??? Removing lily pollen from fabric???

anniew(4-5/PA)August 10, 2005

What's the best way (if any) of removing the pollen from fabric so it won't permanently stain?


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saskatchewan_girl(z3 southernSask)

A greenhouse lady in Russel Mb told me to rub the spot with a clean spot of the same fabric together. DON'T TOUCH WITH YOUR HANDS!!! She told me of a lady with white pants brushed by one lily............she had no stains.
I tried it on my light blue sweater that day (I also got pollen on my from her lily) but had to wait 3 days to wash it. It WORKED. Give it a try.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 6:24PM
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I got a very large stain on beige denim and it didn't wash out the first time in a load of whites in hot water. I even dried it in the dryer because I forgot to check. Well the second time I washed it, it was all gone.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 10:33PM
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brian2cv(~8 UK)

I always use sticky tape. The ordinary thin clear type works fine. Just dab the fabric with the sticky face and it holds on to the pollen.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 6:34PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

Yes, echo the above. The worst thing you can do is try to remove it while it's fresh. If it doesn't come out, you can try letting the sun bleach it out. Lay the clothes on the lawn in the bright sunlight.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I actually had success with pants I got the pollen all over by using that Oxyclean on -- soaked them a bit in it and the stains were totally gone after putting thru washer.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:20AM
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Funny, I was just going to post this question. I got pollen all over a light blue shirt as I was trying to lift many of my plants which got knocked down during a thunderstorm. Of course, I just came home dressed up and, without thinking, started getting them back on the stakes. What a mess I made of the shirt. I just washed it after soaking and rubbing detergent into the stains and it came out of the wash looking the same. Didn't put a dent in the stains. The shirts still wet. I'm not sure what to do now.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 4:18PM
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pardalinum(z8 PNW)

I always use the sun first. It usually works well on the lily pollen that is more yellow than brown. The stains are usually gone in just a couple of hours. On occasion I have left the stained clothing out for a couple of days. The darker pollen that some lilies have seems to be a bit more difficult. Jane, since you have already put your shirt through the wash, try leaving it out in the sun. If you can be around to monitor it, shift the position occasionally so the sun is as directly on it as possible. If you don't have enough sun, then please take some of ours. I am tired of it. I want rain. OK, I digress, sorry. You might try the tape trick (I haven't tried that one yet). I believe pollen has many microscopic little hooks that make it cling to fabric.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 8:19PM
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Just washed the shirt again and it's still there. Looks like golden mustard. Will try the sun trick tomorrow. Didn't put it in the dryer. Thanks for the advice. Boy did I make a mess out of the shirt. My husband told me to toss it, but it's one of my favorites.
Oh Well, Thanks again,


    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 1:12AM
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I have some big nasty yellow pollen stains on a beige carpet. They are well and truly soaked in - a result of a broken vase. I have tried Vanish carpet cleaner but to no avail. Please help!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 3:11PM
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I agree with Brian. Scotch tape is the only way to go when pollen gets on your clothes or tablecloth.

Resist the urge to brush it off or wet it, do not touch it. Get a piece of transparent tape and apply the sticky side to the pollen. You may have to blot the stain a few times with fresh pieces of tape but it works like a charm.

The key is not to disturb the pollen at all before you apply the tape.

Kara, I'm so sorry about your carpet. What a bummer. I hope someone here will have a solution for you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:03PM
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Spy_RI(z6 RI)

At my job (florist/gift shop), if we get lily pollen on us, we rub the area with styrofoam from packaging- it sounds so weird, but it;s like the styrofoam makes the pollen leap to it, like it's electrically charged or something. It does work, but I never have chunks of styrofoam around at home!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 6:11PM
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rommy(z8 NC)

