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Don’t Fret Over Berry Stains: Hot Water Is the Only DIY Stain Remover You Need

Just pour it on and watch it work!

Whether for lying by the pool or to pack in a picnic basket, there are few summer snacks better than cool, sweet and delicious berries. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are some of the tastiest and healthiest fruits, but all it takes is one juicy drip to leave a stubborn stain on your favorite sundress. You’ll want to tackle the blotch quickly since fruit stains can become sticky and set into fabric fibers. You could buy a commercial stain remover, but you don’t want to risk using bleach or other harsh chemicals that might have an adverse effect on the material. The good news is that you have a single-ingredient DIY stain remover right at your fingertips: hot water. Yes, just hot water. As it turns out, there’s a viral video showing how plain old boiling water can do the job of removing berry stains even from your lightest color items! Keep scrolling to learn more.

Does hot water remove berry stains?

It might seem counterintuitive to use hot water on a stain due to common knowledge that heat causes stains to set. However, hot water can effectively remove berry stains from surfaces most fabrics, including cotton and polyester, because the heat helps break down the berry’s natural sugars, oils and pigments making them easier to lift out, explains Yessica Bello of Bellos Cleaning.

Hot water also works well on non-porous surfaces like tiles and sealed countertops, where the heat can quickly penetrate and dissolve the stain, making it easier to scrub off afterward, Bello adds.

How to use hot water as a DIY berry stain remover

Bello suggests dabbing a berry stain with boiling hot water immediately, as this can prevent the stain from setting. Another method she recommends is placing the stained fabric over a bowl and pouring hot water from a height to push the stains through the fabric fibers.

“I recommend using a mild detergent or liquid dish soap along with hot water to enhance stain removal. The soap helps to break down oils and pigments more effectively,” Bello adds. For clothing, it’s best to blot the stain rather than scrub it to avoid damaging the fabric. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot. After treating the stain, let the garment air dry to prevent any potential heat damage from a dryer.”

Like any other stain remover or cleaning product, you should always test a small, inconspicuous area first. In this case, some delicate fabrics or finishes on surfaces might react poorly to hot water, Bello cautions, and this can cause shrinkage or discoloration. She also suggests using lukewarm water as opposed to boiling water on delicate materials.

Check out this viral video by UK-based mom influencer Emma O’Donnell, where she uses boiling water to remove berry stains from her baby boys’ clothes. She simply boils water using a kettle, places the area with the stain over the sink holding the kettle above the garment and pours the hot water onto the stain.

“Oh my god, stop it, can you see that? Gone.” O’Donnell says as pink stains slowly fade from the fabric. One user commented on the video to ask whether the hack only worked because the stain was fresh, but O’Donnell responded that it was actually relatively old and dry.

@a_mothers_tale

BEST MUM HACK EVVVVVVER!!!!! #mumhack #cleaninghack #parentinghack

♬ original sound – Emma

Other stains hot water helps to remove

Experts say hot water can also be helpful in lifting stains from other water-soluble food and drink stains including coffee, tea, fruit juice, wine, tomato-based sauce and even chocolate. For these other types of stains, though, hot water will typically be only one part of the stain removal process.


Keep reading for more stain removal solutions that include hot water!

The Vodka Trick That Gets Red Wine Stains Out of Clothing — Even After It Dries

How to Remove Chocolate Stains From Every Surface in Your Home

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains From Clothes: Laundry Experts’ Fast Fixes

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