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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Dandelion Stains

By Dr. Laundry August 12, 2011

Q:  How do I get dandelion stains out of a knit top?

A: I don’t have a lot of experience with dandelion stains, so I went out to the front yard and picked a few.  I am assuming you’d like help with stains from the yellow flower petals—they certainly make colorful stains!  Fortunately they are a lot like grass stains, and I found that the following is effective to remove them:


  1. Presoak the stained area with a good detergent (that contains enzymes) and warm water for 30 minutes.

  2. Rinse away the soaking solution—you’ll still see yellow staining, and now it’s time for bleach.

  3. If your stained item is white, then wash in the warmest water recommended on the care label with detergent plus ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

  4. If your stained item is colored, pre-treat the remaining stain directly with liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster.  Wait 3-5 minutes then wash in the warmest water recommended on the care label with detergent plus more Clorox2®.  By pre-treating the stain, you get maximum power from the oxygen bleach in Clorox2®.  Note that because it is a gentler bleach, it’s good to air dry the top and check to make sure all the stain is out. You can repeat this step if any stain remains.


Readers – do you have experience with dandelion stains?  How do you go about removing those vibrant stains?