Stamens loaded with lily pollen.

How to remove lily pollen stains from white clothes

A generous bunch of lilies can make a room look so much brighter, but if you don’t pay attention, you’ll find that their pollen has the same effect on your clothes. One accidental brush of your shirt against that new bouquet, and suddenly you’ve got a problem: powdery lily pollen stains, bright yellowy-orange and famously tricky to remove. 

So, how are you going to tackle this? First things first, stay calm. Relax, even. We know how to remove lily pollen stains, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

How to get lily pollen stains out of white clothing

If you want to remove pollen stains, the key thing to remember is not to use any water. Keeping the powdery pollen dry at first will make it much easier to remove. Check out the steps below to find out how to get pollen out of clothing:  

  1. Gently press tape onto the pollen. Your first step is to lift away the powdery pollen, and it’s best not to use your hands for this as the oils in your skin are likely to set the stain onto the fabric. A better method is to gently press sticky tape onto the stain, and then lift it off to remove the pollen. If you’ve not got any tape to hand, you could lightly sweep a pipe cleaner over the stain to pick up the pollen instead. 
  2. Expose to sunlight. If possible, hang up the garment outside for a few hours: lily pollen stains are likely to fade away when left in direct sunlight. 

Is the pollen stain still stubbornly hanging around? Then the next two steps could help you shift it: 

  1. Pre-treat the stain with OMO Ultimate Liquid. Apply a small amount of undiluted detergent to the stain and gently rub it in with the Stain Eraser Ball. 
  2. Let it soak. Fill a basin with cold water and submerge the garment. Leave it there for a whole night before hanging out to dry in direct sunlight, as above. 

Some pollen stains are really stubborn. If the steps above haven’t helped, it might be a good idea to seek out a specialist stain remover. Just follow the instructions on the back of the bottle carefully, and then wash the item at the highest temperature recommended on the clothing care label. As before, line dry outside if possible. 
 

 

Prevention is always better than the cure

Now you know how to get lily pollen stains out! But wouldn’t it be so much easier to avoid the hassle in the first place? It’s actually pretty simple to prevent lily stains: just remove the anthers (the yellow part of the stamen that contains all the pollen) when you bring the flowers into your home. 

First, wrap a tissue around your hand. Then carefully pull the anthers from the stamen, being careful not to touch them with your fingers. You can get lily pollen stains on your skin, too, and they can be almost as difficult to remove!

When you throw the anthers away, make sure that they’re wrapped up and placed where no one (and no pet) can get at them. Lily pollen is toxic to cats, and often dogs too. 

That’s it: even if you’d rather not take the anthers out of your lilies, you now know what it takes to remove pollen stains like a true expert. Just sit back and enjoy your beautiful flowers!

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