The taste of berries on a summer afternoon is wonderfully refreshing and healthy. Sadly, the same doesn’t apply to their stains on clothes. Berries contain tannins, which are used in the formulation of dyes in leather dyes.
So, if they make permanent markers, you get a clue how tough their stains can be. However, notwithstanding, berry stains can be removed. Read on to learn how to remove berry stains of all types of berries; mulberry, raspberry, blackberry stains, etc.
To remove berry stains, use a butter knife to scrape off the unstuck berry material. Next, run cold water on it and pretreat it with commercial or homemade stain remover. Thereafter, launder with a heavy-duty detergent, rinse and dry.
How to Remove Berry Stains Using Commercial Stain Removers
To start off, scrape the loose berry material on the stain. You can do this with the use of a butter knife or the edge of a spoon. While doing this, be careful to avoid making the stain messier by spreading it on the unstained part.
For better success, start by scraping the fruit material from the edges towards the center of the stain, then carefully scoop it from there. At this stage, trying to remove all the stains is unnecessary, as doing so will end up pushing the stain deeper.
Run Water Over the Stain
The next thing is to run cold water over the stain. To do this, first, turn the clothes inside out so that the water is pushing the stain material out of the clothing. For best results, you can do this under running tap water under some level of pressure. This will quicken the removal of the materials.
Pretreating the Stain
This is the point at which you soften the stain in readiness for the real washing. To do this, apply a few drops of commercial stain removers to the stain, and spread it evenly with a soft-bristled brush.
Alternatively, you can use the outer tip of the dosage cap for this purpose. Once this is done, you can let the garment sit for 30 minutes before proceeding to the next stage.
Washing With a Heavy-Duty Detergent
After the lapse of this period, the berry stain has softened enough for laundry. Throw the garment into the washer, and put the required dosage of a heavy-duty enzyme-based detergent. Using enzyme-based detergents cannot be over-emphasized.
These types of detergents are specially formulated with additives for breaking down these kinds of stains. Next, run the washer under warm settings that are compatible with the garment’s wash instructions.
I also made a list of the best commercial stain removers that you can check out.
Rinse and Dry
Your garments are now ready for rinsing and drying. But before proceeding with drying, carefully examine whether the stain is removed or not. If not, you need to repeat the process or try alternative methods before drying.
Otherwise, drying without removing the stain will likely make the stain permanent which is especially true for tumble drying. For that reason, you might want to skip the dryer and use the line-drying instead.
Other Methods of Removing Berry Stains
Being an acidic substance, vinegar is quite effective against organic stains like berry stains. Apply vinegar to the stain, and rub the fabric against itself to help in soaking deeper into the stain.
After about 30 minutes, vinegar breaks down the berry stains, which can then be loaded into a washer for a normal wash. As usual, be sure to inspect the stain to see if it has been removed to avoid setting.
If your clothes are stained with a mix of different berries such as blue, black, or raspberry, the mixture of pigmentation may create an even tougher stain. To remove these stains, you need a stronger stain remover.
And that is where oxygenated bleach comes in. Examples of oxygenated bleach such as 3% hydrogen or chlorine bleach work perfectly in stamping out such kinds of stains. Most colorfast clothes can be safely washed with hydrogen peroxide-based bleaches.
However, when it comes to chlorine, you need to proceed with caution on color clothes. Avoid chlorine bleach in color clothes and use it on whites instead, as it is much stronger.
To use bleach for berries stain removal, dilute ¼ cup bleach to 4 liters of water and soak the clothes for thirty minutes before washing and drying as usual.
Flushing With Hot Water
Unbelievably, hot water is one of the best ways of removing berry stains from clothes. Boiling hot water breaks down and flushes the berry stains off the fabric so fast if done the right way.
To start off, boil water in an electric kettle or a pot over a stove. As you wait for the water to boil, put water in a bowl. Then with a white piece of cloth, dab the berry stain from the garment until the greater part of it appears to fade out.
Remember, the emphasis is on dabbing instead of rubbing. If you rub instead, you will only push the stain deeper into the fabric.
If the hot water is ready, turn the garment inside out. This is to ensure the stain residues are flushed out when eventually we flush water on it and not inwards.
Before starting, find ways of making the spot stationary and tight. One way is to tie strings or rubber bands attached to the four corners of the garment and tied elsewhere so as to hold firmly and make it taut.
Once the spot is tight, place an empty bowl under the stain spot, and hold the hot water kettle high enough to pour down a strong stream of hot water over the stain spot.
However, you need to be careful with the height from which the water falls to avoid scalding yourself.
Generally, holding approximately 20 inches above the stain spot would be high enough.
As the water falls over the stain, it flushes out the berry stains into the bowl. You can continue flushing until the stain completely disappears. Afterward, load the clothes in the washing machine, wash and rinse as usual.
