How to Remove Avocado Stains From Clothing

Woman cutting avocado

 

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

While avocados are a delicious addition to many meals, their stains can be less than welcome on your clothing. One of the not so pleasant side effects of their bright green color is the bright green (or brown) mess it can leave on clothing. The good news is that with some standard cleaners you likely have at home, you can get out the stain with ease.

In addition to being a high-protein food, avocados contain oil, which has a lot more fat than the typical fruit or vegetable. Although it is a plant-based oil versus a tougher petroleum-based oil, this greasy component may still require a lot of elbow grease from you.

The same browning effect that occurs on a bowl of guacamole that has been left out also happens to fabric that has been stained by avocado and neglected. Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which turns the flesh brown when exposed to air (oxygen). If avocado gets on your clothing, try to clean it as soon as you can. If that stain turns brown, you might have to work a lot harder to get it out.

Stain type Oil-based
Detergent type Heavy-duty laundry detergent
Water temperature Cold
Cycle type Varies with fabric content

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Before You Begin

For clothes that are labeled as dry clean only, carefully remove any large solid remnants of the avocado with a dull knife or spoon. Do not rub the stain into the fabric. 

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

Before using any detergents or cleaning solutions on a garment, test it on an inconspicuous area first to ensure that it does not discolor the fabric.

Older stains will be harder to remove. You might need to repeat the cleaning process a couple of times before the stain disappears.

Do not dry the clothes in a clothes dryer until the stain is entirely gone. Drying the stain in a clothes dryer will make it unlikely that it could ever be removed fully. It may be hard to tell if the stain is fully gone while the fabric is wet but resist the temptation to dry it.

What You'll Need

Supplies

Tools

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove Avocado Remnants

    Use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much avocado as possible from the cloth. Any other tool might damage the fabric, so work with caution. You are trying to simplify your job by getting rid of any excess mess before you work on the stain.

  2. Apply Liquid Laundry Detergent

    Use a liquid detergent and rub gently into the avocado stain. Consider wearing gloves for this step. Allow the detergent to stand on the stain for at least five minutes so it can penetrate through the avocado, loosening it as it works.

    Tip

    Mild detergents and stain removers can be harsh on your skin or destroy nail polish. Keep your manicure fresh by protecting it with rubber gloves when you do household chores and laundry.

  3. Soak the Stain in Cold Water

    Soak the stain in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the stain loosens. Every five minutes, rub the stained area gently between your fingers.

  4. Rinse and Repeat

    Rinse the stained area thoroughly. Repeat these steps until every last hint of avocado has been removed.

  5. Apply a Stain Remover 

If traces of the stain remains, apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray and let stand for five minutes. Wash the clothing in the hottest temperature recommended for the fabric. Hot water will be much more effective at fully removing the stain, but be sure to follow your fabric guidelines. Otherwise, you may shrink or damage the fabric by washing it at too high a temperature.

When avocado gets on upholstery and carpets, the best way to clean those items is to spot clean with a solution of two cups cool water and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Sponge and blot until the stain lifts off. Blot the item dry.