Orange juice stains are every parent’s nightmare, and they’re particularly problematic for two reasons. First, orange juice is, of course, a very strong, vibrant colour, and can leave a horrible mark on white school shirts. Second, orange juice is very acidic, and acids are renowned for bonding very well with fabrics, which is why many fabric dyes have an acidic base. So what’s the solution? How can we remove orange juice stains quickly and easily, without leaving a mark?
How to Remove Orange Juice Stains
Cotton, Polyester, and Synthetics
Most of the clothing in your kids’ wardrobe will be made from cotton, polyester, or synthetics – these are the typical fabrics used to make school uniforms and everyday t-shirts, and the good news is that these types of fabrics are very durable and hardwearing, which means you can really give them a good, thorough clean without worrying too much about ruining the fabric. The best way to remove orange juice from these fabrics is to tackle the stain as soon as possible before it’s had time to dry and really soak into the fibres. Here’s a process for how to get orange stains out of clothes that won’t let you down:
Use a clean cloth to blot the clothing, removing as much of the wet liquid as possible. Use something like a microfibre cloth, rather than kitchen roll, as you don’t want that cloth disintegrating and leaving little bits of paper in the fibres. The act of dabbing is very gentle and should be just like a soft press on the clothing, rather than a full-on scrub. Rubbing is not recommended, as it could spread the stain around the clothes – the more contained the orange juice stain is, the easier it will be to remove.
Pre-treat the stain with a laundry detergent that doubles as a stain remover – like Persil Bio. Pre-treating allows you to concentrate upon the stained area in particular, loosening the particles and weakening the bond between the acid and fabric. Instead of simply pouring the detergent on and letting it sit, you can speed up the stain removal process by carefully massaging the detergent into the fabric, so that it reaches deep down within the fibres.
You should already notice that your clothing is already much cleaner. If dealing with coloured clothing, you may not be able to see any traces of the orange stain at all, while white clothing may show a small amount of discolouration, but don’t worry – this will easily be removed during the washing stage. Pop your clothing into the machine with good laundry detergent, and wash as usual. For these types of fabrics, you can usually wash at around 40 degrees.
If you or your kids have accidentally spilled orange juice on more delicate fabrics, like a wool jumper or a silk shirt, for example, it’s best to use a slightly different stain removal method – a technique that’s effective but which also protects the delicate fabrics from damage. Here’s an excellent way to remove orange stains on clothes, and ensure your fabrics stay looking their very best:
For delicate fabrics, it’s best not to be manipulating them too much, as any rubbing or scrubbing could stretch the fibres. Instead, as an effective pre-treatment for orange juice stains, mix up some warm water with a small amount of liquid laundry detergent in a bowl or sink, and place the stained clothing into the bowl. Push the fabric underneath the water so that it’s fully submerged, and leave to soak for several hours.
After soaking, wash the clothing in the washing machine with good laundry detergent. Keep in mind that a suitable temperature will often be lower for delicate fabrics due to the risk of shrinkage or bobbling. Delicate fabrics can normally be washed at 30 degrees, but always check the care labels beforehand – you may need a lower temperature depending upon different blends.
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Orange juice may seem like a nightmare stain, but it’s really not too bad. The acidity of the juice is what makes this type of stain notoriously problematic, but the way to tackle this is to use techniques that effectively weaken the bond between the acid and the fabric. Once you’ve got this part out of the way, it’s smooth sailing. From now on, you can enjoy your morning juice without worry.