Watermelon is an irresistible summer treat but can leave behind some pesky pink stains on your clothing, carpet, and upholstery. The stains are caused by the tannins that give the watermelon its color and the sugars that make it sweet.
Fortunately, you can remove watermelon stains at home using household products you likely already have in your cupboard, such as oxygen-based bleach and dish detergent.
|Stain type||Tannin-based, sugar-based|
|Water temperature||Cold to warm|
Before You Begin
As always, the sooner you treat the stain, the better. Never place a still-stained item in a machine dryer, as the high heat can set the stain and make it permanent.
Before beginning the treatment process, resist the urge to rub the stain, as it will only push the matter deeper into the fabric fibers, making it more difficult to remove. Always adhere to the recommendations on your garment's care label before washing. Different fabrics call for different washing protocols.
Equipment / Tools
- Washing machine or large basin
- Small bowl
- Soft-bristled brush
- White cloth
- Paper towels
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent
- Oxygen-based bleach
- Dishwashing liquid
- Stain remover
How to Remove Watermelon Stains From Clothes
You can take simple steps to remove watermelon stains from your clothing at home using common household products.
Lift away any remaining solid watermelon chunks and blot out any liquid with a paper towel or napkin. Be careful not to rub the stain deeper into the fabric.
Flush the Stained Area
Flush the watermelon-stained fabric as soon as possible. Blot the stain with a white cloth or paper towel dipped in cool water, then place the garment under a running cold water faucet. Let the water run through the underside of the material to force the watermelon juice out of the fibers.
Treat the Stain
Use an enzyme-based stain remover or dab a bit of heavy-duty liquid detergent directly onto the stain. Let the stain remover work for at least ten minutes, and then wash as recommended on the fabric care label. Be sure to use a detergent with adequate enzymes to break apart the stain. Leading brands include Tide and Persil.
Check the Stained Area
Check the stained area. If the stain remains, do not machine dry the garment and move to the next step.
Mix a Soaking Solution
Mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach, such as OxiClean, Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite, following package directions. Completely submerge the stained item and allow it to soak for at least four hours or overnight. If the watermelon stain is gone, rinse well, and dry the fabric. If the mark remains, repeat the oxygen bleach step.
How to Remove Watermelon Stains From Carpets and Upholstery
You may use watermelon stain removal practices on carpet and upholstery interchangeably. Take extra care not to over-saturate the fabric, as excess moisture can create mold and mildew in cushions.
Remove any solid pieces of watermelon, then use a white cotton cloth or white paper towel to blot up as much liquid in the stain as possible.
Mix a Cleaning Solution
Mix a solution of 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of warm water in a small bowl.
Apply the Cleaning Solution
Dip a clean white cloth, sponge, or soft-bristled brush in the solution. Apply the solution and work from the outside inward to keep the stain from spreading. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb the solution. Keep moving to a clean cloth area as the color from the stain is transferred.
Rinse by dipping a white cloth in tepid water to cleanse the spot. Blot dry with a clean cloth. Rinsing well is an especially important step because any soapy residue left in the carpet will attract soil.
Air-Dry and Vacuum
Air-dry away from direct heat and then vacuum to lift carpet fibers.
When to Call a Professional
If your watermelon-stained garment is labeled as dry clean only, visit your dry cleaner as soon as possible and identify the stain. If your stained upholstery is vintage or silk, do not attempt to remove the stain at home. Instead, consult a professional cleaner.
Additional Tips for Handling a Watermelon Stain
If the watermelon stain on your carpet or upholstery is older or mixed with a darker fruit juice, you may find it harder to remove. If this is the case, oxygen-based bleach may be essential. If you're on the go and happen to be carrying hand sanitizer, you can apply a touch to the watermelon stain before continuing the removal process at home. Acids like vinegar and lemon are also helpful in treating fruit juice stains. Although watermelon stains are relatively easy to remove, if the stain persists, feel free to repeat cleaning steps as many times as necessary or contact a professional cleaner for more specialized advice.