Collar and underarm stains should be treated with oxygenated bleachthat's OxiClean for the laymanthough lemon juice serves as a DIY alternative. Spot stains should be gently scrubbed with cold water and a hint of household cleaner: dish soap for coffee spills, Pine-Sol for oily splatter, and rubbing alcohol for ink spots.
Here are a few other methods for getting oil, red wine, and coffee stains out of a white cotton shirt.
Treat grass stains by dabbing them with acetone, blotting with a soft cloth, and repeating until the pigment has been removed. Mud stains should be tackled with diluted dish soap.
Use a specialized color-safe product like Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner to restore your kicks and protect them against future damage.
Treat salt stains and watermarks on your winter boots by scrubbing them with diluted white vinegar.
Both water stains and spot stains are easily removed with a suede eraser and brush: Look for both at your local shoe store or cobbler.
For linen or canvas, target food or product spills by coating the marks in cornstarch, then letting the bag stand overnight. For leather bags or accents, give every surface a thorough scrub with a good old-fashioned saddle soap.
Treat soiled areas with OxiClean before laundering your sheets in cold water.
Cooking for someone special? Scrub away countertop stains with baking soda to leave your kitchen looking fresh.
Pat any stained areas with diluted dish soap or liquid laundry detergent. For stubborn spots, go all-in with a steam cleaner and some upholstery shampoo.
Red-wine stain on your carpet? Project a devil-may-care attitude by pouring white wine right on top. Then cover the spill with a thick layer of baking sodaafter a few hours, the stain should lift right out.
This article is part of the Birchbox Man 31-Day Challenge for January 2015. Click to see all daily challenges and to learn how you can win sweet stuff all month.
Copywriter, cold brew advocate, purveyor of handcrafted birthday haikus since 2009.