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.
|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.
Equipment / Tools
- Dull knife or spoon
- Soft-bristled brush
- Washer or large sink
- Small bowl or bucket
- White cloth
- Paper towels
- Enzyme-based stain remover
- Oxygen-based bleach
- Warm water
- Dishwashing liquid
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mix a Cleaning Solution
Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of lukewarm water.
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.
Rinse 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 thoroughly rinse the detergent solution out of the carpet because it can actually attract soil if left in.
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.
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.