How to remove juice stains
A daily glass of fruit juice may be full of nutritional goodness but when it's spilled all over clothes and leaves a stain, it's just plain annoying. If juice does happen to spill everywhere, or you notice a stain, rinse immediately under cold running water before it has a chance to set into fabrics and then follow these easy stain removal steps.
Removing juice stains from clothes or fabric
If you notice a big dried juice stain on your child's school shirt or play clothes - work quickly. You can get clothing juice-stain-free in most cases.
- First, scrape off any dried pulp then thoroughly flush the juice stain with cold water.
- Launder as per the care instructions on the clothes at the hottest water safe temperature your machine will allow.
- If the stain is still there, soak overnight in a solution of detergent and water and launder again.
- Avoid using the dryer to dry the affected clothing as the heat may set the stain. With any juice stain, check the garment thoroughly after washing to be sure the stain is removed.
Other juice stain removal solutions and tips:
- Soak in white vinegar mixed with dishwashing liquid before washing.
- Apply lemon juice to the stain and leaving in the sun to dry may work on some fabrics.
- Avoid using soap flakes or laundry soap directly on fruit stains which may contain tannins - apparently it can make some stains even harder to budge.
- Cranberry, raspberry, grape and tomato juices are the hardest juice stains to remove. Be sure to begin the process by flushing with cold water - if these stains have too much time to set into the clothing it may be too late.
Removing juice stains from unwashable fabrics
If the stained item of clothing is dryclean only, your best option is to take it to the professionals. They'll have the best equipment to remove a sturdy juice stain. Be sure to scrape off any fruit pulp first - and always be sure to ask whether the garment can be saved beforehand to avoid the possibility of paying the cleaning bill on an item of clothing that is still stained.
Removing juice stains from carpet or furniture
If one of your little ones has dropped a full glass of fruit juice all over your new white couch or carpet, it can be fixed. Scrape off as much of the fruit pulp off the stain as you can, then:
- Mix up one tablespoon of liquid hand washing detergent with two cups of cool water to remove a stain from a couch, or one tablespoon of liquid hand washing detergent with two cups of warm water to remove a juice stain from your carpet. Using a clean white cloth, sponge whichever of the mixes needed over the affected surface. Keep blotting at the couch or carpet until the juice stain disappears, or until all the detergent solution is absorbed into the juice stain. Then simply sponge with cold water and blot until surface is dry.
- If the juice stain remains in the carpet, after trying the above, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of warm water. Once again, sponge the mix into the carpet stain and then blot until the juice stain disappears. Follow up with a sponging of cool water then blot dry.
- Another solution is to spray the juice stain with lukewarm water (but not too much in case it spreads) before blotting with a paper towel. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of mild non-bleaching detergent or carpet shampoo with one litre of warm water. Dip a clean, white cloth into the solution, thoroughly dampening it and squeeze out excess liquid before laying it over the stain. Press down on the solution-soaked cloth with the back of a metal spoon, working from the outside to the inside. Blot with more paper towel until the stain is gone, before spraying again with the lukewarm water. Dry by placing a clean towel over the damp area and place a large book over it for several hours until dry.
Stain remover notes
- The quicker you deal with a stain, the more likely you are to remove it.
- Unless it’s a fat stain, cold water is best for rinsing a stain, so as not to set it and make it harder to remove later.
- Before using a cleaning solution, test on an inconspicuous section, such as the inside of a sleeve, to check it won’t ruin the fabric.
- Always rinse out one cleaning solution before trying another to remove a stain as certain chemicals are not supposed to be mixed.
- Read the care instructions on the item of clothing before attempting vigorous stain removal. Some clothing may be too delicate to attempt stain removal and are better taken straight to the drycleaners.
- Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.
- The white towel blotting method is often recommended for stain removal. Simply fold a clean white towel and, once you have treated the stain with water, gently dab it with the towel and check to see how much of the stain has transferred to the white towel.
- If using commercial stain removers and detergents, always follow the product label to understand the proper use and safety precautions you may need to take.
- It’s always easier to treat a stain on a washable fabric.
Find more stain removal articles
Find more laundry solutions
- Solutions for 10 common kid stains
- Sort the housework the easy way
- Conquer the laundry pile in 3 easy steps
- Cut your laundry time in half
- 8 facts about stain removal
- 5 reasons to line dry the washing
- How to wash cloth nappies
- Reduce the housework (yes, it IS possible)
- 6 ways to get kids to help with housework