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Removing Blueberry Stains From Clothing

Category Stains
After you enjoy the berries, cleaning stains from your clothes can be a challenge. This guide is about removing blueberry stains from clothing.
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Solutions

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By 2 found this helpful
October 1, 2013

A blueberry stain is one of the easiest stains to see, and depending on the fabric, one of the most difficult to treat. This also applies to other deep red-colored fruit stains such as those made by cherries, grapes, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries. These fruits stain on two fronts with dye and sugar. The strong red dyes leave their mark immediately and the sugars turn yellow with heat and age.

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The Key: If at all possible, treat these types of fruit stains while they are still fresh, the sooner the better. Scrape and blot up all you can, then immediately and repeatedly sponge the area with cool water until no more color is being removed. Old stains on valuable pieces of clothing or fabric should be taken to a cleaning professional.

The Caution: Don't launder fabrics in hot water and don't use real soap. Both will set fruit stains. Other than the boiling water method listed below, don't heat-treat the fabrics, including hot-air drying or ironing, until the stain is completely gone. Heat treatments will set the stain and are likely to make it permanent. For "fresh" stains on cotton, linen, and other sturdy white or colorfast fabrics, try the boiling water method. For more delicate fabrics, try one or more of the gentler procedures. Always pretest all treatments on a small area of fabric for colorfastness/durability before fully committing.

Five Methods for Removal

  1. The Boiling Water Method: This technique works remarkably well for removing fresh fruit stains, but it should be used with caution. Use this only on fresh stains and only on sturdy, colorfast fabrics that can tolerate boiling water (e.g. white or colorfast cotton and linen). Pretesting is definitely a must to avoid damaging fabrics. Stretch the stained fabric, stain-side down, over a large bowl and secure it with a rubber band. Put the bowl in bathtub or kitchen sink to help prevent spattering and catch any spillage. Pour a quart of boiling water through the stain from a height of two to three feet. Heat normally sets fruit stains, but with this method the hot water works to flush the stain out of the fabric before it can adhere. If the stain remains after this, or if you are treating a fabric that won't tolerate boiling water, proceed to method #2.
  2. The Lemon Juice Method: Rub a freshly cut lemon into the stain. Rinse with water, blot out all the moisture you can, and let it air dry. If stain remains, sponge with wet spotter* and a few drops of vinegar. (Dilute the vinegar with two parts water for use on cotton or linen.) Tamp** while sponging if the fabric will tolerate it. Apply laundry pretreat and launder in warm water. If the stain remains, soak in detergent for 30 minutes to an hour and re-launder.

    Laundry Pre-treat: Flush the stain with cool water. Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with one quart of cool water. Soak the stain in the vinegar/detergent solution for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water. If the stain remains, sponge with rubbing alcohol and rinse thoroughly before re-laundering.


  3. Dry Clean Only Fabrics: Follow the procedure for the lemon juice method down through the wet spotter with vinegar and tamping. Rinse with cool water. If stain remains, apply a digestant enzyme paste; let it sit for 30 minutes (without drying out), then rinse with water.

  4. Old/Dried on Stains: For old or dried-on blueberry or dark-colored fruit stains, try rubbing glycerin into the stain to soften it first, and then treat as above (lemon juice method). If the stain has been ironed, it may be permanent.
  5. Bleach: If all other methods fail, bleach the stain using as strong of a concentration as the fabric will tolerate.

*Wet spotter - mix 1 part glycerin, 1 part white dishwashing detergent, and eight parts water. Shake well before each use. Store mix in a plastic squeeze bottle.

**Tamping a stain - removal technique using a small, soft-bristled brush, that is effective on durable, tightly woven fabrics (it may damage delicate or loosely woven, fabrics.). Place the garment on a solid work surface. Hold the brush (a small toothbrush works well) 2 or 3 inches above the stain and strike the stain repeatedly with the brush using light strokes. If the bristles bend, you are using too much force.

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Questions

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By 1 found this helpful
September 4, 2010

What will remove blueberry stains from clothing?

