How to Remove Beet Stains From Clothes

How to Remove Beet Stains

The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 8 hrs, 15 mins - 8 hrs, 30 mins
  • Estimated Cost: $0

Beets are a healthy, delicious, and beautiful addition to any plate. But that red color is a powerful dyeing agent on fabrics. You can even use beets to dye yarn and fabric. If you don't want to dye your entire tablecloth or outfit, learning how to remove beet stains is a must. Take action as soon as you notice there's a beet stain on your clothing or another item, but don't rub it, just blot, or you can make the stain spread and get worse. A few simple cleaning products can help you tackle the stain, so take a moment to learn how to remove beet stains on clothing.

 Stain type  Plant-based
 Detergent type  Heavy-duty, enzymatic stain remover
 Water temperature  Cold
 Cycle type  Varies depending on the type of fabric

Before You Begin

Check the care label on the beet-stained clothing. If it is dry clean only, lift away any beet solids using a dull knife or spoon. As soon as possible head to the dry cleaner and point out and identify the stain. It's best to leave this type of stain to the professionals as a home dry cleaning kit most likely won't have great success removing it and the heat from the dryer may make the stain impossible to remove.

When to Call a Professional

With dry-clean only clothes, lift away any beet solids using a dull knife or spoon. As soon as possible head to the dry cleaner and point out and identify the stain.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Clean paper towel
  • Bucket or large bowl (as necessary)

Materials

  • Stain remover or heavy duty detergent
  • Oxygen-based bleach (as necessary)

Instructions

How to Get Beet Stains Out of Clothes

As with almost all stains, quick treatment offers the best chance for success in removing beet stains.

  1. Remove Chunks of Beet

    If a beet lands in your lap, remove any pieces with a dull knife or the edge of a spoon. Do not rub or you can spread the stain and push the dye deeper into fabric fibers.

    removing beet solids with a spoon
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  2. Blot the Stain

    Blot the wet stain with a clean white paper towel or even a slice of white bread to absorb as much liquid as possible. As quickly as you can, flood the beet-stained area with cold water.

  3. Rinse Clean

    Flush under a stream of cold running water from the wrong side of the fabric to force out the dye.

  4. Treat With Stain Remover

    Next, treat the stained area with a stain remover. If you don't have a stain remover, work a bit of heavy-duty detergent that contains enough stain-removing enzymes to be effective (Tide and Persil are considered heavy-duty) into the stained area. 

  5. Rinse in Cold Water

    Allow the cleaning solution to work on the fabric for at least fifteen minutes and then rinse in cold water. This will remove any oily components or other ingredients in the beet dish from the fabric as well.

  6. Soak in Bleach Solution

    If traces of the red color remain (and it probably will) mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names are: OxiClean, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite) and cool water. Follow the package directions as to how much product per gallon of water.

    Mix enough so that the entire garment or tablecloth can be completely submerged. Allow the fabric to soak for at least eight hours.

    washable shirt in a basin with oxygenated bleach
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  7. Wash as Usual

    Check the beet stain. If it is gone, wash as usual. If it remains, mix a fresh solution and repeat. It may take several soakings to remove the stain but it should come out.