How To Remove Spinach Stains From Clothing and Upholstery

How to Remove Spinach Stains

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-$10

The dark green color that helps make spinach healthy also makes it a difficult food stain to remove from fabrics. While fresh spinach is only problematic if it gets crushed or ground into a fabric surface, cooked spinach is much more likely to leave a mark as soon as it makes contact.

The secret to getting rid of spinach's green stains is to treat them as soon as possible, preferably while still wet, because the stains become much more stubborn if they are allowed to dry.

If you leave a spinach stain on furniture, it can quickly attract dirt, leaving an even more unsightly stain that may be impossible to fully remove.

Remember to test any fabric for colorfastness before beginning any stain removal technique, and never use rubbing alcohol on wool.

Stain Type  Tannin-based
Detergent Type Liquid
Water Temperature Cold to warm 
Cycle Type  Normal

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools


  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Laundry brush or toothbrush
  • Washer and dryer


  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Clean sponge
  • Absorbent white towel



  • Clean white cloth or paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Stain remover stick, gel, or spray
  • Laundry soap


  • Rubbing alcohol


Steps to Remove Spinach Stains From Clothing

  1. Remove Spinach Solids

    Remove any remnants of spinach using a dull knife or spoon edge. Take care not to press too firmly so that you don't grind the stain deeper into the fibers.

  2. Sponge With Rubbing Alcohol

    Place the stained clothing on a clean cloth or paper towel. Sponge rubbing alcohol onto the stained area using a clean cloth.

  3. Rinse With Cold Water

    Rinse well with cold water. If the stain remains, continue to the next step.

  4. Apply a Baking Soda Paste

    Rub the stained area gently with a paste consisting of 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water, Gently scrub with your fingers, a laundry brush, or a soft toothbrush.

    Wait 5 minutes, then rinse the fabric thoroughly with cool water.

  5. Check For Remaining Stains

    Examine the area to make sure all traces of stain are gone. Spinach can sometimes leave a slightly yellowed area on the outer rim of the stain.

    If necessary, continue to the last step.


    You may need to let the garment air dry to see if the stain is completely gone. Don't use a dryer, though, or the heat will set any remaining stain.

  6. Use a Stain Remover

    Rub the stain with a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Allow the solution to sit for at least 5 minutes.

  7. Wash and Repeat as Needed

    Wash in the washing machine, per the garment's care label instructions, using a liquid laundry detergent.

    If stained patches remain, repeat the above steps. If the stain is gone, proceed to drying as usual.

Steps to Remove Spinach Stains From Upholstery

  1. Remove Spinach Solids

    Remove any remnants of spinach using a dull knife or spoon edge. Take care not to press too firmly so that you don't grind the stain deeper into the fibers.

  2. Sponge With Rubbing Alcohol

    Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a clean sponge and blot the stain. After each blotting, press a white towel onto the stain to help lift the green pigment from the fabric.

    Continue until the towel appears clean after blotting.


    Don't over-wet the upholstery because moisture can damage batting and encourage mildew growth.

  3. Blot to Remove Alcohol

    Blot the area with a clean towel moistened with water to remove as much of the rubbing alcohol as possible.

  4. Absorb Excess Moisture

    Press a dry towel firmly on top of the damp area to absorb as much moisture as you can.

When to Call a Professional

If the stained garment is dry clean only, gently blot as much of the spinach spill as possible with a damp cloth, then take it to a professional cleaner. Vintage or silk upholstery should also be treated professionally to prevent damage.

Additional Tips For Handling Spinach Stains

If the spinach was mixed with other ingredients like oil, butter, cheese, or cream, start the stain removal process by sprinkling cornstarch on the stain. The powder will help absorb oils before applying alcohol.