By Lillian from Lincoln, CA

Answers

Anonymous
September 7, 20100 found this helpful

Try the 3% volume hydrogen peroxide that you can purchase at the pharmacy or market (it works wonders even to remove blood stains) buy pouring a little, letting sit for a minute, rub fabric together and then wash as normal. Please do a test in an inconspicuous place on the fabric first for colorfastness though.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 8, 20101 found this helpful

Pour boiling water over the blueberry stain; it has to be boiling water and not hot tap water. Works on any type of berry stain. My granddaughter dripped blueberry ice cream on her sweater the other night and the boiling water took the stain right out. :)

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March 18, 20111 found this helpful

It really works, vinegar and boiling water. I can't believe it. I always though hot water set a stain.
Fantastic. I can now wear my new t-shirt ,thought I would have to wear it under another.
Thanks, a bushel of Blueberries!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Anonymous
December 4, 20121 found this helpful

This is great. I thought my son had ruined his khakis as well. I scrubbed vinagar into the stain them poured boiling water over it and it just rinsed away. Best laundry tip since blood and peroxide!

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Anonymous
January 20, 20170 found this helpful

vinegar

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March 23, 20170 found this helpful

Yay for the boiling water it works! It works I tried lemon juice and baking soda and hydrogen peroxide first which lightened it but then it's a last resort I thought I would try the hot water and it took it right out awesome!

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Anonymous
August 24, 20170 found this helpful

wow! vinegar and boiling water completely removed a two day old bluebrry stain on green cotton shorts. thanks for the great tip!

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Answer this Question...

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 14, 20040 found this helpful

Can anyone tell me how I could get fresh blueberry stain out of a child's new swimsuit (cotton/spandex)?

Rene

Answers:

Peroxide and Baking Soda

Try peroxide and a little bit of baking soda. (07/15/2004)

By Tawnda

Boiling Water

Pour boiling water on a blueberry stain until it is gone (07/20/2004)

By julie

Vinegar

VINEGAR! WOW it came out so fast i could bnot believe it, then I ran the hot water over the stain so it would not set. I was amazed!! (07/21/2005)

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By karyn71

Oxyclean

Try oxyclean and let the item soak. It works for me. (07/21/2005)

By peggygv

Here's the Remedy I Tried

Lemon juice after soaking in oxyclean for an hour. works like a charm. the stain really does dissappear. Hooray! (08/02/2005)

By poor khaki pants

White Whine

Try applying white wine. I tried it on a linen blouse and it worked. I remembered the tip for red wine stains so I tried it for blueberry and lo and behold= bingo! Be sure to wash the garment in soapy water afterward or people will be wondering what kind of bottle you are giving your little tyke!LOL (08/06/2005)

By Eileen

Baking Soda and Peroxide

My toddler got huge blueberry stains all over his new white shirt. I used the advice from previous posts. First, a little baking soda and peroxide which made the stain fade substancially, and the I poured boiling water over it and it was as good as new! Thanks! (03/24/2006)

By Susan

Vinegar

Vinegar Rules! Today at work I got a blueberry stain on my brand new Khaki's! Thank goodness we had vinegar in the store room! I took a toothbrush dipped it in the vinegar a little elbow grease... and Voila! Thank You! (05/17/2006)

By Chris

New Request:

How to remove fresh blueberry stain from white t-shirt?

Joe

Answers:

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

Well, being a cheap European, I went for the boiling water. I had a dried blueberry stain on expensive, brand new, light beige capris. There wasn't enough water in one kettle to get out the stain the first time, so I repeated it by pouring the water over the stain while holding the capris over a pot and then let them soak. Worked beautifully in about 5 minutes but I wouldn't try it on fabric that needs cold washing. (07/27/2006)

By Adele

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

Great Advice! The bluebeery stains came right out when using vinegar. I did pour boiling water over after just to be on the safe side. (08/06/2006)

By TomKat

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

Great advice. A blueberry from a warm muffin got on my dress and sweater. I took the advice suggesting vinegar and was a little worried to pour the boiling water over it. Voila! Once I poured the boiing water over the vinegar, it was gone (08/15/2006)

