? For example. Say you accidentally throw a cap-free ballpoint pen in your backpack. Somehow, the pen is situated just perfectly enough to draw squiggles all over the back of your shirt as you walk. Alcohol still works as an ink-stain remover. Get some rubbing alcohol. Use a sponge to treat the area with rubbing alcohol before washing.


  • Are we dealing with a larger problem? A beginner’s calligraphy pen or a rogue fountain pen will create a larger, more saturated ink stain. If this is the case you need to soak the stain in water and bleach-free liquid laundry detergent. After an hour or so, check the stain to see if a more concentrated stain treatment is needed. If the stain has dissipated, wash the garment normally.

 2. Pour white wine on a red wine stain.

Perhaps this tip became popular because it is so convenient. If you have red wine, there is a good chance white wine is close by. You can treat the stain within moments.

However, white wine doesn’t really work that well to remove red wine stains. Not to mention, you’ve wasted a perfectly good glass of white wine. Try spraying the stain with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide instead.

 3. Soak your clothing in salt or add salt to the wash machine to prevent colors from fading.

This well-intended tip won’t make your garment worse. It won’t prevent colors from fading either.

The only way to prevent a fabric from losing its color is to treat it as soon as it is manufactured. Once the garment has made its way to your closet, it is too late.