Sue asked: How do I clean a canned pumpkin stain? My grandson got a canned pumpkin stain on a brand new shirt. I tried soaking it overnight with Tide. Then I used Dawn dish detergent, Shout, and OxiClean and Dawn together with a scrubbing brush to no avail. Please help!
Whether it’s a spill from pumpkin pie or a jack-o-lantern mishap, pumpkin stains are common, especially on children’s clothes. Pumpkin stains are stubborn and require patience and several treatments to loosen the stain so it can be removed. Here are the steps to remove the tricky brown spots.
You Will Need:
- Stain Pretreatment
- Laundry Detergent (soap free)
- Hot water
- Rubbing alcohol
- White vinegar
- Soft cloths
- Soft brush
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Begin by scraping away any chunks of pumpkin from the shirt.
- Apply a stain pretreatment to the surface of the stain. Most stain treatments are enzyme based. If the product you’re using is not, select another one that is.
- Rub the pretreatment into the stain by massaging the fabric with your fingers.
- Allow the stain remover to set on the stain for at least an hour, several hours is even better. It will take some time for the enzymes to loosen the stain.
- After the stain has soaked in the remover, scrub it gently with a scrub brush.
- Apply a small amount of laundry detergent and scrub that in as well.
- Wash the clothing on the normal cycle with the hottest water that the garment fabric can tolerate.
- Remove the garment from the washer when the cycle is complete and check the stained area carefully.
- If any stain remains, blot the area with rubbing alcohol. Moisten a soft cloth with a small amount of alcohol and blot it on the stain.
- If the stain still remains, blot the area with white vinegar.
- Once the stain is removed, launder again to remove any residue from the rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
- Again, check the garment when it’s removed from the washing machine to ensure the stain is completely removed.
- Allow the garment to air dry to see if any brown stain shows once the piece is dried.
- If no stain shows, the stain is completely removed and the garment can be cleaned as usual (washer and dryer).
Additional Tips and Advice
- Do not use soap to clean the stain. Rather than cleaning the stain, it will set it and make it nearly impossible to remove.
- If the fabric can tolerate it, soak the garment in a bucket filled with water and some all-fabric bleach.
- The sooner pumpkin stains are treated, the better chance the stain will come loose so it can be washed away. If you can’t treat the stain right away, at least blot it with cold water and remove as much as possible.