Remove Berry Stains With Glycerine
Glycerine is an oily substance that has a wide range of uses in the food, pharmaceuticals, and detergents industry. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to expensive commercial berry stain removers, then glycerine is a great option.
Moreover, it is readily available and can be bought from online or offline stores. What is unique with glycerine is it works effectively without leaving any residue.
Plus, it is one of the safest to use products out there. To remove berry stains with glycerine, mix it with water at a ratio of 1:1 before soaking the berry-stained clothes for 30 minutes. Afterward, load your clothes in the washing machine and launder normally.
Making Use of Lemons
With lemon acidity, the berry stains stand no chance. However, as lemon is highly acidic, you need to be sure the garment is colorfast as the lemon has bleaching properties.
To use this method, pour some cold water on the berry stain. Then cut the lemon into two halves and squeeze the juice on the stain. Allow the stain to treat to sit before running a normal wash cycle.
Remember, you can also use lemon in combination with other easily available substances to remove berry stains. One way is to use lemon with salt by squeezing some lemon on the stain then, followed by a sprinkling of table salt.
Next, gently rub the material against itself, and rinse. Examine if the satin has been removed. If not, repeating several times would have cleared it fast.
Although this method can work for most types of clothes, it is mainly recommended for white clothes. Rubbing alcohol has bleaching effects and, therefore, may bleach the same color clothes.
Before starting the process, do the usual testing on inconspicuous spots, in addition to reading the wash instruction label.
If it is safe to use it, dab the stain spot with a piece of cloth or a spray bottle on the spot, and wait for 10 minutes before washing and rinsing as usual.
How to Wash Berry Stains on Dry-Clean Only Clothes
Removing berry stains on dry-clean-only items at homes at home is a bit tricky. But it can also be easy if you have and know how to use a do-it-at-home kit. The kit comes with a user instruction manual, which we recommend you take a look at more deeply.
Different fabrics may have different wash instructions. So you will have better results if you follow their instructions for the particular garment.
But in general, the kit includes stain remover and some absorbent materials. To treat the stain, dab the stain with the absorbent material soaked in stain remover. Next, place the garment and the included cleaning cloth, seal it up and run the dryer on medium for thirty minutes.
Key Points to Note on Removing Berry Stains
- Cleaning early guarantees better results. Work on the berry stains as early as possible for easy removal. The older the stain, the more difficult it gets to remove as it is set in the clothing fiber.
- Testing the cleaning agent is key. Not every cleaning agent is compatible with all fabric types. For instance, while they may not be indicated, some may have bleaching properties on colored clothes. The best way is to test an inconspicuous part of the clothing before using it on them.
- Know the compatibility of stain removers. If you intend to use multiple cleaning solutions, first check out their compatibility. Mixing some cleaning may either render them inert or cause a violent reaction resulting in toxic fumes. A good example is mixing baking soda and vinegar. The recommended method is to use each agent separately.
- Reading the wash instruction label is critical. Even as we offer tips on using cleaning agents to remove berry stains, these instructions are not cut for every fabric. Each fabric type comes with specific wash instructions, which are tailored toward the specific fabric.
- Be gentle on fabric rubbing and agitation. If you intend to hand wash, be gentle on agitating and rubbing the fabric. Some fabrics such as silk, linen, wool, chiffon, and other embroidered clothes can easily get damaged by doing this.
- Use a white piece of cloth to blot out stains. This will help in indicating if the stain-removing process is effective or not by looking at the color transfer rate on the cloth. Additionally, using colored cloth risks transferring their color or colored lint on the clothing you’re cleaning.
- Follow store-bought user instructions. Each stain remover brand is formulated differently from its competition. As such, for your own safety and the garment, use the product only as instructed by the specific manufacturer.
- Pretreatment is critical. Pretreating a berry stain softens and makes the process easier. In contrast, washing without pretreatment may not only fail to remove the stain, but it may become permanent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Berry Stains Come Out?
While berry stains are tough stains, they can be removed. There are a variety of methods to remove them from clothes. The tricks range from using vinegar, lemon juice, and oxygenated bleach, among others. If you opt for oxygenated bleach, pretreat the stain and allow a period of 10 minutes, and then wash normally.
Can Baking Soda Remove Blueberry Stains?
Baking soda works perfectly in removing blueberry stains. To remove the stains, you can either make a solution of ½ cup baking soda in one liter of water, pretreat the stain and allow about 30 minutes before washing normally. The alternative is pretreating with a combination of baking soda with lemon juice, which also works well.
How Do You Remove Set-in Berry Stains?
Set in berry, stains can be removed by making a combination of several ingredients to be effective. To do this, make a solution of one tablespoon of vinegar and ½ tablespoon of enzyme liquid detergent in a liter of water. Soak the stain for an hour, and wash normally.
Next, you can check out my guide on how to remove yellow food stains from clothes.