How to Remove Orange Juice Stains

How to Remove Orange Juice Stains

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

Whether you enjoy drinking fresh orange juice or using it in a recipe, a stain is never welcome. Fresh orange juice seldom leaves a much of a stain on fabric right away but some concentrates and orange-flavored drinks contain extra dye. It is also a bad idea to leave the fresh juice stain on clothing for too long. Orange juice contains citric acid that acts as a bleaching agent, especially when exposed to sunlight.

Washable Clothes and Linens

Orange juice stains appear on fabrics because of tannin, a plant component that often shows as a color in the fruit. Immediately blot the juice spill from the fabric with a clean white cloth or paper towels.

Fresh stains can usually be removed by simply washing the garment or table linens with a high-quality detergent (Tide and Persil are highly rated and considered heavy-duty) in the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the care label.

One particular caution is to never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes to treat the stain because they can make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Older juice stains or color-enhanced orange drinks may need additional treatment. You can use chlorine bleach to remove the stains from cotton white garments and linens. Follow the product directions carefully.

For stains on synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon and for colored or printed clothes, color-safe oxygen bleach is a better choice. Mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach (brand names include 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.

After any stain removal treatment, check the stained areas before placing clothes in a hot dryer. The high heat can set the stains making them very difficult to remove.

handwashing a stained towel
The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska  

Dry-Clean Only Clothes

After blotting up as much of the juice spill as possible, if the garment is dry-clean only take it to a professional cleaner as soon as possible. Point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner so it can use the proper stain-removing chemicals.

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

blotting the stain on the towel
The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 


Use a white paper towel or old white cloth to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Keep blotting until no more moisture is transferred from the carpet to the cloth.

Mix a solution of two teaspoons of dishwashing detergent in two cups of warm water. Dip a clean white cloth, sponge, or soft bristle brush in the solution. Working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center to keep it from spreading, work the cleaning solution into the stain. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb the solution. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred.

Finish by dipping a clean cloth in plain water to "rinse" the spot. This is especially important because any soapy residue left in the carpet will actually attract more soil. Allow the stain to air-dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift the carpet fibers.

If the stain is older or from an orange drink containing dye, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach in cool water following package directions. Dip a clean cloth into the solution, and working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center, work the solution into the carpet. Do not over wet. Allow the solution to remain on the stain for at least 30 minutes before blotting away.

Use a dry-clean white cloth to blot away moisture. Allow to dry completely and vacuum to restore the carpet pile.

vacuuming a rug
The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 


The same cleaning solutions and techniques can be used for juice stains on upholstery. Take care not to over-wet the fabric because excess moisture in the cushions can cause problems such as mildew.

If the upholstery is silk or vintage, it is best to call a professional cleaner or if you need more stain removal tips. Home cleaning may result in water spots.