How to Remove Cranberry Stains

Cranberries are most often associated with the holidays in the form of cranberry sauce and they’re also popular as a juice. Because of the high antioxidant content in cranberries, this festive fruit is also a healthy choice that can help prevent certain illnesses. But whether your uncle drops his plate at Thanksgiving or you spill your vodka and cranberry drink, knowing how to remove a cranberry juice stain is essential holiday cleaning know-how.

Like butter and other grease stains, the key to removing cranberry stains is to act quickly before the stain gets any worse. But before you leap into action, there are a few precautions you should know:

  • Avoid using these methods if a tablecloth or blouse with a cranberry stain is dry clean only and take the item to a dry cleaner as soon as possible.
  • Don’t use bar soap or natural liquid soap to treat cranberry stains or you could set the stain permanently.
  • Skip the clothes dryer and let items air dry after treatment. The dryer heat could cause the stain to set permanently.
  • Always dab or blot a liquid stain on fabric instead of rubbing the stain to keep from spreading it or driving it deeper into the fibers.
  • Always check the fabric’s care label before you treat any stain, and only use the methods and products the tag recommends.

Now that you know what not to do about that cranberry stain, keep reading to learn how to get cranberry stains out of clothes, carpets, and more.

How to Remove Cranberry Stains From Clothes and Tablecloths

Even when you know how to remove cranberry sauce from a tablecloth, it may not be practical to stop in the middle of dinner and pull it off! Instead, remove any solids and lay a damp cloth on the stain until dinner is over. For clothes and post-dinner tablecloths, here is the best way to remove a fresh cranberry stain:

  • Blot up as much of the cranberry stain as possible.
  • Rinse the stain with cold water. Use the kitchen sink if your fabric isn’t colorfast.
  • Use hot running water to rinse fabric that’s colorfast or white cotton.
  • Treat the stained area with a liquid enzyme stain remover or heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent.
  • Work your stain remover into the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Soak the stained fabric in the cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Wash the tablecloth or clothing following the fabric care label.
  • Let the fabric air dry and check the stain.
  • Repeat this process until the cranberry stain is gone.

But what if you don’t notice the cranberry stain until it’s already dried? To remove an old cranberry juice stain, you may need an oxygen-based bleach that is color-safe. Check your fabric label and follow the instructions on the oxygen bleach for the best results.

How to Remove Cranberry Stains From Carpet

When you’re learning how to get cranberry juice out of carpet, it’s essential to understand that carpet stains must be treated as soon as possible. If the carpet or rug is wool or silk, take it to a dry cleaner right away. If the carpet with a cranberry stain is synthetic fabric or a cotton blend, you can use these steps for removing cranberry juice stains from carpet.

  • Blot the cranberry sauce stain with a clean, dry cloth to absorb the excess.
  • Mix a natural cleaning solution using ⅔ cup of rubbing alcohol and two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.
  • Dampen the cranberry stain using a sponge and the alcohol and vinegar stain remover.
  • Let the stain remover work on the stain for 10 minutes.
  • Dab the stain with a clean, damp cloth to absorb the stain remover and cranberry juice.
  • Rinse your damp cloth or switch to a fresh one as the fabric becomes dirty.
  • Dampen the stain again with alcohol and vinegar if the stain is still visible and repeat the process.
  • Let the carpet air dry and check to see if the cranberry stain is still visible.

You may need to use an oxygen-based bleach for old cranberry stains on carpet or fresh ones that don’t come clean using your natural stain remover. Follow the directions on the oxygen bleach and be careful not to soak the carpet fibers and padding too much. Once your carpet is dry, vacuum it and double-check the stain to make sure it’s gone.

How to Remove Cranberry Stains From Upholstery

When you spill something on upholstery, it’s not just the stained fabric on your couch you have to worry about cleaning. Because liquid stains can easily seep into the fill or foam of upholstered pieces, it’s even more critical that you attack a cranberry stain on upholstery fast. Try the following method to remove cranberry from upholstery:

  • Blot the cranberry stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
  • Mix the same vinegar and alcohol solution from above.
  • Dab the stained area with a damp cloth and the stain removing solution until the stain is absorbed.
  • Rinse your cloth or switch it out for another as the cloth turns red.
  • Dab the cranberry stain until the stain is no longer visible.
  • Rinse the area with a sponge and cold water then blot the stain dry.

For dried cranberry stains on upholstery, you may need to use something more robust. A commercial stain remover may be necessary to get the stain out; just be sure to follow the label and don’t get the upholstery too wet.

Learning how to remove cranberry stains isn’t too challenging, and when you check out our handy guide for cleaning stains, you can easily handle other household stains. Not the DIY type? We’ve got you covered. The Maids offers affordable housekeeping services to help you enjoy a home with less dirt, dust, and stains more often. Get your free estimate today and learn more about what we can do for you.


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