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How to Remove Real Vanilla Stains from Clothes

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Marna Pauley

My Laundry Question

How do I get Real Vanilla stains out of clothes?

Share a Little Background Info

I bought some real vanilla in Haiti when I went on a mission trip this past week. The bottles leaked and got all over my clothes in the suitcase.It has since dried on the clothes. They are all cotton.I washed them and it didn't come out. How can I get it out?

Lessons Learned

  • I have tried washing them and it does not come out with just laundry soap.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

mostly all cotton

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Vanilla is tannin stain - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by laundering the garment using detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. But, since your stains are older and dried, you'll need to use bleach.

Chlorine bleach can be used on white garments and linens. Follow these tips to be sure you use it correctly. Use color-safe or oxygen-based bleach ((OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach ) for colored fabrics. Fill a large sink or your washer tub with lukewarm water. Add the oxygen bleach following package directions. Submerge the clothes and allow them to soak for 24 hours. Check the stains. If they are not gone, repeat this step. When the stains are gone or have lightened considerably, wash as usual. Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Good luck!
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