How to Remove Pollen Stains With Household Products

How to Remove Pollen Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Joules Garcia

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-10

Pollen stains on clothing are a regular yet frustrating part of spring and summer weather. Fortunately, there are at-home, all-natural measures you can take to remove pollen stains from fabric. Under a microscope, you can see that pollen has structures that help it attach to plants. These latching structures work perfectly for pollinating, but make removal from clothing challenging. Be sure to avoid touching the pollen or attempting to brush or wipe it off; you'll only spread the powdery substance and work it deeper into the fabric. Check out the following steps to remove pollen stains from your clothing at home.

Stain type Plant-based
Detergent type Standard laundry detergent
Water temperature Hot
Cycle type Varies by fabric

Click Play to Learn the Best Way to Remove Pollen Stains

Before You Begin

Because you want to remove the pollen without touching it and without letting the substance touch other areas of the clothing, begin to remove the stain while still wearing the garment. If you must take it off, remove the item very carefully, without letting it fold over or touch other areas of the garment or another stainable surface.

materials for removing pollen stains
The Spruce / Danielle Holstein

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washtub


  • Masking tape or Scotch tape
  • Laundry stain remover
  • Laundry detergent



  1. Shake Out the Pollen

    Shake out the stained garment outdoors to remove as much pollen as possible. Hold the stained area face down so the pollen doesn't contact other parts of the clothing.

    attempt to shake off the excess pollen
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein
  2. Lift the Pollen With Tape

    Wrap masking or Scotch tape, sticky-side-out, around a few fingers, gently press the tape onto the stain, and lift the pollen from the surface. The more surface pollen you can remove, the more likely you'll be able to remove the stain entirely.

    use tape to lift the pollen stain
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein
  3. Rinse and Soak With Cold Water

    Rinse the stained area with cold water, running the faucet through the underside of the fabric. This will gently push the pollen away from the material. When you've removed as much of the stain as possible by rinsing, soak the garment in a washtub or sink full of cold water for 30 minutes.

    rinse the garment with cold water
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein 
  4. Rinse Again

    Rinse the fabric again to ensure you are removing as much of the pollen as possible. If necessary, soak the garment again. You may repeat this as many times as you see fit.

    rinse the garment a second time
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein
  5. Apply Stain Remover

    Apply your favorite stain removal product before washing. Let it sit for 10 minutes or as directed.

    spray the affected area with stain remover
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein
  6. Wash as Usual

    Wash the garment in the hottest water advised on its care label. Hot water will help activate the stain remover, but ensure it isn't so hot that it damages your clothing or sets the stain.

    launder the affected garment
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein 
  7. Air Dry

    Check for the stain before drying. Pollen stains may need several treatments to make them entirely disappear. If the stain remains after cleaning, repeat the above steps before drying the garment. Sometimes it's hard to see if a stain is completely gone while the garment is wet. To be sure, you can hang it to dry in a cool room and examine it afterward. Do not use a machine dryer until the stain has vanished.

    allow the garment to air dry
    The Spruce / Danielle Holstein 


Hanging or laying out the garment in direct sunlight helps eliminate many pollen stains, especially those from light-colored pollen. If you've air-dried your clothing and still detect a stain, leave it in the sun for a day or two to further lighten it before repeating the stain removal process.

When to Call a Professional

If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, take the item to the dry cleaner as soon as possible and point out and identify the stain. The same applies to a stain that damages a vintage garment; you need to contact a professional cleaner, or else you are likely to do more damage if you try to remove the stain yourself.

Additional Tips for Handling Pollen Stains

If the pollen stain persists despite multiple rounds of cleaning, you can try rubbing alcohol on the stain, blotting it with a clean white cloth. Be sure to test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous clothing area before using the alcohol on the stain. Rinse the area thoroughly with water before washing the item.

  • Will lily pollen stains come out?

    Some lily pollen stains are very pale and easy to get rid of in a cold water soak. Orange lily stains can be a little trickier and might require an application of rubbing alcohol if stain remover and laundering don’t work.

  • Does yellow pollen come out of clothes?

    Vivid yellow pollen is prone to making noticeable stains on clothing, but it can be removed. The key is not to wipe or rub the stain to spread it and embed it farther into the fabric fibers. Take your time to shake off as much as possible, and then lift more pollen with tape to lighten the stain prior to rinsing, treating, and washing.

  • How do you get pollen off outdoor cushions?

    Because outdoor furniture is made to stand up to the elements, you typically can just hose off pollen. For a more thorough cleaning, you can add a few drops of dish soap to a spray bottle of water and then scrub the furniture with the solution.