Blueberries are a popular summer fruit that you could eat fresh or add to various snacks or desserts. They’re delectable and very beneficial to your health.
But you won’t be happy once they discolored your clothes. Read on to discover the best techniques to get blueberry stains out of clothing.
What causes blueberry stains?
Blueberries are abundant in anthocyanin. This compound gives blueberries their rich purple color.
Be very careful when you eat blueberry. If you get blueberry juice or a chunk of blueberry on your clothes, it will leave stains.
However, the color of the fruit isn’t the only issue. Blueberries’ sugar content can also damage your garments.
When the natural sugars in the fruit are left on your clothes and begin to dry, the stain starts to turn yellow. If not treated early, the stain will become more persistent.
So, treat blueberry stains as soon as you can. You can still remove nasty blueberry stains by applying any of the techniques given below as appropriate.
8 Proven Techniques to Get Blueberry Stains out of Clothing
The Boiling Water Technique
Fresh blueberry stains respond best to this procedure. But, only use it on fresh spots on durable, colorfast textiles that can withstand boiling water, such as white clothes.
If you act fast, hot water can flush persistent stains from adhering to your clothes. But don’t use this approach on old stains.
Here is what you need to do
- Bring water to a boil. While you’re waiting, get a clean cloth and carefully dab it on the berry stain. Don’t wipe or press forcefully into the garment so the stain won’t get any deeper.
- Turn the stained garment inside out so you can flush the stain properly. Doing this helps prevent the stain from penetrating deeper into the fabric.
- Place the stained fabric, stain-side down, over a big bowl and fasten it with rubber bands. Put the bowl in a bathtub or sink to help prevent splashing and catch any spillage.
- Hold the teakettle above the sink as high as possible. Pour a constant stream of boiling water to flush out the stain. Continue flushing until the stain is completely gone.
- Hang the garment outside in direct sunlight.
The Lemon Technique
Lemons are also effective in breaking down organic compounds found in blueberries. Since blueberry stains are plant-based, you can easily remove them with acids like lemon juice.
But, if the stain has been there for more than a day, treat it with other methods.
The procedure is as follows
- Using a moist towel, blot out the blueberry juice from your garment. Make sure to blot as much as possible.
- Turn the garment inside-out and rinse the back part of the soiled area with cool water.
- Rub a fresh lemon slice over the discoloration several times. Rub the lemon gently to saturate the stain. Allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes. Don’t wait until the lemon juice dries on the garment since the acid in lemons can damage textile fibers.
- If the garment is colored, keep it away from the sun while the lemon penetrates to prevent the fabric color from lightening.
- Apply detergent to the area and scrub gently for a few minutes.
- Rinse the garment at the manufacturer’s recommended water temperature indicated in the care label.
- For stubborn stains, repeat steps 1-4 until the discoloration is no longer visible.
- Hang and dry the garment in the sun.
The Enzyme-based Technique
If lemon juice does not get rid of the stain, you should consider using an enzyme-based stain treater. Enzymes are amino acids that break down the basic components of natural stains.
Enzymes are diverse as they operate on different forms of discoloration. When treating plant-based stains, including blueberries, a stain cleaner with pectinase is the best option.
Follow the instructions below to get the best results
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with the enzyme-based stain removal solution and spritz it on the affected area. Wait for about 15 minutes for the solution to soak. This way, your garments can absorb the enzymes entirely, and you can easily remove the stains.
- Wash your cloth with standard laundry detergent once no apparent stains remain. If your garments are white, use warm water; if they are colored, use cold water. To avoid spoiling the cloth, pay attention to the tags.
- Launder your garment as usual and dry it outdoors.
The Liquid Laundry Detergent Technique
When the discoloration is not severe, you can use a liquid laundry detergent that will do the trick. Take the following steps
- Wash your clothes in running water to lighten the discoloration.
- Directly apply the liquid detergent to the affected areas. Soak the stained garments for about 15 to 30 minutes in cold water, depending on the severity of the stains.
- Check for any remaining stains after soaking. Scrub any remaining stains with a soft brush if necessary.
- Rinse your clothes with cold water once you’ve removed all the spots.
- Wash as you usually do.
The Hot Milk Technique
Milk is a natural, excellent stain remover that you can apply to remove blueberry stains in delicate clothes.
The following procedure is how you put milk to use
- Warm-up some milk.
- Pour the milk into the discolored area.
- Allow the milk to soak for 20–30 minutes.
- Blot the spots using a brush and lukewarm water.
- Wash as you normally would.
The Baking Powder Technique
If you’re doubtful about the colorfastness of your garment, you can try removing blueberry stains on it with baking powder.
Here’s the procedure
- Put 4 tablespoons of baking powder and 1-2 tablespoons of lukewarm water over the stain.
- Allow 10–20 minutes for everything to soak. The powder should start to dissolve and froth.
- Blot out the stain by dabbing in a sponge while gently pouring lukewarm water.
The Glycerin Technique
To remove dried-on or old blueberry stains, you can use a glycerin solution. You will need glycerin, cornstarch, and eucalyptus oil for this technique.
To blot out the stain, follow these steps
- Apply glycerin on the berry stain just enough to cover the affected area.
- Leave the garment for half an hour for the glycerin to absorb.
- Rinse the garment and hang it outside to dry.
- If the stain persists after the garment has dried, combine 1 teaspoon glycerin, 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into a thick paste.
- Dab the glycerin paste on the stain and allow it to dry in the sunlight.
- Once the paste has dried, rinse it away.
- If there are still noticeable stains, apply glycerin paste repeatedly until the discoloration is entirely gone.
The Oxygenated Bleach Technique
If all other treatments are unsatisfactory, especially if you’re treating old stains, you can use oxygenated bleach as a last resort. Make sure you apply a concentration as high as the fabric can tolerate.
This approach is best, especially in white clothes. But, use it with caution when dealing with colored garments.
Also, the duration of the treatment is critical. Allow no more than two minutes for the bleach solution to soak on the garment, or else you may frustrate yourself with a discolored garment, though blueberry-free, in the end!
To use oxygenated bleach to get rid of blueberry stains successfully, follow these steps
- Test the bleach on an inconspicuous area of the discolored garment first.
- Use a wet cloth and wipe it carefully on the discolored area. Doing this allows the stains to loosen a little bit.
- When the stain has lightened, launder your garment. If you wish to wash your garments by hand, make a solution of oxygenated bleach and cold water. All you need to do is combine equal parts of oxygenated bleach and water. Dilute it well to weaken the strong bleach properties that can discolor the fabric. Allow 1-2 minutes for the solution to soak into the discoloration. If you opt to machine wash your garments, pour the recommended bleach amount in the bleach dispenser and not directly to the garments. Wait for the washing cycle to finish.
- Rinse the stained garment with cold running water.
- If the stains are still apparent, repeat the procedure.
- Allow your garments to air dry if there are no lingering stains anymore.
Blueberries are delightful to eat, but their concentrated juices can leave a difficult stain to remove. If you treat the discoloration once it occurs, you’ll have a higher chance of eliminating it.
Don’t worry! The best techniques to remove blueberry stains out of clothing discussed above can certainly help you.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.