I learned this trick on how to get blueberry stains out of clothes at just the right time! I’ve been eating a lot of fresh berries and fruit lately, and using them to make homemade ice cream and fresh fruit pies, or just enjoying them with a splash of cream. So good!
But it sure can be tricky to remove the stains that blueberries leave behind! At least it was, until an OGT reader named Mary G. emailed me about an unusual way to get berry stains out of clothing and linens — and all it takes is water!
I’ve been sharing laundry tips and tricks on my blog for over 10 years now, and if I’ve learned anything during that time, it’s that there are nearly as many ways to remove stains as there are to create them! I’m always finding stain removal tips that I can’t wait to share with you, and this blueberry stain remover is one of them (and it’s one of many brilliant laundry hacks from OGT readers!)
How To Remove A Berry Stain With Just Hot Water
Harness the power of hot water to remove colorful fruit stains from clothing quickly and effectively. While it works like a charm on blueberry stains, it will also work on strawberry stains, blackberry stains, or any berry stain. For best results, use this method on fresh stains on sturdy fabrics. (Berry stains on silk, wool, and other delicate fabrics are best left to a professional dry cleaner!)
- Water kettle
- Colander or sieve
- Rubber band
Start by scraping off any solid bits with a teaspoon or dull knife. Turn the stained item inside out, then center the stained area over a colander or sieve and use a rubber band to secure the item in place. Bring water to a boil in your kettle, then slowly (and carefully!) pour the water over the fruit stain from a height. The stain will disappear before your eyes!
Once the stain is gone, hang the item to dry in the sun if possible. (Sunlight is another powerful stain fighter that often goes overlooked!)
5 More Tips For Removing Fruit Stains Successfully
- Treat Stains ASAP. The sooner you treat a stain, the better your chances of removing it will be. That is particularly true of brightly-colored fruit stains, so use this trick as soon as you can after the stain occurs!
- Pour From Above. For best results, pour the water over the stained item from as high as you can manage without making a mess. The force of the water hitting the fabric can help remove more of the stain.
- Stick To Fruit Stains. This method works great on stains made by berries, fruit juice, jams and jellies, ketchup, etc. But hot water can actually set other types of stains, especially those that are protein-based like blood stains, so reserve this particular method for fruit stains.
- Check Before Drying. As with any stain removal method, you should make sure the stain is entirely gone before putting the item in your dryer, because heat could set the stain.
- Use Bleach. If the stain is on a white cloth or fabric that is compatible with chlorine bleach, treat the stain with the hot water method, then toss the cloth in your washer with the recommended amount of bleach.
Other Ways To Remove Blueberry Stains
Get Berry Stains Out Of Carpet With Oxygen Bleach
If you’ve got berry stains on your carpet or upholstery, oxygen bleach can help you get it out.
- Combine oxygen bleach and water to create a cleaning solution according to the package directions.
- Pour enough oxygen bleach solution onto the stain to saturate it, then let it sit for 30 minutes or so.
- Use clean cloths to blot the stain and lift it out of the carpet fibers. Repeat if necessary.
To get berry stains out of clothing with oxygen bleach, pretreat the stain with the oxygen bleach solution, then wash the garment as usual. (You can make your own homemade oxygen bleach and save yourself a trip to the store!)
Pre-Treat Blueberry Stains With Vinegar Or Lemon Juice
I’m a big believer in cleaning with vinegar, and it comes in handy for pre-treating blueberry juice stains too. This tip can be used when you’re dining out to make a blueberry stain easier to remove when you get home.
- Dab a small amount of white vinegar or lemon juice on the stain right away.
- Let it sit for about five minutes, then dip a clean cloth in water and blot the area.
- When you get home, apply a bit of liquid detergent (or a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water) directly to the stain, then toss the item in your washer and wash in cool water.
Use An Enzyme Cleaner
Enzyme cleaners can be especially useful for treating organic stains, because they break down stains at the molecular level and make it easier for detergents to wash them out of fabric.
- Pre-treat the stain with an enzyme detergent or stain remover by working it into the fibers with a toothbrush.
- Launder in the warmest water allowed by the clothing care label, with bleach or oxygen bleach if appropriate.
- Let the fabric air dry and check to see if the stain is gone — if not, repeat the process again.
Remove Blueberry Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide
You can use hydrogen peroxide to treat berry stains and other organic stains by spraying them with hydrogen peroxide. If the stain is on dark clothing, do a small spot test first to make sure it’s colorfast. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to work, then launder as usual.
Bonus Tip: You can also use a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove blueberry stains from stone. Just scrub the stained stone with a sponge and soapy water, then mix up a thick paste of peroxide and baking soda and smear it over the stain. Let it sit overnight, then wipe up the dry paste.
How To Remove Berry Stains That Have Already Dried
When I’m dealing with a stain that has already dried out, I reach for one thing: lemon essential oil. I’ve used lemon essential oil to remove old and dried stains many times with great results. It’s as easy as putting a few drops of lemon oil directly on the stain, then tossing the garment in the wash. (Keep in mind that lemon oil can cause yellowing if it’s left on the fabric too long, so be sure to launder or rinse the item with warm water right away.)
Do you have any useful tips for removing berry stains?