By Betsy

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

All of my life I've been picking blueberries in the oldest, rattiest clothing. I was putting some in the freezer today when the juice leaked and got all over my brand new (light pink!) sweatshirt. I tried vinegar, and it was amazing. It literally just disappeared as soon as I put it on! Thank you so much for your help! (09/11/2006)

By Andrea

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I removed a blueberry stain by first using white vinager with gentle scrubbing with a tooth brush. Then poured on a cup of boiling water. Then I used some hydrogen peroxide and followed by a rinse of boiling water and the stain went bye-bye. (09/11/2006)

By Jim

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 4, 20100 found this helpful

I have a blueberry stain on my favorite beige cotton pants. Please help.

By Chandra from Chicago, IL

Answers:

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 23, 20100 found this helpful

How do I get blueberry stains out of clothing?

By Weisgerber1

Answers:

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

Use plain hydrogen peroxide. Pour it on, then let it sit and fizz, then do it again. (08/05/2009)

By Cyinda

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I lay the stained clothing in the kitchen sink and holding the kettle high above the stain pour a slow small stream of boiling water on the stain. Be careful. Never used vinegar. Good for berry stains. (08/07/2009)

By Coolcook

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I am so grateful for these suggestions about using vinegar and boiling water on blueberry stains. I was able to save one of my favorite blouses! (08/18/2009)

By Jan T.

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

My husband just got a blueberry stain on his tan dockers. He hand-washed the spot with Ivory bar soap and it only half came out. He hand-washed the spot with borax and it came out. I think we have to get stains all the way out before putting it through the laundry. (02/09/2010)

By Barb Thom

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I am a guy who just stained his new shorts with blueberry. Covered 3 stains with vinegar and boiled water. Scrubbed the stains with a toothbrush and white vinegar. Still did not disappear completely. Used the boiling water and they were gone. Washed in cold water, and 2 hours later they were good as new. Thanks for such ideas. Who would have thought that hot water would not set the stain? I guess I need to retake chemistry 101! (05/16/2010)

By Ticotino

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 4, 20090 found this helpful

How can I remove fresh blueberry stain from cotton material?

Charlene from MS

Answers:

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I recently tried a stain remover recommended by a co-worker. Brand new ruined blouse. Got melted butter and cheese on it at a pizza buffet. I had tried the spray removers 6-7 times with no luck. This stuff took it out the first try. It also removed a very dark stain from one of the light colored chairs in the office. It is called M-30. It comes in a small container like some of the hand cleaners. I found it at Dollar General. (06/16/2008)

By MurphTheJo.

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

My 8 month old daughter spit up blueberry baby food on my new white cotton shorts. I tried the vinegar and boiling water, and was a little concerned when the stain had not come out by scrubbing it with the vinegar, but was amazed to watch it disappear as I poured the water on it. Very cool. (07/08/2008)

By Sarah B.

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

The typical pre-wash products usually do it for me, but when a bird who had obviously feasted on blueberries left its blue-stained droppings on my husband's red shirt, my pre-wash failed me. So I turned to the internet, and found your posting. It took a few treatments with the vinegar, detergent, and boiling water, but it appears that the stain has disappeared, with no damage to the red shirt. Thank you. (08/21/2008)

By Jenna

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

I wish I could say the blueberry stain on my son's yellow cotton shirt had come out completely with the vinegar and hot water method. I read all the feedback, and was quite hopeful (it was the first time he had worn the shirt). But after many trials over several hours, using two separate kettles of hot water, and then laundering, a dull greyish stain remains. Perhaps it is because I wasn't able to get to the stain right away, and it had set. (10/13/2008)

By rubies44

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

Boiling or hot water locks in stains. That's what I learned the hard way. (11/04/2008)

By allykat

Blueberry Stain on Clothing

The vinegar and hot water solution works on wool too! Poured the white vinegar on and blotted off with a paper towel and rinsed with hot water. (02/13/2009)

By May

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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