How to Remove Stains From a Linen & Cotton Jacket

First and foremost, act fast.

The longer a stain sits, the harder it will be to remove. Try to determine what the stain is on your jacket. If you are unable to figure it out, first start with the most mild treatment and work your way up to the more aggressive treatments. This method will help protect your jacket from unnecessary exposure to more intensive stain removal steps. White garments are much easier to treat than those that are colored because you don't have to worry about fading or bleeding. .

For all stains, fill tub or sink with cold water and soak jacket for at least 30 minutes.

For all stains, work a small amount (a drop or two depending on the size of the stain) of laundry detergent into the stain. Rinse well with warm water.

If the stain is still visible, try a stain-specific method. For ink stains, place jacket (front side down) on an absorbent towel and spray with hairspray from the back. The ink stain should bleed through the jacket and onto the towel. Thoroughly rinse the hairspray out of the jacket and launder as usual.

For coffee, juice or wine stains, apply lemon juice to the stain, cover with salt and let dry in the sun. This method works best on white or light colored jackets. If you are dealing with one of these drink stains and you have a colored jacket, apply lemon juice and salt, and allow it to dry indoors. Launder as usual once the stain is no longer visible. This method also works well for yellow "age" stains that occur from a jacket spending too much time on a hanger in your closet.

For grass stains, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cloth and blot at the stain. Rinse well in warm water and launder as usual.

Things You Will Need

  • Cold water
  • Tub or sink
  • Laundry detergent
  • Old, clean towel
  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean cloth


  • Never use an electric dryer to dry your jacket unless you are certain the stain is completely gone as the heat will set the stain for good.


  • Always read the label on your jacket before trying any stain removal treatments. Do not use water warmer than the recommended temperature on your jacket's care label.

About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.