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“What Is That?!”: A Guide to Removing the Most Common Uni Student Stains

“What Is That?!”: A Guide to Removing the Most Common Uni Student Stains

Clean all the things!

As uni students, most of us are new to the whole being an adult game. Living away from home or with new people is a huge challenge, and no doubt we all make a few mistakes. There are loads of lessons to be learned, and some dilemmas so large that you need to call your parents to ask for help (cooking times and washing machine settings, I’m looking at you), so here is a list of the stains that are most likely to occur during your time at uni, and a few natural ways to get rid of them – and save yourself that 45 cents for a phone call home.

Before We Get Started:

There are some general tips that apply to every stain. Most importantly, time is of the essence! The sooner you attend to a spillage, the less time it has to soak into or discolour whatever you spilt on. It’s also super important to remove as much of the spilled substance as possible.  This means pick up, vacuum, sweep, scrape, lick; whatever you have to do. After that, it’s time to assess the damage.


Ahhh, coffee. The lifeblood of the uni student. But when combined with late night study sessions and early morning fumbles, it’s inevitable that some will be spilt. All coffee spills should be spot-cleaned with vinegar. If you take yours with milk and sugar, these could add an extra challenge, but nothing a bit of elbow grease or enzyme based stain remover can’t fix.


Red Wine. It’s cheap. It’s tasty. And it creates one of the most stubborn stains known to humankind. Firstly, remove as much liquid as possible using paper towel to blot the stain. Cover the stained area with salt, and then pour boiling water from about a height of about a metre. This should remove most of the stain, but if any remains, treat it with a vinegar spot clean.
red wine


As much as it pains me to say it, it’s almost impossible to go your entire uni career without at least one late night gastrointestinal misadventure. The secret to this unfortunate accident is to spot clean the vommed-on area, alternating between using baking soda mixed with water and vinegar, until the stain fades.

Tomato Sauce

Hot chips. They’re everyone’s favourite late night carb loader, but they have a serious downside: tomato sauce. It has been scientifically proven that the best way to consume chips is to make a huge mess, which can have a slightly negative effect on any materials you may come into contact with.  This sticky, acidic, red sauce may seem impossible to clean, but a simple spot clean with vinegar will definitely do the trick.
tomato sauce


Whether it’s from a paper cut or a late night stumble across your phone charger, there is no avoiding life’s little accidents. The good news is that this stain has a simple solution. Soak the spot in cool, salt water, and then rinse clean. Some light scrubbing may be needed if it’s a stubborn stain, but otherwise you should be squeaky clean.

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