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How to remove stubborn honey stains

Man pouring honey in a small container, standing next to a table with several fruit bowls

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Ahhhh…for the love of the sweetness of honey! Ooooops—you spilled some on your apron and new jeans while making breakfast! Now what?

Not to worry…with a few easy steps the honey will be gone, and your clothes will be as good as new!

Important tips to remove honey stains from your clothes

  • One important tip about honey stains on any fabric—you must remove the honey starting from outside the stained area and then work toward the center so the honey does not continue to spread.
  • Be sure to remove the stain as soon as possible, as it is much harder to remove dried honey stains from your clothes.

Supplies to gather

  • You will probably not require all of these items, but it’s best to have them close at hand as honey can be sticky…and a bit tricky! Collect the following:

Steps to Take

  1. Scrape: Use a butter knife to remove the excess (still moist) honey carefully. If the honey has hardened, do not scrape it—to remove dried honey stains will require you start with Step 2 below.
  2. Rinse: Hand rinse the stained area under cold running water to help break down the honey without pushing the stain further into the fabric. Do this on both sides of the fabric. The honey stains will start to dissolve in the cold water, making it easier to remove the stain from the fabric. After rinsing for several minutes with cold water, you can try gently scraping off a little more of the honey stains with a spoon or a coarse sponge.
  3. Prewash: Treat with a pre-treat stain remover to the stained area, saturating it completely. Let the clothing sit for at least five minutes, then run hot water through the back of the stain over the sink. Make the water as hot as you can to force the honey stains out of the clothing.
  4. Wash: Toss the clothes and your detergent into the washing machine according to the recommended method for your washer and use the hottest water that is safe for the type of fabric. This will remove dried honey stains as well as the sticky stains just the same.
  5. Washing whites: Apply a bleaching agent for white clothes (while wearing gloves!). If the stain remains and the garment is white, remove from the washer and apply a mild bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, with a soft sponge. Some online sources even recommend white vinegar or lemon juice. Rinse the fabric thoroughly in cold water.
  6. Drying: Before putting the wet clothes in the dryer, be sure that the honey stains are completely gone. If any honey remains and you dry the clothing in the dryer, it will set the stain permanently. It’s best to let the clothing air-dry, then recheck it for any hardened or darkened areas. If the stain persists, repeat the steps above. Once the stain is gone, the clothing is safe to be dried in the dryer.

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to remove those stubborn honey stains. Don’t forget to check out our other articles on cleaning and laundry such as how to remove chocolate stains from your clothing, how to remove tomato stains from clothing and how to get stains out of carpets and rugs.

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