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How to remove beet stains from anything and everything

When beet juice lands on fabric of any kind, it spells disaster.

by Karen B. Gibbs / / Source: TODAY
Beets are beautiful, but they sure know how to leave a stain.Getty Images stock

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Beets are delicious and make any salad more delectable. But the juice? Well, if you spill than best of luck with wherever it landed. To make cleaning beet stains easier, TODAY Home asked three cleaning pros for their best tips. Here’s what they had to say.

Pro tip: Silk and wool should always be professionally cleaned.

How to remove beet stains from ...

... clothing

Dan Miller, founder/CEO, Mulberrys Garment Care, treats beet stains in washable clothing as he does other plant-based stains:

  1. Pre-treat the stain with lemon juice or vinegar to break it down. Allow it to sit for five minutes. (It may also be helpful to tamp the stain with a small brush or toothbrush during that time.)

  2. Rinse with water to make sure that the acid doesn't damage the garment. In most cases, the pre-treatment will loosen the stain.

  3. Flush the underside of the stain with a solution of 1 tablespoon laundry detergent and 3 cups of warm water.

  4. Machine wash as usual.

  5. If the stain remains, treat it with an enzyme-based stain remover containing pectinase and allow it to work for 15 minutes, then wash as usual.

  6. If the stain persists, your final option would be to use an oxygenated bleach such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach. These products can cause color loss, so be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first. Apply hydrogen peroxide or a diluted bleach solution (1 teaspoon bleach to 1 cup of water) to the stain.

  7. Do not allow these products to sit on the fabric for more than a minute before flushing with warm water.

  8. Wash as usual. Do not machine dry unless stain is gone.

  9. If the stain remains, bring the garment to the dry cleaners.

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... carpet

Jack White, vice president of technical services for Rainbow International, recommends the following for treating beet stains.

  1. Remove any remaining beet residue with a wet/dry vac or a towel.

  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in a cup of water. Apply a small amount of the mixture to the stain, starting at the outer edges and working toward the center.

  3. Blot, don’t scrub, to work it in gently. Repeat as needed.

  4. If the stain persists, try hydrogen peroxide but test it first on an inconspicuous spot of the carpet. If there is no color change, blot the stain with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to sit for one minute. Remove remaining detergent solution/hydrogen peroxide by alternately blotting the area with a damp cloth and a dry towel.

If you prefer to use a commercially prepared stain remover, White recommends using one that has the CRI Certified Seal of Approval.

  1. Test the cleaner on a scrap of carpet or in an inconspicuous spot.

  2. Follow the product’s directions carefully. Less is more! Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center.

  3. Blot, don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot.

  4. After the spot is gone, alternately blot the area with clear water and a dry towel to remove any remaining product.

... upholstery

Lauren Haynes, a cleaning professional with Star Domestic Cleaners, uses the following steps to remove beet.

  1. Remove any solids using a knife or a spoon. Then, blot the area with a clean paper towel or a slice of bread, which is great for soaking liquids. Do not rub, because this will push the stain even deeper in the fabric.

  2. Follow cleaning instructions on the care label. If upholstery can be cleaned with water, make a solution of one tablespoon ammonia and 1/2 cup of cool water.

  3. Dampen a clean, white cloth in the solution then blot the stain, starting from the outside edges and working to the center.

  4. Allow mixture to sit for a minute. Then, alternately blot the area with clear water and a dry towel to remove any remaining product.

  5. Repeat as needed.

  6. If the stain remains, try using hydrogen peroxide. First, test an inconspicuous part of the upholstery. If the colors don’t fade, repeat the above steps, this time using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide instead of ammonia/water solution.

  7. If stain persists, consult a professional upholstery cleaner for help.

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