Stain Removal for Lemon Juice Stains

When Lemon Juice Is the Problem, Not the Cure

Hiroshi Higuchi/Getty Images

Lemon juice makes a great refreshing glass of lemonade and a zesty addition to evening meals, but that same lemon juice on your clothing acts as a bleaching agent, removing color from your clothes. Even though it may not seem like the lemon's nearly clear liquid could cause damage, it needs to be dealt with right away.

Stain Removal Method for Lemon Juice Stains

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which acts as a bleaching agent, particularly when exposed to sunlight.

Lemon juice doesn't lighten a garment instantly like chlorine bleach does, but it should still be treated as quickly as possible to avoid discoloration of your clothing. If you can't remove the garment immediately, blot the lemon juice with a damp paper towel or clean white cloth to dilute the citric acid and slow down the bleaching process.

  1. Rinse the garment from the back of the stained area thoroughly with cold water.
  2. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water. Rub the baking soda paste gently into the stain.
  3. Rinse the garment thoroughly in cold water to remove all traces of the lemon and baking soda.
  4. Wash the garment with detergent according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Treating a Lemon Juice Stain on Dry Clean Only Garments

If you can't wash a dry clean only garment you spilled the lemon juice on, dampen a clean white cloth and blot the stain. Then blot with a dry cloth until no more water can be removed from the garment.

Take the garment to your professional dry cleaner as soon as you can and explain the problem to him. If you prefer, use a home dry cleaning kit to treat the stain.