Pollen is a part of outdoor life and comes from a variety of plants and trees, including birch trees, ragweed, ryegrass and willow trees. The pollen lets plants transfer the male genetic material from the flower’s anther to the stigma of another flower for cross-pollination. You may not realize it, but pollen is still present in plants you decide to bring into your house. Lilies, especially, have large amounts of pollen on their anthers that can lead bright yellow stains on almost anything they touch.
Overview of Pollen Stains
While you can get away with having many different plants in your home and never worrying about pollen, the same cannot be said when it comes to lilies. The amount of pollen these flowers produce can stain your clothes quickly when it comes in contact with them. In addition, the pollen can be harmful to pets. For this reason, most florists recommend that you remove the anthers as soon as they begin to produce pollen.
Of course, this doesn’t always go as planned either.
Before you attempt removing pollen stains on fabric, it’s important to know what not to do. Pollen is a powder, not a liquid, so don’t blot it, touch it or wipe it. This will only make the stain spread. Don’t try to flush the stain yet, either. If you do this too soon in the stain removal process, you’ll dissolve the powder and make removing it harder.
Remove Pollen Stains: Step by Step
- Shake it off as much as possible
- Vacuum the powder off the clothing
- Choose a detergent and stain remover suitable for the fabric
- Pre-treat by applying the detergent to the stain and letting it soak for 30 minutes
- Wash and rinse at the hottest temperature safe for the fabric
- Check to see if the stain is gone
Shake it Off
You’re dealing with a powder, so your first step should be getting rid of as much of the powder as possible. Take the clothing OUTSIDE to do this, or you’ll end up with yellow lily stains all over your carpet as well. Shake vigorously until the powder is almost completely gone.
If there is a large amount of powder or your arms just can’t take any more shaking, try vacuuming up the pollen stain with a hand-held vacuum.
Choose a Detergent and Stain Remover
Consider the type of fabric you’re working with and the color when choosing a detergent for lily stain removal from clothes.
- Sil 1-for-All Stain Gel for colorfast fabrics
- Perwoll Care for fine fabrics
- Persil Color Megaperls® or Persil Color Gel for colored clothing
- Persil Universal Megaperls® or Persil Universal Gel for whites
Pre-Treat the Stain
Once the powder is removed, apply your pollen stain remover directly to the stain. Let sit for 30 minutes. This ensures the detergent has enough time to soak into the fabric and take care of any pollen that may be hiding in the fibers.
Wash and Rinse
Wash and rinse at the hottest temperature possible according to the clothing’s garment label.
Check the Stain After Washing
If the pollen stain isn’t completely gone after washing, try soaking it in cold water with your chosen detergent and washing again.
Remove Light Yellow Pollen Stains From Clothing
If you’re dealing with light yellow pollen stains on fabric, you may find the stains are particularly stubborn. Let these types of stains soak in a mixture of your detergent and cool water for about an hour before washing.
Accidentally get vibrant, yellow lily pollen stains on your clothes? Shake them off and use these tips to get rid of them fast.