How to Remove Sweet Potato Stains From Clothes, Carpet & Upholstery

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious food, but their vibrant orange flesh can leave equally vibrant stains on clothes, carpets, and upholstery if spilled. Removing sweet potato stains takes a bit of work, but it can be done with the right techniques and products. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove sweet potato stains from fabrics and surfaces.

Act Quickly

The sooner you can treat a sweet potato stain, the easier it will be to remove. Allowing the stain to set will make it much more stubborn. Immediately blot up any excess sweet potato puree or juice with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, as this can further set the stain and push it deeper into the fabric.

Pretreat the Stain

Apply a stain pretreatment spray or gel to the sweet potato stain. Look for pretreatments that contain enzymes designed to break down food stains. Allow it to sit on the stain according to package directions. This will help lift and loosen the stain before washing.

Soak in Cool Water

Fill a sink or tub with cool water and soak the stained item for at least 30 minutes, up to a few hours. This helps draw out the stain rather than setting it with hot water. For heavy stains, you can also add a bit of oxygen bleach powder to the soak water.

Wash Promptly

After soaking, wash the item in the washing machine. Use the hottest water safe for the fabric and add an oxygen bleach product to the wash cycle if desired. Avoid using chlorine bleach on colored items, as this can cause dye loss.

Repeat as Needed

Check the item after washing. If the stain remains, do not dry it! Repeat the soaking and washing process until you achieve the desired results. Heavy stains may require multiple treatments.

Use Laundry Booster/Pretreater

For very stubborn sweet potato stains, apply a heavy duty laundry booster or pretreatment gel directly to the stain before washing. Look for boosters that contain active enzymes or oxygen bleach for food stains. Allow it to sit before washing as directed.

Bleach Gel Stain Remover

As a last resort for set-in stains, apply a thick bleach gel stain remover to the spot. Carefully follow directions to avoid fabric damage. Check often and rinse thoroughly when the stain fades. Only use this method on white or colorfast washable fabrics.

Stain Removal Spray

A general stain removal spray can also help lift sweet potato stains when used as a pretreatment. Lightly spray the stain, allow it to sit for a few minutes, then launder as usual. Check that the spray is suitable for the fabric.

Steam Clean Carpets

For sweet potato stains on carpeting, apply carpet cleaner and let sit. Use a steam carpet cleaner to draw out the stain. Make multiple passes over the stain with the steam cleaner until it lifts. Blot with clean towels afterwards.

Upholstery Cleaner

To remove sweet potato stains from upholstery, promptly blot excess. Apply an upholstery cleaner designed for food stains. Gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse clean. Avoid over-wetting the upholstery.

Vinegar Rinse

For extra stain-fighting power, fill a sink with cool water and add 1-2 cups white vinegar. Soak stained items for 30 minutes before washing. The vinegar will help neutralize and lift the stain.

Lemon Juice

As a natural alternative, try soaking the sweet potato stain in a solution of lemon juice and water. Use approximately 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts water. Let soak, then launder as usual. The citric acid helps break down the stain.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can also assist with lifting sweet potato stains. Apply it directly to the stain, let bubble for a few minutes, then rinse. Be careful using it on colored items, as it can lighten dyes.

Salt Paste

For dried stains, make a paste with salt and water. Gently rub it into the stain using a soft toothbrush. Let sit for an hour before washing. The abrasive salt will help scrub off the stain.

Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the sweet potato stain. Let it sit for at least an hour before washing. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and stain remover.

Borax Soak

Create a borax soak by dissolving 1 tbsp borax per 1 cup hot water. Soak stained items before washing to help lift sweet potato stains. Borax helps cut through food stains.

With the right stain removal methods and a bit of persistence, even stubborn sweet potato stains can be conquered. Act quickly and use appropriate cleaners and pretreatments for the fabric. With some elbow grease, your clothes, carpet, and upholstery can be sweet potato stain-free.

Frequently Asked Questions about Removing Sweet Potato Stains

How do you get dried sweet potato stains out of clothes?

For dried or set-in stains, soak the clothing in cool water for several hours to rehydrate the stain. Apply a laundry pretreater or booster stain stick directly to the stain and let sit before washing. Use the hottest water safe for the fabric. You may need to repeat the process several times to completely lift a stubborn dried stain.

How do you get sweet potato stains out of white clothes?

Check that the clothing is color-safe before using bleach. Soak the stained white clothing in an oxygen bleach solution. Apply a bleach gel stain remover to the spot and let sit before laundering. Avoid using hot water, which can set the stain; use the coolest water temperature recommended for the fabric.

What removes orange stains from clothes?

The most effective products for removing orange stains like sweet potato contain enzymes or oxygen bleach to break down the pigments. Look for stain pretreatment sprays and gels, laundry boosters, and washer detergents designed for food and fruit stains. Lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and borax can also help lift orange stains.

How do you remove set-in stains from carpet?

Use a carpet cleaner product designed for set-in stains; apply directly to the stained fibers. Allow it to sit and work for the recommended time. Use cool water with a steam carpet cleaning machine to extract the stain. Make multiple passes over the stain to pull it up from the carpet pad and fibers. Blot with clean cloths afterwards.

Can you remove stains from upholstery?

Many stains can be removed from upholstery fabrics with the right products and techniques. Start by blotting excess liquid immediately. Apply an upholstery cleaner designed for food stains. Gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse clean. Avoid overly wetting the upholstery. For tougher stains, seek professional upholstery cleaning.

What homemade stain remover works the best?

Some effective homemade stain remover options include:

  • Baking soda paste
  • Lemon juice or white vinegar soak
  • Hydrogen peroxide applied directly to stain
  • Salt paste gently scrubbed into stain
  • Borax soak

Always test homemade removers on an inconspicuous area first to check for fabric damage or discoloration.


Sweet potato stains can seem impossible to remove at first, but with the right stain removal methods, they can be conquered. Quick action is key – the sooner you can treat the stain, the better. Use an appropriate pretreatment product before laundering, and wash with cool water and oxygen bleach. For extremely stubborn stains, use a laundry booster applied directly to the stain or try bleaching gels. With persistence and the right products, your clothes, carpet and upholstery can be free of those bright orange spots.