I have a suggestion for the clothing stains; but a lot probably depends on the frabric also. If you live near what we call here " Dollar Tree." They sell a cleaning solutiong called "Awesome.". It is what it is called. I use it on everything and it is my laundry pretreat for all stains. I bought Oriental Lillies last year for the first time, not realiazing what the pollen can do. I got home took them out of the car... and discovered I had pollen all over my new turqoise top. I used cold water and awesome and worked it in the sink and then put it in the wash with my other things and it all came out! Have no idea if it would work on the carpet though. Do hope you find a solution. OH yes..they have orange awesome too and it is good; but the regular yellow in the clear bottle works best.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 6:16PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

When I was a florist I used tape or a piece of chenile stem (pipe cleaner) delicately lift it off.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 9:54PM
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BUMP for Ladybuggyz :0)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 2:36PM
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Thanks Phylrae.....I've read the above posts....But my question is, is it possible to clean the pollen off the fabric if you've rubbed it already with your hands? I didn't know that you weren't soppose to touch the pollen at first so....I did and now I have this really ugly orange-yellow stands on an few items of clothing. Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:45AM
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Hello does anybody have any suggestions for removing lilly pollen stains from wallpaper?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 2:25PM
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hi, i got some on me last night and foolishly rubbed it in. been soaking it all night, but it doesn't seem to have made a difference. with regards to wall paper, (and i'd try this somewhere that you can't see, at least at first) have you tried bleech? that works for red wine, suprisingly
i'm not sure what to do about my top, might try vanish oxy i guess.. who knows

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 4:46AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I just answered this in another forum I know this is frowned on but.... All you have to do is wash as usual, the stain will still be there, put out in the sun and it disappears like magic. A friend of mine had pollen on her backside, sat down on the upholstery, she just cleaned it off, placed the cushion out in the sun for awhile, Stain gone.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 2:34PM
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If the stain is wet or has been wet in the past, try dabbing/rubbing the area with white spirit / turps (the stuff to clean paint from paint brushes). It sounds weird but it does really work. Then wash the turps out in normal warm soapy water.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 7:40PM
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Thankyou Davedo!!! The white spirit worked like magic and took away the mustard stain off my rug. I am so pleased I saw your message. Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 5:39AM
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Pollen stains are a real nuisance and very hard to remove, and sometimes impossible. Perhaps those of us who enjoy the beauty of lilies might find a way to avoid them by using pollen-free lilies. Only a few are available-and we need to let brokers, and growers know that we would like them and search our breeders who have them. If florists spoke up too, it would help.

Many good clothes and table clothes have been ruined by pollen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turner's Patch

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 7:28AM
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westernwilson(Pacific NW)

I like the look of the pollen! I think it adds to the flower's beauty.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Thanks to everyone for tips. Need to remove pollen stains from baby clothes and blankets. New Mum was given lilies. Only problem is, here in England , we have had an awful summer, and never see the sun.............!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:53PM
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Thank you Davedo, I sucessfully removed an orange pollen stain from a large manmade fibre rug with white spirit-great tip! However it didn't work on my 80% wool stairs carpet. Any more ideas for that?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 6:16PM
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I am sooo thankful I found this forum! I work as a florist at my local grocery store, and was wearing a white top today (stupid me!). As soon as the lily dust got on me, I RUBBED IT! (again, stupid me!). Then I found this forum (THANK GOD!) I soaked my shirt in cold water with bleach and then put it out in the sun for a couple of hours. It worked like a charm. Stain's gone, I'm happy! :) thanks again forum people! xo

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 3:22PM
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Amazing! I tossed my pink shirt in the wash & dryer without a second thought and was dismayed to see a bright orange spot front & center afterward. So I scrubbed with Tide and did it again. Still orange. That's when I googled 'how to remove pollen from cotton fabric' and found this forum. So I put the shirt outside on the sunny deck railing and checked it 2 hours later. Magic! Fantastic! There is no trace of orange pollen!
HOW / WHY does this work???!
Most of these posts are several years old but obviously are still very helpful! THANK YOU!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:41PM
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Got lilly pollen on one of my favorite shirts and didn't know it until it was ground in. Read all the suggestions above and thought I would start out with a basic cold water rinse, soak and then sun treatment. After soaking even overnight, most of stain was still there. Stuck it out in the sun and in 1 hour it was all gone!!! Can't believe my eyes!! Thank you so much for the help.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Got stain on my car seats what can i remove the lily pollen with

