5 Simple Steps to Remove Tuna Fish Stains

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Tuna fish may make a wonderful meal, but as an addition to your laundry, it is not pleasant. And because tuna fish contains fish, a stain that is left alone can yield some really gross odors as well as possible permanent stains. Tuna fish is a combination stain with both protein stain parts and oil based stain components. If you fail to treat both parts of the stain, you'll be left with a long-lasting reminder of your tuna fish meal.

Remove Extra Tuna Fish

Using the back of a butter knife or a spoon, try to carefully remove as much excess tuna fish that may be left on the clothing as you can. Extra chunks of fish, relish, mayo or whatever you like in your tuna fish mixture can get onto the clean parts of the clothing during stain treatment and create unnecessary extra work for you. Despite your best efforts at removing the excess, a greasy residue will probably remain. That's okay. We are going to tackle that in a later step. Be sure not to damage the fabric. If your fabric type is delicate, you'll need to be extra careful on this step since scraping and delicate don't go well together.

Use a Stain Remover

Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes to allow it to go completely through the fabric. You can pick your favorite, but for an oily stain, you'll need to really add enough stain remover to penetrate to the back of the stain. Do not rinse the stained area, yet. We're going to add another cleaner in the next step, to really take care of that oily stain.

Add Liquid Laundry Detergent

Normally, you'd rinse between adding any other detergent or cleaner. But this time, use liquid laundry detergent to rub through the stained fabric. Let this sit for at least 5 to 7 minutes before washing it out.

Use Hot Water

After allowing the garment to sit for 5 to 7 minutes, it's time to wash it out. You need to use the hottest water safe for the fabric to really make sure that the oily stain comes out completely. Check your fabric type, and pick the hottest water that it can tolerate. Keep rinsing until the detergent and the stain is fully removed.


If any hint of the stain remains, you'll need to keep repeating the steps until there is no improvement. If the stain is an old one, it may take several times to really get the stain to go away. After you think the stain is fully gone, allow the clothing to air dry. Drying in a dryer could permanently set the stain.

Oil-based stains have a history of leaving a faint hint of discoloration that isn't visible until the clothing is dry. Allowing it to air dry will allow you to see if the stain remains without setting the stain forever in the clothes dryer. If the stain does remain, it's time to repeat the steps above or give up. Once you have completely removed the stain or given up, the clothing is safe to be machine dried.