Wendy asked, “My white shirt have henna stain…how to remove?”
Henna is a plant-based dye that is used to color skin and hair. Even though the stain is only semi-permanent on skin and hair, it can sometimes be difficult to remove from fabrics. The more fresh a henna stain is, the easier it will be to remove, so try to treat the stain as soon as possible with the steps below.¹
Removing the Henna Stain
Below are several ways to remove henna stains. Choose the one that is best for you based on the materials you have available, and if that method doesn’t work, try another. Always test a cleaning solution on a hidden area of the fabric first to check for any adverse reaction, such as a fading of the fabric dye color.
You Will Need:
- A stain remover (choose one):
- Dish liquid
- White vinegar
- Enzyme stain remover
- Enzyme laundry detergent
- Methylated spirits
- Rubbing alcohol
Steps to Remove the Henna Stain:
- Flush the stain thoroughly with cold water.²
- Rub non-bleach dish liquid into both sides of the stain, then pour white vinegar over both sides and rub the stain with your fingers. Let the garment sit with the solutions on the stain for about two hours, then launder as usual.²
- Apply an enzyme stain remover, such as a pet accident cleaner like Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover. Following the instructions on the label. When the stain is removed, wash the garment as usual.
- Use an enzyme laundry detergent, such as Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent, to remove the stain. Rub the detergent into the stain (add water if using a powdered detergent), then wash the garment as usual in cold water if the fabric will allow.
- Moisten a cloth with ammonia and blot the stain until it is removed. Turn the cloth to a fresh area as the henna is transferred to the cloth. When the stain is removed, rinse the area and wash the garment as usual.²
- Moisten a cloth with methylated spirits and blot the stain until it is removed. Turn the cloth to a fresh area as the henna is transferred to the cloth. When the stain is removed, rinse the area and wash the garment as usual.²
- You may have success removing the stain with rubbing alcohol, which is often used on dye stains. Moisten a cloth with alcohol and blot the stain until it is removed.
- Let the item air dry until you are sure the stain is removed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Henna is classified as a tannin stain, which is a plant-based stain that contains tannins. Coffee and tea are also tannin stains. If you have a tannin stain remover that is safe for fabric, such as Tann-X, you can try using that.³
- If you use henna to dye your hair often and then have to remove the henna stains from your pillowcases, consider using a pillowcase that is more similar in color to your hair color so that you no longer have to remove the stains.⁴
- Take safety precautions when working with ammonia, such as by ventilating the area and wearing gloves. For more ammonia safety information, see Wikipedia.
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