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:08AM
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I just have to say is THANK YOU!! I got a lot of the brown pollen on my brand new curtains. Needless to say I was upset knowing that pollen stains. I found this website and thank you to the people who suggested using tape. Every bit of the pollen came out. Thank you so so much!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:16AM
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YAY...Thank you so much davedo for your turpentine idea...We are in the midst of wintery weather here and the sun option wasnt going to be a good idea...So I asked hubby to get the turps out to try on my new (worn once) fleece jacket...and VOILA, it worked an absolute treat. Have it now in the wash giving it an extra wash to get the turps smell out...Really maye...Thanxabunch :-)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:34AM
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Thank-you. My "Mother's Day" flowers brushed up against the beige drapes and AHHHHHH - pink & orange all over. I took the vase outside and got it on my shirt. I wet the shirt to see how easily it would come out and yech - now blotches of orange smear. THEN, I found this site. The celo tape worked wonders and so easy and my drapes are beige again. As for the shirt, I will try the other techniques tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 1:58AM
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Wow! Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice. After washing a favorite shirt to remove a pollen stain, I tried peroxide alone and it did nothing. Then I mixed baking soda and peroxide together, treated the pollen stain, and left it out in the sun. The pollen totally disappeared within 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:32PM
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I had a surgery recently and came home, and I was given some lily's. I don't have a lot of table top space to put them so they were put in front of my mirror where I do makeup. I found this dark dried-blood looking stuff several times on my shirts and could not figure out where it was coming from. I found it on my face several times too from smelling the flowers, I found out later. I was surprised to see the stains on my shirts even AFTER they had washed. When I saw that they had not been removed, I threw them back into the wash with some OxyClean. Did not work. I'm really hoping the sun trick works, because it affected at least 6 of my shirts. I'm hoping I don't find anymore that got stained.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 3:42PM
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I was thrilled with the method recommended of using Dunwaukin's suggestion to remove the pollen stains from a favourite shirt, by laying the item in the sunshine, from the Tiger lilly's when vacationing in Canada last week.
It is quite difficult here in Costa Rica to find decent stain removers/washing powders.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 6:41PM
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These suggestions are great but the only problem is that I've got a dry clean only tux that I got the pollen on and rubbed it in! Any ideas for something that can't be laundered? It's winter but I'll see how much sun I can get.

Please and thanks!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:36PM
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These suggestions are great but the only problem is that I've got a dry clean only tux that I got the pollen on and rubbed it in! Any ideas for something that can't be laundered? It's winter but I'll see how much sun I can get.

Please and thanks!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Just wanted to say thanks to all who advised on getting rid of lilly pollen. Yesterday I had on a white cotton summer jacket and we happened to stop at Home Depot and I picked up some lilies to plant. I wasn't even thinking about the pollen and was reaching across them to select the ones I liked. It wasnt until I got home and removed my jacket that I saw the whole sleeve was yellow & orange and I had some spots on the front of the jacket as well. I knew better than to wipe it off or throw it in the wash but didn't know what to do. I found the helpful advice on here and followed it. I used almost a roll of scotch tape trying to get it off (the whole underside of the sleeve). It still left some yellowing. I then put it outside this morning to catch the sun and I can't believe it - it's white again. Amazing! Thanks so much to everyone here, I salvaged the jacket. Wasn't expensive but my favorite, otherwise I probably would have just tossed it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Has anyone tried Zout? I've never tried it for pollen but Ive seen it work like a charm on other stains.

Also Folex Profession Carpet Spot remover has worked pretty well on spots on my carpet and fabric furniture. Its also safe to use around pets if you just dab/rub it up with paper towels or whatnot which is a relief to me.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:22PM
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I tried the advice to rub another section of the material with the stained section. Very bad advice as I now have two stains on my expensive and much loved linen top.
Still needing useful advice as not much sun at this time of the year???

