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How to Remove Beet Stains from Clothing

Posted by Patricia Spencer on
How to Remove Beet Stains from Clothing


Beets are an incredibly nutritious and delicious vegetable – after all, there’s nothing quite like a big bowl of borscht – and in addition to being a great staple in any diet, beets can be incredibly useful when it comes to dyeing yarns and fabrics.  Beets make for such a great dyeing agent that it’s no surprise they can stain clothing items permanently.  Many people assume that once they get some beets on their clothes, they’re as good as garbage.  But, you might be surprised by how the right cleaning method can eliminate those stains entirely.

Fortunately, removing a beet stain from clothing can be done at home with the help of some non-toxic cleaning products that you already have in your possession, like your favorite sustainable laundry pods and natural dish soap.  Let’s go over the process so that you can stop panicking that your favorite shirt is ruined.

Getting Rid of a Beet Stain

The extremely pigmented nature of beets makes them a tough stain to remove – but far from impossible, luckily.  As is pretty much always the case, best to address the stain once you notice it, and then remove the garment so that you can get right to work. 

However, depending on your garment's fabric, there are a few things to consider when thinking about how to remove beet stains from clothes.

  • Cotton clothing will offer the most stain removal options for beet stains.
  • Wool is more delicate than cotton and cannot endure repeated washing and also needs to be spread flat to dry..
  • For silk clothing, it’s recommended you take it to a professional dry cleaner, due its extreme delicacy.

Now, with the right eco friendly cleaning products, you’ll be able to remove the stain entirely by following these steps below

Step #1: Give It a Scrape

First off, you will need to remove any beet residue that’s still on the surface of the garment, if there is any.  Use a dull knife to scrape away pieces of beets to prevent them from further staining your fabric.  Be careful not to rub the stain in further.

Step #2: Cold Water is Your Friend

Now, turn the garment inside out and run the stain under cold water.  By turning it inside-out, your pushing the pigment out of the garment rather than deeper in.  Do this until the water is running clear, meaning that you’ve gotten out as much of the stain as you can during this part of the process.

Step #3: Grab Your Favorite Sustainable Dish Soap 

Dish soap makes for a great pretreatment for most stains, and beets are no exception.  We recommend a sustainable dish soap formula such as Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap, which you should massage into the stain to start lifting the pigment away from the material as you prepare to launder it.

Now, if you apply the dish soap and it’s not making a dent in that dark red color, you’ll need to follow another set of steps:

  1. Fill a bucket or bowl with cold water.
  2. Swish some dish soap in there until it suds.
  3. Then, throw a glug of distilled white vinegar along with a couple shakes of baking soda, and mix it around.
  4. Soak the garment in this solution overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

Step #4: It's Laundry Time

Now, you can wash the garment according to its care label.  Stick to gentle, natural laundry pods like our 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, which are sustainable laundry pods that have powerful stain-fighting abilities.  Check the stain to make sure it’s gone before throwing it into the dryer (along with the tag on the clothing to make sure it can go in the laundry).  If it is gone, you can then use natural dryer sheets like Grab Green Classic Laundry Dryer Sheets or Stoneworks Dryer Sheets, or even Grab Green Dryer Balls.  Speaking of Stoneworks Dryer Sheets, our customers love these sheets, as these are sustainable dryer sheets which reduce static cling and soften materials. 

Note: If the stain is still there somehow, go back to the long-soak method above before drying.

Beet Stains are Tough, But There’s Hope!

A beet stain on your favorite t-shirt is a panic-inducing sight.  Fortunately, however, beet stains are not nearly as impossible as some make them out to be.  Following these steps, and avoiding setting the stain initially with hot water, can allow you to enjoy your favorite clothing item as if beets never touched it.

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