White shirt with coffee stains

Maintaining the pristine charm of a white shirt can be a challenge, especially when faced with stubborn stains. How to get stains out of a white shirt? Whether it's a coffee spill or an ink mark, following this guide will help you restore white dress shirt men and restore it to its original brilliance. Take a look at what experts have to say 

White shirt with coffee stains

How to Get Stain Out of White Shirt? 

1. Act Quickly

Time is of the essence when dealing with stains. The sooner you address the issue, the better the chances of successful removal. Begin by blotting the stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the substance as possible.

2. Identify the Stain

Different stains require different treatments. Identify the nature of the stain to tailor your approach. Common stains include:

  • Coffee and Tea Stains
  • Ink Stains
  • Food Stains
  • Sweat Stains

3. Read the Care Label

Before proceeding, check the care label on your shirt for specific instructions. Some fabrics may be more delicate and require special care. Follow any guidelines provided to avoid damaging the garment during the stain removal process.

4. Test in an Inconspicuous Area

Before applying any stain remover or cleaner, test it in a hidden spot on the shirt to ensure it won't cause discolouration or damage. This precautionary step can save your shirt from unintended consequences.

5. Gather Supplies

Prepare a stain removal kit with the following items:

  • Clean, white cloth or paper towels
  • Stain remover or laundry detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol or hairspray
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

6. General Stain Removal Steps

For most stains in white long sleeve shirt, the following steps can be a good starting point:

  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove excess.
  • Rinse the stain with cold water from the back of the fabric.
  • Apply a small amount of stain remover or laundry detergent directly to the stain.
  • Gently rub the fabric together or use a soft-bristled brush to work in the stain remover.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with cold water.

7. Specific Stain Removal Techniques:

Coffee and Tea Stains

For the persistent marks left by coffee or tea spills, create a powerful stain-fighting mixture. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar, forming a potent solution. Gently dab the stained area with a clean cloth soaked in this mixture, allowing the vinegar's acidity to break down the stain.

 Afterwards, rinse the affected region with cold water, ensuring all traces of the mixture and the stain are thoroughly washed away. This method not only lifts the stain but also neutralizes any lingering odors.

Ink Stains

Begin by blotting the stain with either rubbing alcohol or hairspray, both of which contain solvents effective in dissolving ink. Ensure you blot rather than rub to prevent the ink from spreading further. 

Following this, rinse the area under cold water, aiding in the removal of the broken-down ink particles. This dual-action method targets and disintegrates the ink. 

Food Stains

For a more intensive treatment, create a pre-treatment solution using a mixture of lemon juice and salt. This dynamic combination works to break down the stain's components, enhancing the effectiveness of subsequent washing. Apply the mixture, gently rub the fabric, then rinse thoroughly to witness the disappearance of the stain.

Sweat Stains

Blend baking soda with water until a thick paste forms. Spread this concoction liberally over the sweat stain, ensuring it covers the affected area. 

Allow the paste to work its magic for approximately 30 minutes, permitting the baking soda to absorb and lift the sweat-related discoloration. Following this, rinse the shirt under cold water, witnessing the revival of your shirt's pristine whiteness. 

8. Dealing with Stubborn Stains

Some stains may be more persistent. If the initial treatment doesn't work, consider these advanced techniques:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Apply to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Ammonia: Dilute the ammonia with water (1:1) and apply it to the stain. Rinse promptly.

9. Laundering

After treating the stain, launder the shirt following the care label instructions. Use a high-quality bleach alternative for whites if needed, but avoid using bleach excessively, as it can weaken the fabric over time.

10. Air Dry

To prevent heat from setting any remaining stains, air dry your white shirt. Check the stain again after drying, and if necessary, repeat the stain removal process.

11. Professional Cleaning

If all else fails or if you're dealing with a particularly delicate fabric, consider professional dry cleaning. Inform the cleaner about the stain and the steps you've taken, so they can apply appropriate treatments.

12. Prevention Tips

To minimize the risk of stains in the first place, consider these preventive measures:

  • Wear an apron while cooking to protect your shirt from food stains.
  • Avoid applying perfume or hairspray directly onto your shirt.
  • Be cautious with pens and markers, especially when taking notes.


Rescuing a white dress shirt men from stains is a blend of swift action, targeted treatments, and careful laundering. By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be well-equipped to tackle a variety of stains and ensure your white shirts stay crisp, clean, and ready for any occasion. The following stain removing process is the same for any white dress shirt. 

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