How To Remove Jam And Jelly Stains From Clothes Carpet Upholstery

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I've dealt with many, many jelly and jam stains in my years. I love to make homemade marmalades, jams, conserves and jellies. These delicious condiments are made from a a combination of fruits or vegetables, spices and sugar. Most are fairly simple to remove unless artificial color has been added.

How To Remove Jam And Jelly Stains From Washable Clothes

Fruits and vegetables contain tannin - a plant component that often shows in varying intensity of color in the final product.

The tannin combined with sugar and spices compose the jam and jelly stains. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by washing the garment or table linens with laundry detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the care label.

When a jam or jelly stain happens, use a dull knife to lift as much of the solids away from the surface of the fabric as possible. Do not rub because that only forces the stain deeper into the fabric fibers. Dip a clean white cloth or paper towel in plain water and blot the fabric until you can fully wash the garment.

Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes to treat the stain because soap can make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

If the stain is older and has set or if artificial color has been added to the product, additional treatment may be need beyond washing. Chlorine bleach can be used to remove stains on white cotton garments and linens.


For synthetic fabrics and colored or printed clothes, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names are: OxiCleanTide OxiNellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite). and tepid water following package directions. Mix enough to completely submerge the stained garment. Allow it to soak at least four hours or overnight and then launder as usual.

How To Remove Jam And Jelly Stains From Dry Clean Only Clothes

When that jelly lands on a fabric that is labeled dry clean only, lift away as much of the solids as possible with a dull knife, edge of a spoon or even a credit card edge. Blot away any moisture and as soon as possible, head to the dry cleaner. Point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner.

If you choose to use a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

How To Remove Jam And Jelly Stains From Carpet

When that blob of jelly lands on the carpet, use a spoon or dull knife to remove as much of the solids as possible. Don't wipe because you'll only be pushing the stain deeper in the fibers.

Mix a solution of one teaspoon hand dish washing detergent liquid with two cups warm water. Dip a clean white cloth or paper towel in the solution. Blot the jelly stain and keep moving to a clean area of the cloth until no more stain is transferred.

Dip a cloth in plain cool water to "rinse" the cleaned area. It is important to remove all the soapy solution because it can actually attract soil.

If there has been artificial dye added to the jam or jelly and the stain remains, treat the stain with a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

This treatment should only be used on white or very light carpet because bleaching can occur.

Allow the cleaned area to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift carpet fibers.

How To Remove Jam and Jelly Stains From Upholstery

To remove jelly and jam stains from upholstery, you can use the same cleaning solutions and techniques recommended for carpet. Take extra care not to overwet the fabric because excess moisture in the furniture cushions can cause problems with mold and mildew.

If the upholstery is vintage or silk, remove the solids and consult a furniture cleaning professional.

For more stain removal tips: Stain Removal A to Z