Can Club Soda Save Your Clothes From Stubborn Stains?

Noticing a new stain on your favorite shirt is never good, but it's even worse when the mark shows no signs of coming out. You may have heard that carbonated beverage club soda will help to lift stubborn stains, but sadly, this doesn't seem to be the case. "Club soda does not help fight stains," cleaning expert Jonathon Reckles told The Spruce. "In fact, the sugar in the club soda will do more harm than good. It may cause color loss on the fabric during the cleaning process due to oxidation." 

The drink is thought to work as a stain remover due to its carbonation. In other words, the bubbles are supposed to banish the stains. There is also some anecdotal evidence that club soda works — chemist Pete Wishnok wrote via Scientific American that club soda worked in some instances when he used it for red wine spills, possibly due to its mildly acidic formulation. However, Wishnok also said that water would likely work the same, meaning club soda cannot be proven as a go-to stain remover.

You may be wasting your money stocking up on the carbonated beverage

In addition to no concrete evidence on whether club soda will make coffee spills or red wine marks vanish, the drink may actually hurt your clothing. As Jonathon Reckles pointed out when speaking with The Spruce, the high sugar content in club soda could cause a color-fading effect due to oxidation. This means that your bright red top could quickly become more of an orange or pink color if you try to get rid of a mark using the popular drink. Because of this, you might want to test out using club soda on a lighter item to stop any fading.

As well as potential fading, club soda could make certain types of marks even more ingrained. If you're trying to get rid of an ink stain on your shirt, do not use club soda — the drink could make things ten times worse by setting the ink. After a stain is set, it's extremely difficult to get out and may not even be removed at all. Though all stain removal items carry risks, the possible color-fading properties and the fact that it may not actually be very effective mean it's best to avoid using club soda for stains.