The Four Types of Stains and How to Remove Them in Six Steps

In General by Emi Ladrillono

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The Four Types of Stains
(and How to Remove Them in Six Steps)



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Clothes and manners do not make the man, but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.”Arthur Ashe

Stains are an unavoidable part of life.
If you ever have to deal with one, knowing

  • what kind of stain it is based on its chemical composition
  • the right procedures to get rid of stains

will help keep you stain free in the long run!


The Perils of Stains


When you think about it, having a backup of your favorite clothing is never a bad thing.

Being one step ahead of yourself gives you a sort of safety net, or extra wiggle room for life to take its toll on your clothes!

The “just in case…” helps put your mind at ease when it comes to thinking about subjecting your favorite clothing to the perils of stains.

On the other hand, spending for two of everything might not have the same effect on your wallet.

You shouldn’t have to spend more just because your clothes wanted in on that burger or that glass of wine from last night’s dinner!

There’s got to be a way to enjoy that cuppa, to eat your favorite food, to go through life, without having to worry about stains!

…Here’s the part where we tell you there is.

Before we get into all that jazz, we should first try to understand what we’re dealing with.



A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” was popularized by William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet.
Great quote and great play, but unlike roses, you can’t lump stains together when it comes to stain removal.

Stains are divided into four categories based on the composition of the stain:

  • Protein-based stains

    These types of stains result from foods containing cream, cheese, eggs, baby food, or from urine or fecal material.

  • Oil-based stains

    These stains usually come from oil or grease based products that we use everyday such as motor oil, cooking oil, hair products or lotions with oil in them, bacon grease, lard, and butter (to name a few examples).

  • Tannin-based stains

    Fancy coffee, tea, or fruit based juices? How about soft drinks, wine, or some alcohol? Proceed with caution as these beverages contain tannin, an organic substance of yellow or brown color which can be pretty stubborn to get out.

  • Dye-based stains

    Originating from fruits (like cherries and blueberries), mustard, heavily pigmented makeup, or grass, these types of stains are probably the most difficult to try to get out. It is from these substances which we extract the color we put into our garments.



Much like everything else, not all stains are created equal.
Some will definitely be tougher to get out than others.
There isn’t one sure way to get rid of them, but here are a few tips to get you started.



To sum things up...


Like much of life’s struggles, stains are temporary (for the most part).

  • Know what you’re dealing with.
  • Know how to deal with it.
  • Deal with it in a timely manner.
  • You’ll find yourself stain free in no time.

    It can be tedious work, especially repeating certain processes over and over again…

    But for your favorite clothes, especially those hard-to-find, limited edition garments you’ve grown to love over the years, we think going the extra mile is well worth it.




    This article was brought to you by


    FREY is men’s fashion brand made up of environmentally conscious idealists who specialize in making clothing care products aimed at:

    Preserving your clothing.

    Preserving the environment

    Feel free to check out the entire clothing care line here.
    Save your clothing, save the Earth, and smell good while doing it.




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