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.
|Detergent Type||Liquid laundry|
|Water Temperature||Cold and warm|
Equipment / Tools
- Dull knife or spoon
- Soft-bristled brush (optional)
- Vacuum (carpets)
- Pre-wash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent
- Paper towels or a clean cloth
How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Washable Clothes
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.
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.)
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.
Wash as Recommended
Wash as usual using the hottest water recommended for the fabric following care label directions,
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.
How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Carpet and Upholstery
Remove Pumpkin Solids
Lift away all the excess pumpkin solids with a dull knife, spoon, or credit card edge.
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.
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.
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.
Air Dry and Vacuum
Allow it to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum the stained area to lift the carpet fibers.
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.