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, they can leave a bit of a stain on clothes, carpet, and upholstery.
Mango stains are much like any fruit stain. It's important to treat them as soon as possible to remove the tannin which leaves a stain on fabric. First, remove any excess pulp from the fabric with a dull knife or edge of a spoon. Do not wipe 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.
As soon as possible, flush the stained area with cold water. Hold the stained shirt or table cloth under a faucet with the cold water running full force. Flush from the wrong side of the stain to push the mango out of the fibers. If the stain is fresh, simply washing the stained item as recommended on the care label with a good detergent may do the trick.
If the stain is older or has dried, use a stain remover spray or gel to pretreat the stain. Work the stain remover into the stained area with a soft-bristle 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 remove the stain). Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove. Next, wash the stained item in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.
Always check the stained area before tossing the item in a hot clothes dryer. To remove the stains, mix a solution 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 items, and allow them to soak at least four hours or overnight. Then wash as usual.
Dry Clean Only Clothes
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, as soon as possible, head to the dry cleaner to point out and identify the stain. The mango can leave sugars in the fabric that will darken with time.
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.
Carpet and Upholstery
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.
Mix a solution of one teaspoon dishwashing detergent with two cups of lukewarm water. 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. When no more stain is transferred, dip a clean white cloth in plain water, and "rinse" by blotting the stain again. It is important to rinse the detergent out of the carpet because it can actually attract soil.
Allow the area to air dry away from direct heat, and vacuum to lift fibers.
Use the same cleaning solutions and techniques recommended for carpet to remove mango stains from upholstery. Take extra care to not over-wet the fabric because excess moisture in the cushions or filling can cause problems. Always allow the fabric to air dry away from direct heat and sunlight.
If the upholstery is vintage or silk, blot up moisture, and then contact an upholstery cleaning specialist if you need more stain removal tips.