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

mango and a visible a stain on the sleeve

​The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Whether sliced into a salad, made into a relish, or pressed into a juice, mangoes are delicious and nutritious thanks to an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, just like the pale orange flesh and juice of its distant cousins, the peach and papaya, a mango can leave stains on clothes, carpet, and upholstery. Though a mango looks innocent enough, the juice of the fruit can leave sugars in fabrics that will darken with time.

Stain type Tannin 
Detergent type Heavy-duty laundry detergent or enzyme-based stain remover
Water temperature Cold to warm
Cycle type Varies by type of fabric

Before You Begin

If the garment is labeled as "dry clean only," lift away any mango solids and blot the stained area with a dry white towel until the moisture is removed. Even if the area looks clean, head to the dry cleaner to point out and identify the stain. If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Washer or large sink
  • Small bowl or bucket
  • White cloth
  • Vacuum

Materials

  • Paper towels
  • Enzyme-based stain remover
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid

Instructions

tools for removing mango stains
The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  1. Remove the Mango Solids and Liquid

    Mango stains are much like any fruit stain. It's important to treat them as soon as possible to remove the tannin which causes the stain on fabrics.

    First, remove any excess pulp from the fabric with a dull knife or edge of a spoon. Do not wipe with a cloth because that will simply push the stain deeper into the fabric fibers. If the stain is mango juice, simply blot with a dry white towel or paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible.

    removing mango solids with a spoon
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  2. Flush the Stained Area

    As soon as possible, flush the stained area with cold water. Hold the stained shirt or tablecloth with the wrong side of the fabric directly under a faucet with the cold water running full force.

    flushing the garment
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  3. Wash Freshly Stained Item as Usual

    If the stain is fresh, simply washing the stained item as recommended on the care label with a good detergent may do the trick.

    washing the garment as usual
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  4. Treat Older Mango Stains

    If the stain is older or has dried, use a stain remover spray or gel to pretreat the area. Work the stain remover into the mango stain with a soft-bristled brush and allow it to remain on the stain for at least fifteen minutes before washing. If you don't have a stain remover, use a bit of the heavy-duty liquid detergent for pretreating (Tide and Persil are considered heavy-duty with enough enzymes to break apart the stain). Wash the stained item in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

    Warning

    When treating a mango stain or one from any type of fruit or vegetable, never use a natural soap bar like Fels-Naptha, Zote, or other natural soap flakes. The reaction between the soap and tannins can make the stains more difficult to remove.

    treating older mango stains
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  5. Check the Stained Area

    Always check the garment for any remaining stain before tossing it into a hot clothes dryer. The heat can set the stain permanently.

    checking the garment for stains
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu 
  6. Treat Set-in Mango Stains

    To remove any stains that remain after washing, mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach (brand names are OxiClean, Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite) following package directions. Completely submerge the stained garment and allow it to soak for at least four hours or overnight. Then wash as usual.

    soaking the garment in an oxygen bleach solution
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu

Removing Mango Stains on Carpet and Upholstery

Use the same cleaning solutions and techniques recommended for cleaning carpet to remove mango stains from upholstery. Take extra care to not saturate the fabric because excess moisture in the cushion filling can cause problems. Always allow the fabric to air-dry away from direct heat and sunlight. When treating mango stains on upholstery, if the upholstery is a vintage fabric or silk, remove any solids, blot up moisture, then contact an upholstery cleaning specialist.

items for removing mango stains from carpets
The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  1. Lift Mango Solids and Liquid

    Use a dull knife or the edge of a spoon to lift any solid mango pieces from the carpet. Do not rub because that will push the stain deeper into the fibers.

    Next, use a white paper towel or old white cloth to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Try to work from the outside edge of the stain toward the center to keep the stain from spreading and getting larger.

    removing solids with a spoon
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  2. Mix a Cleaning Solution

    Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of lukewarm water.

    mixing a cleaning solution
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  3. Remove the Stain

    Dip a white cloth, sponge, or paper towel into the solution and blot the mango stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred out of the carpet.

    blotting the stain
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  4. Rinse the Carpet

    When no more stain is transferred, dip a clean white cloth in plain water, and rinse by blotting the stain again.

    Tip

    It is important to thoroughly rinse the detergent solution out of the carpet because it can actually attract soil if left in.

    rinsing the carpet
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu
  5. Allow the Carpet to Air-dry

    Allow the treated area of the carpet to air dry away from direct heat and then vacuum well to lift the carpet fibers.

    vacuuming the dry rug
    The Spruce / Ana-Maria Stanciu

Tannin stains can be tough to get out of fabrics and carpet. Set-in stains may require multiple treatments. Try using oxygen-based bleach on your carpet to remove mango stains. Before this step, check the colorfastness of a darker colored carpet in a hidden spot of the rug by dabbing it with a cotton swab that's been doused in the bleach. If there's color on the swab, don't use the product on your carpet. If all else fails, there are commercial cleaners that are formulated for removing tannin stains from clothing, as well as from carpet and upholstery.