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:28PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Sorry to say, at this point the sun is probably your best bet. I pretty much use the scotch tape trick or a make -up brush to brush the pollen away....But both of these methods work best if you allow the pollen to dry first.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:55PM
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pardalinum(z8 PNW)

You might still try the tape method to at least get some of the stain off but it is probably well embedded in the fabric now.

Then carefully fold up the linen so that the stained areas are not contacting any fabric and set it aside till next year when sunshine reliably returns. I don't recommend trying to use any products until after you see if this works. If you happen to use something that the dye dissolves in it will likely spread the stain.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:36PM
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rexedwardfairy(Zone 11)

Omigod - it's magic! I got lily pollen ALL over my pale pink cotton night shirt, my pale pink terry towelling dressing gown, my pale grey cotton shorts, my two pink cotton singlets and my white cotton pants... and I wet it with water as soon as I saw it - and smudged and rubbed it into ALL of these items (yeh great plan)...so had massive orange-yellow blurred stains everywhere. I came to this forum, decided to give it a burl. So I put everything in the wash with a squirt of stain remover on the pollen smudges. Pulled it out of the wash, all the stains were still robust. Figured 'okay sunshine you've got your instructions' and put them all out in full sun with all the smudges facing to the sun... 2 hours later and the stains are completely gone. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE!? FANTASTIC advice guys, ta heaps!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:18PM
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I made the mistake of immediately trying to rub out the pollen from the front of a favorite blouse with a damp cloth. Made a big mess of it. The next day, I blotted and then rubbed the stain with some Goof-Off. Then I washed it under the faucet with kitchen dish soap and warm water. I used dish soap because Goof-Off is a little oily and did not want a grease stain on my blouse. It worked!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Husbands shirt - rubbed pollen off, washed 3 times with stain remover, tried washing with whites, nothing worked. Tried leaving it in full sun and stains completely disappeared like magic in about 2 hours!
SUN WORKS!! Thank you SO much :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:27AM
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The tape was brilliant!! I had a brand new (to me) very light antique wool rug and got a big pollen stain on it immediately. The clear tape picked it up and and there is no hint of stain remaining.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I just want to thank all who contributed to this column..My husband had used Dawn Dish Soap on his new shirt that had hibiscus pollen on it and washed it as well as dried it. I read your column and tried the clear tape trick..viola! Gone completely even though the shirt had been washed and dried. Thank you all!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 3:56PM
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SUNLIGHT TOTALLY WORKS!! Thank you guys so much!! Your tip saved a brand new awesome pair of shorts!!! I made a hot mess of these shorts-there was pollen EVERYWHERE- I even managed to get some in the tops of the pockets! I put them on the clothes line outside, still wet, and within an hour or so the pollen was gone. The shorts are bright estoril blue and the fabric didn't even fade. Simply amazing. I cannot thank you enough!! I signed up for this website just to write this post...that's how much it means to me!!! Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 11:30PM
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I've just found dried in pollen stain on my grey wool jumper.
It must have been on a couple of hours so is dried in. Can anyone tell me what will bring it out. Many thanks

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:07AM
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pardalinum(z8 PNW)

It is important to not rub at the pollen stain. Put it out in the sun first. If it isn't sunny then just set the garment aside until you get some sun. If the color doesn't fade within a day or so, try the tape trick. Press tape straight down on the stain, then lift. Repeat if necessary.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Remove as much as you can with sticky tape. Then, place the garment in the sun for a few hours. This is what I've done, it works.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Sunshine really does work! So glad I found this forum. My partner and I both got lily pollen on our clothes - a pale blue shirt and a cream cardigan - and we had rubbed it so ended up with large yellow stains on both. We live in the west of Ireland, not a huge amount of sun and lots of rain so I left the items inside in the window where they would get the sun if, and when, it shone. Couple of hours later, stains gone!! Wonderful! Going to spread the word to family and friends, it's a wonderful tip! Thank you to all who suggested it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 9:54AM
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