How to remove lily stains

Lily pollen can leave unsightly stains on your clothes, but they're easy to remove with these tips on how to remove pollen stains!

Updated 26 September 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key Steps:

  • Lily pollen is a dusty substance, so it can often be easier to remove it dry.

  • Avoid touching a lily pollen stain with your hands as oils from your fingers can cause it to sink into the fibres.

  • Sticky tape can be effective at lifting pollen stains from clothing and carpets.

Lilies are beautiful flowers, but orange lily pollen can stain your clothes, household surfaces, and carpets easily. This guide explains how to remove lily pollen stains with a few simple tricks.

If you often bring lilies into your home, consider removing the anthers (the pollen-bearing oval tips inside the flower) early on, before the lily has opened properly. At this stage, they should still be rubbery, and therefore easy to gently remove without marking anything. If the flower has already opened, avoid lily pollen stains by carefully using a tissue to wrap the anthers as you pull them off. Dispose of these carefully, as lily pollen can be incredibly poisonous to cats.

How to Remove Pollen Stains

Lily pollen can stain everything from clothing and carpets to household surfaces, leaving yellow or brown marks that often resist traditional methods of cleaning. However, lily pollen stain removal is much simpler if you bear in mind pollen’s unique and organic qualities. If you’re wondering how to get lily pollen stains out, remember the differences between lily pollen and other stains – because it is dusty as opposed to liquid, and non-absorbent, lily pollen is often easier to remove dry or with dry solvent products than in a traditional way.

How to Get Lily Pollen Stains out of Clothing

When it comes to removing lily pollen stains, it’s very important that you do not wet the clothing initially – often lily pollen stains will dust or shake off. Also avoid touching the lily pollen stain – the oils from your fingers can cause it to set or sink into the fabric. Here are a few lily stain removal methods you may find helpful, in the order you should try them:

  • Use sticky tape to try and lift off the stain. Providing it hasn’t been brushed into the fabric already, most (if not all) of the lily pollen should attach to the tape and come away easily. Other similar methods include using Styrofoam or a pipe cleaner (the static created helps to lift the pollen) – just be careful to press very lightly.

  • Place the item in direct sunlight. Often lily pollen stains will fade to nothing in sunlight, particularly the paler, yellow variety.

  • If the methods above don’t work, soak the item in cold water for half an hour. Then rinse it thoroughly, and dry in sunlight as above.

  • Apply a liquid laundry detergent (we like Persil small & mighty) or a stain remover, and wash your garment at as a high a temperature as possible. When using commercial stain removers or detergents, it’s important to check the label carefully and follow the instructions – that way you can check that you’re using the right product in the right way. Test an inconspicuous area of your clothing item before applying it to the stain to be certain. You can learn the highest temperature your garment can stand by looking at the wash care symbols on the label. Rinse and repeat if necessary, and triple check the stain has been removed entirely before putting it into a tumble dryer.

Image of lily pollen

How to Remove Lily Pollen from Carpet Fibres

  1. 1

    Use tape, as above, or even a vacuum cleaner (carefully – use the nozzle without the head attachment, and open a valve to keep the pull gentle) to lift off as much of the pollen dust as possible. Do not scrub while there is still a loose pollen stain on carpet fibres, as you risk spreading the stain.

  2. 2

    Sponge the stain with a dry cleaning solvent, and then blot until the lily pollen is gone.

  3. 3

    Use a laundry product containing enzymes. These can be actively effective against lily pollen. Use Persil biological washing detergent, or if you’d prefer a specially designed stain remover, to cut into the pollen and pull it out of the fibres. As before, check the label on any cleaning product you use to ensure that you apply it properly and safely.

  4. 4

    Alternatively, you can dab the stain with isopropyl alcohol. Remember to test this method on a small, inconspicuous area first and make sure the room is well ventilated. Then, blot the mark with a clean paper towel.

How to remove lily pollen stain from wood?

Removing lily pollen stains from wood requires gentle and careful cleaning. Start by gently brushing off any loose pollen with a soft brush or cloth. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can push the pollen deeper into the wood grain. Use sticky tape or a lint roller to lift any remaining pollen particles from the surface. For stubborn stains, dampen a cloth with water and mild soap and gently blot the stain. Rinse the cloth and continue blotting until the stain is removed. Be cautious not to saturate the wood with water. Finally, dry the area thoroughly and consider applying a wood polish or conditioner to restore the wood's shine.

Removing Lily Pollen Stains from Your Furniture: A Complete Guide

Act Fast!

If you notice pollen on your furniture, you must act fast and remove it immediately. The longer it stays on the furniture, the harder it is to remove the stain. Use a vacuum cleaner or an adhesive tape to remove any visible pollen from the furniture. Be careful not to rub the area as it can cause the pollen to sink deeper into the fibers of the fabric.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an effective way to remove lily pollen stains from your furniture. Wet a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot the stain. Avoid rubbing the stained area as it can cause the stain to spread. Once the stain is removed, use a clean, dry cloth to blot the area and remove any excess alcohol.

Try White Vinegar

White vinegar is another effective solution to remove lily pollen stains from your furniture. Mix white vinegar with water in equal parts and dip a clean cloth into the solution. Blot the stain with the cloth until the stain is gone. Rinse the area with clean water and dry the area with another clean cloth.

Use Bleach

If your furniture is white, you can use bleach to remove lily pollen stains. However, be cautious about using it on colored fabrics as it can cause discoloration or even damage to the fabric. Dilute one-part bleach with five parts of water and use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the stained area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it with clean water and drying it with a clean cloth.

There you go – disaster averted! Once you know how to deal with lily pollen stains, you can feel relaxed about bringing these lovely, fragrant flowers into your home.

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