Removing Blueberry Stains From Clothing

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


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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.
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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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 4, 2010

What will remove blueberry stains from clothing?

By Lillian from Lincoln, CA


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.

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September 8, 20102 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!

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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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January 20, 20170 found this helpful


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March 23, 20171 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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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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January 29, 20180 found this helpful

Yep. Boiling water is works like a charm!

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March 19, 20180 found this helpful

I would have bet the farm against the boiling water working. That goes against everything you have ever been taught about stains!


But it worked. I boiled a pot a water and poured over's gone! I stand corrected and amazed.

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April 15, 20190 found this helpful

The hydrogen peroxide works the best. My stain is fading, and it is hardly visible..... Thank you!

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April 16, 20190 found this helpful

I'm so glad, thanks for letting us know!

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Answer this Question...


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

July 14, 2004

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



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! 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)

By karyn71


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 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?



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

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September 4, 2010

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

By chandra from Chicago, IL


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June 23, 2010

How do I get blueberry stains out of clothing?

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August 4, 2009

How can I remove fresh blueberry stain from cotton material?

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