Peaches, nectarines, and papayas are fruit jewels. There's nothing like biting into a warm, ripe peach and letting the juices drip down your chin. Unfortunately, these same golden juices drip onto your shirt and leave a stain. Blot, don't ever rub or swipe with a napkin, and never put a stained garment into the dryer, as that will set the stain, potentially making it a permanent spot. These fruit juice stains can be removed from clothing, carpet and upholstery with some standard household products and some simple steps.
|Detergent type||Stain remover, heavy-duty|
|Water temperature||Cool to warm|
|Cycle type||Varies depending on the type of fabric|
Before You Begin
Before you wash anything, check the care label on the article of clothing. Also, test the cleaning detergent on an inconspicuous spot to ensure it does not discolor the garment.
If a slice of fruit falls on a garment labeled as dry-clean-only, lift away the solids and sponge the area with a cloth dipped in cool water. Similarly, if the upholstery is vintage or silk that got the peach dropped on it, lift away the solids and blot with a damp cloth dipped in plain water. Then, seek professional expertise to clean these items.
If you use a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.
Don't leave the stained item in a hot car for too long because the heat will make the stain harder to remove. Older or dried stains will be harder to remove. You might need to repeat the cleaning process several times before the stain disappears.
Equipment / Tools
- Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
- White cloths
- Paper towels
- Soft-bristled brush (optional)
- Small bowl
- Stain remover, spray or gel
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent
- Oxygen-based bleach
- Liquid dishwashing soap
How to Remove Peach, Nectarine, and Papaya Stains From Washable Clothes
Peach, nectarine, and papaya stains are much like any fruit stain. It is the tannin in the fruit that leaves the colored stain on fabrics. It is important to treat the stains as soon as possible for easy removal. Older stains are always harder to remove.
Remove any excess pulp from the fabric with the edge of a dull knife, spoon, or even the edge of a credit card. Lift straight up and try not to push more of the stain deeper into the fabric. Never rub or wipe with a cloth. If the stain is primarily juice, use a plain white cloth or paper towel to blot up as much moisture as you can.
Flush the Stained Area
Flush the stained area as soon as possible with cold water by holding it under a faucet with the water hitting the wrong side of the fabric to force out the stain. If you can't get to a faucet, sponge the area with a cloth dipped in plain, cool water, and blot dry.
Treat the Stained Area
Apply a solvent-based stain remover spray or gel to the stained area. If you don't have a stain remover, use a bit of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent (Tide or Persil are leading highly rated brands) to treat the stain. These detergents contain enough enzymes to break apart the stain; less expensive brands may not work as well. Work the stain remover into the stain with your fingers or with a soft-bristled brush. Allow the product to sit on the stain for at least fifteen minutes before washing the fabric.
Wash and Check the Stained Area
After allowing the stain remover to do its job, wash the garment or table linen in the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the care label. Check the stained area before tossing the fabric in the dryer to be sure the stain is gone. If any stain remains, do not put in the dryer and move to the next step.
Drying the item in the dryer if the garment is still stained will make the stain even harder to remove.
Mix a Soaking Solution
Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names are OxiClean, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener or OXO Brite) and cool water following package directions, and completely submerge the fabric. Allow the item to soak at least four hours or overnight and then launder as usual.
How to Remove Peach, Nectarine, and Papaya Stains on Carpet and Upholstery
If the peach juice or piece of fruit doesn't hit your clothing it's definitely going to land on the carpet or furniture. The same methods for cleaning fruit stains are used for both carpet and upholstery. Take extra care not to overwet the upholstery fabric as excessive moisture can be a problem for the filling in the cushion.
Before cleaning any furniture, always follow the manufacturer's care label on cleaning upholstery. This tag can be found under the sofa cushions or fabric skirt with letter codes that indicate how to clean the furniture.
Lift the solids away using a spatula or spoon. Blot up any moisture that remains with a white cloth or paper towel.
Mix a Cleaning Solution
Combine two cups of warm water and two tablespoons of liquid hand dishwashing detergent in a small bowl. Dip a clean white cloth or soft-bristled brush in the solution. Work the solution into the stain, starting at the outside edges and moving toward the center. Blot the area with paper towels. Keep moving to a clean area on the towel and blot until no more color is transferred to the paper towel.
Dip a sponge in a bowl of plain cool water and blot the area to rinse. It is very important to remove all of the soapy solution because it can attract soil. Blot up all the moisture with paper towels.
Air-Dry and Vacuum
Allow the area to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift fibers. If any stain remains, repeat the cleaning steps.
When to Call a Professional
If the garment is dry-clean-only, take it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible and point out the stain to your professional dry cleaner. If the upholstery is vintage or silk that got the peach dropped on it, contact an upholstery specialist about a complete cleaning.
Additional Tips for Handling Peach Stains
Once a stain comes out, wash and dry as usual. However, if the stain persists, repeat the cleaning steps. If the stain doesn't come out after two attempts of following the steps, it has likely set in.
If the fruit stain is set in or dried, then what? The good news is that you can get it out, but it will require a different method. Any solids should be removed like a fresh juice stain, following the steps below.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water into a paste and apply to the stained area, then allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
- Flush the area with lukewarm water to rinse off the paste.
- Rub a little liquid laundry detergent onto the spot and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Rinse again.
- Apply a stain remover and wash, as usual, per the fabric's care label.