How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Clothes, Carpet, and Upholstery

How to Remove Pumpkin Stains from Clothing

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins - 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0

Even though pumpkin is a vibrantly orange fruit, spills of fresh pumpkin or canned puree rarely leave serious stains and are relatively easy to clean.

Pumpkin becomes more problematic when it is mixed with other ingredients, like milk or cream, creating a combination stain that must be approached with care so as not to make matters worse. In those cases, it is best to follow steps to remove oily stains.

To remove fresh or canned pumpkin stains from clothing, carpet, or upholstered furniture, follow the simple steps below.

Stain Type  Fruit 
Detergent Type Liquid laundry
Water Temperature Cold and warm
Cycle Type Normal

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Soft-bristled brush (optional)
  • Sponge
  • Vacuum (carpets)


  • Pre-wash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent
  • Paper towels or a clean cloth


How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Washable Clothes

  1. Remove Pumpkin Solids

    Remove any pumpkin solids from your garment with a dull knife, a spoon, or even the edge of a credit card. Do not scrape or rub; the friction will push the stain deeper into the fabric fibers.

    removing pumpkin solids with a dull spoon
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Flush With Cold Water

    Run cold water against the back of the stained area to help flush the stain out. (Avoid hot water, which can set a stain.)

    Flushing the stained item under water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Pre-treat With a Stain Remover

    Apply a pre-wash stain remover like Shout or Resolve. If you do not have a stain remover on hand, use a bit of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent like Tide or Persil that contains stain-lifting enzymes.

    Work the stain remover into the fabric with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush and allow the stain removal product to sit on the stained area for at least 15 minutes.

    Pretreating the area with a stain remover

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Wash as Recommended

    Wash as usual using the hottest water recommended for the fabric following care label directions,

    Choosing a wash cycle

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Make Sure the Stain Is Gone Before Drying

    Check the stained area before putting the garment in the dryer because high heat can set the stain. If the stain remains, repeat the treatment steps.

    Checking that the stain is gone before drying

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

  1. Remove Pumpkin Solids

    Lift away all the excess pumpkin solids with a dull knife, spoon, or credit card edge.

    removing pumpkin solids from a carpet
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Sponge the Stain With Soap

    Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of warm water. Stir well to mix completely. Sponge the cleaning solution into the carpet fibers, working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading the stain.

    Sponging the stain with soapy water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Rinse With Water

    Wet a clean white cloth or sponge with cool water and dab the area to rinse away any soapy residue, which can attract soil in the future and make the spot look darker.

    Rinsing the stained area with water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Blot and Repeat

    Blot the area with paper towels or a clean cloth until the solution is absorbed. Repeat the treatment steps a couple of times with the cleaning solution until the stain is removed.

    Using a fresh new cloth to blot the stained area

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Air Dry and Vacuum

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

    Vacuuming the area to lift the carpet fibers

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Additional Tips for Handling Pumpkin Stains

  • If a carpet stain is not budging at all, create a cleaning solution of 1 tablespoon of ammonia and 2 cups of warm water. Follow the above sponging steps, using the ammonia solution instead of soap. Again, always work from the outside edge of the stain toward the center.
  • For pumpkin stains on most upholstery, follow the same cleaning method as for carpets but take extra care not to over-wet the fabric.

When to Call a Professional

If pumpkin, raw or cooked, lands on a garment labeled as dry clean only, gently remove the solids with a spoon or dull knife, then blot the stain with a damp cloth. As soon as possible, head to your professional cleaner and point out the pumpkin stain. 

You may also need professional assistance if the stained upholstery fabric is silk or vintage. Consult a dry cleaner to prevent damaging the fabric or for more stain removal tips.