How To Remove A Detergent Stain

Are you caught up in the middle of your laundry and wondering how to remove a detergent stain? Doesn’t it sound ironic? Well, there are stains your laundry itself causes to your clothes. The question is, “How do you remove such stains?”.

Different methods for removing detergent stains are based on the agents: vinegar, baking soda, alcohol, and dish soap. These agents can be applied to the spotted area, typically using warm or hot water. You will then need to remove the stain by either scrubbing or leaving it to soak. 

In this comprehensive post, I’ll show you how to get rid of a detergent stain from your clothes during laundry. Ensure you read to the end to get a good grasp of all your options.

My Quick Overview (30 Sec)

  • Using too much detergent or washing with hard water can result in detergent stains.
  • Detergent stains can easily be removed using everyday household items.
  • The most effective agent for removing detergent stains is vinegar.
  • Baking soda, alcohol, and dish soap also remove detergent stains. 

What You Should Know About Detergent Stains

There are several potential causes of detergent stains on clothing, even if you follow the directions carefully. The hardness of your water is a significant factor. Due to the incompatibility of laundry detergent with mineral-rich water, you may notice an increase in the prevalence of detergent stains. 

Another one of the most common causes is using an excessive amount of laundry detergent. Extra detergent is not better when it comes to washing clothes properly. Over-lathering detergent on laundry acts as a powerful attractant for grime.

Now that you know why your clothes are becoming stained with the detergent residue, you can start thinking about solutions. Since it’s not worth the effort to get rid of a stain that can be avoided, like bleach, why do it? Take steps like working into a lather before dipping clothes, avoid loading clothes at once and use more liquid soaps.

How To Remove A Detergent Stain

We can break down the processes for removing detergent stains based on the agent used. Below are some of the best agents for removing these stains with their processes outlined:

1. Vinegar

White or cleaning vinegar is another tried-and-true weapon against detergent stains. Here are the processes to follow for removal:

  • Prepare some hot water in a basin or bathtub. Ensure your cloth can tolerate warm temperatures; if not, use cold.
  • Mix with a cup of white vinegar
  • Work the mixture perfectly
  • Put the garment in the solution for an hour
  • The residue from the washing detergent should be worked into smaller pieces at varied intervals while checking the clothing.

2. Baking Soda

As surprising as it may sound, baking soda does pretty well at eliminating detergent stains. As a matter of fact, the process is easy-peasy, as seen below:

  • Load up the washing machine and run a normal cycle with the clothes.
  • The addition of detergent is not recommended.
  • Soak a half cup of baking soda in a load of laundry.
  • Keep doing your regular wash.
  • You can add a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse water with your detergent for extra stain-fighting effectiveness.

3. Alcohol

I like using alcohol because it is easy and gets the best results on stained cloth. Here is a process to get the detergent stains out using alcohol:

  • Throw the garment into a tub of hot water. Make sure warm/hot water is okay by checking the care label.
  • Let it shake for approximately a minute.
  • It may be necessary to wring out the fabric if the stain remains.
  • Put some rubbing alcohol on it and make sure it soaks in. Before using rubbing alcohol over the entire garment, test a small area to see whether it affects the color.
  • Ten to fifteen minutes is plenty of time for the rubbing alcohol to take effect.
  • Before washing without detergent, give the item a quick rinse to see whether any residue has been removed.
  • Verify the absence of any trace of detergent before drying. It would be necessary to repeat the process if the problem persists.

4. Dish Soap

If everything else fails (which is rare), you can try dish soap to remove stubborn stains from the laundry. To combat soap with soap may seem counterintuitive, yet it accomplishes its purpose.

  • Get the material wet.
  • To the leftover grime, add a little dish soap.
  • Work it in until it’s entirely inside the fabric.
  • Soak the garments and keep scrubbing the detergent stain out of them.
  • Soak it for around 10 minutes in soapy water.
  • If the stain is still there, rub more soap into it.
  • Using only water and no detergent, wash the item.
  • You should dry the clothes with natural air. If you wish to use a dryer, check to see if the stain is completely gone. Using a dryer will make any residue permanent.


Detergent stains can ruin your clothes, especially when you don’t handle them on time. However, now that you know how to remove it from fabric, you have nothing to worry about.

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Author at Huliq.

Written By James Huliq