How to remove beetroot stains

Beetroot is delicious, but has a tendency to colour everything it touches a bright red! This article explains how to remove beetroot stains.

Updated 28 June 2019

red beetroot stain on white top being dabbed with microfiber cloth

Key Steps

  1. Blot the stain with cold water.
  2. Wash with a strong detergent.
  3. Check the stain is removed before drying.

Beetroot doesn’t just taste great – its bright purple colour also manages to make every meal look fun and bright. Unfortunately, if you’re serving up beetroot regularly, it is quite likely that some purple juice is going to accidentally end up on your clothes sooner or later. And while it’s interesting to know that beetroot can be used as a natural and permanent dye, this is unlikely to be among the qualities you hope for in a stain – especially when all you really want is to get rid of it quickly.

If you find yourself facing beetroot stains on your favourite shirt, smartest trousers, or a new tablecloth, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a few useful tips explaining how to remove a beetroot stain here. And if you need help tackling other food stains, why not read one of our other handy guides, such as: 

Remember: when it comes to removing stains, it’s best to test any cleaning solution on a small patch of the fabric first to avoid damage. Beetroot can be very tricky to get out of fabric, especially if it has had time to dry, so complete removal may not be possible. Defer to the skills of a professional dry cleaner if the methods below are unsuccessful.

While the tumble dryer is a great timesaving appliance most of the time, it’s best to dry clothes naturally after attempting stain removal. The heat from the dryer can potentially set the stain if the washing machine hasn’t removed it entirely.

How to Get Beetroot Stains out of Clothes Quickly

  • The most important thing to remember when removing beetroot stains is to act as soon as you notice the infamous purple beetroot stain on your clothes – fast reflexes are everything when it comes to stain removal.
  • Soak a kitchen towel in cold water and blot at the mark, then rinse the stain under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • If there’s still some purple colour left, repeat this step a couple of times, and if necessary, move on to hot water and a quality liquid detergent next. Some efficient liquid detergents are specifically designed to work as a quick pre-treatment – something like Persil liquid (which can be simply dabbed onto the fabric) would be ideal.
  • Always read the label on your chosen product to determine the best approach. Usually this means dabbing at the stain with the neat liquid detergent, before soaking the garment in a mixture of hot water and detergent for a couple of hours.
  • Launder your garment according to the care label instructions, but ideally with a low temperature setting to avoid setting the stain.
  • Once your garment is clean, check the stain before hanging it out to dry naturally – if the mark hasn’t disappeared, repeat the earlier steps and launder again.

Home Remedies for Removing Beetroot Stains

There are quite a few home remedies to help you when you are trying to figure out how to get rid of beetroot stains. Some work well, while others are not to be trusted. A simple solution for getting beetroot out of clothes, which can be used in addition to the precautions above, is to soak a piece of white bread in water and place it on the stain; the texture of the bread should absorb some of the colour before you apply your pre-treatment.

How to Remove Beetroot Stains on Dry-clean Only Clothes

If your garment is particularly precious to you, it’s best to take it to a professional, although quick action can make things easier for your dry cleaner later. Use a dry cloth to remove any excess beetroot liquid, then take a clean damp sponge and hold it to the stain – do not rub it around, as this will spread the mark further. Make sure to blot the stain with a dry cloth afterwards, and repeat this step.

Dry-clean only fabrics can also benefit from the bread technique – soak the bread and place it carefully on the stain so the purple colour can be absorbed.

Beetroot stains don’t have to mean disaster. Give these tips a go, and you may see the purple mark disappear before your eyes.

Originally published 19 July 2018