How To Remove Berry Stains from Linens

Pretty in pink? Not always!
If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll recognize the above tablescape as one I did for a Valentine Dinnerfor a special group of ladies. “Pretty in Pink” was my go-to mood while planning the party. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: Even lovers of pink have to admit that on occasion, pink isn’t really pretty … like when it’s actually strawberry stains on vintage linens.


Juice from the pretty strawberry fan garnishes on the ladies’ dinner plates ended up right where they were supposed to: on their napkins. (Please forgive the smartphone pics and shadows. This post was a last-second thought as I prepared to launder the linens at the end of a long day.)

It’s always nice to know exactly what a stain is. That’s when I select the corresponding formulation of Carbona Stain Devils. In the case of berry stains (or coffee, tea, wine), it’s Stain Devils #8, a powder added to hot water. I first told you about them HERE, but no, I don’t get paid by the company to say positive things about their products.)

Here are the strawberry stains on bright white linen napkins …
<   Immediately upon placing the napkin in the Stain Devils solution ...
20 seconds after … then only 10 seconds after this picture was taken, even the faint pink spots you see here were gone.

Same thing on bright white damask napkins …

Stains immediately started to lighten …

20 seconds later, stains were a pale purple … and totally gone very shortly after that.

Some of you would have laundered these linens then bleached them … but do you know that bleach breaks down a fabric’s fibers and makes your pretties wear out more quickly? Now that you know how easy it is to get out stains, perhaps next time you’ll want to skip the bleach … Your linens will love you for it!
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What?& You expected to see a final “after” with two stacks of pressed napkins returned to the linen closet? Ha! My napkins are beautifully clean … and sitting on top of the ironing pile. I can’t do everything, you know! ALMOST always!

I’ll be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. Thanks for the great tips!
    dee dee

  2. Susan, Those are some of the best products I have ever used. Their grease remover is THE BEST I have ever used. Where do you find it? I have called around our area and no one seems to know what it is. I suppose I will have to order it online. xo Diana

    • Diana, I can’t find it as often as I used to either. JoAnn fabrics carries some of the formulations, but not all. We have an Ingles grocery store that also carries some. The best bet is probably to order online. A week or two ago they were having an online sale; don’t know if it’s still going on or not.

  3. You don’t have to tell me what bleach does to fibers. Mr. Clean has a love affair with Miss Clorox, and it drives me slap looney. You have mentioned these products before,and I always plan to get some. I really need to get on the stick and do so this time.

  4. Oh my, when a man’s willing to do the laundry (mine is, too!) I’m sure reluctant to discourage his efforts … but this is one area we really need to educate him. 🙂 Maybe if you get on the stick and get some Stain Devils he’ll see how well they work and end that love affair with Miss Clorox! He may start a new affair, but at least it will be a “welcome” one! LOL

  5. Regarding ‘Restoration.’ Several weeks I purchased a 2# container and told you that I had a christening gown (french batiste, all handmade by my mother) that was almost 40 years old and was horribly dingy. I did a ‘test run’ on the bonnet, and it was fabulous. However, it was not as discolored as the main dress (there is a slip, also). Last night I decided to go for broke and did the slip and the dress. You had originally asked me to send pictures of before and after. Sadly, I am NOT the photographer that so many bloggers are (I would certainly love to learn how to be), so there are no pictures. But…may I tell you that the gown and slip are as pristine as the day they were worn by my oldest son 38 years ago! They are BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for publicizing this wonderful product! I never, ever dreamed that this dress would ever look so wonderful. As a side note: my best friend’s daughter is expecting her first child, so the gown is now ready to go again! Thank you again!

  6. Nancy, this makes me so happy! What a gift to your family… putting back into circulation the lovingly handmade christening gown so it will enjoyed by another generation. I’m so glad you “risked it” and that you wrote to tell me how beautifully your gown turned out. Perhaps your friend’s daughter will take pictures and you can share them with us all!

  7. Well you keep telling me what I should have done for years…and now I need to see if I can repair some of my linens. Thanks for all the wisdom
    Pretty table..pretty pink

  8. If folks only knew how easy it was to clean linens they might enjoy them more! (Well, now they do!) You may already know that I think ironing can be fun and easy too! A beautiful table BTW. My clothespin was tossed into my shoot for scale. And yes, I have a whole bunch that I have hand stamped. Thanks!

  9. I’ve never heard of this product, but I just put it on my shopping list for today. I usually pull linens off the table and immediately drop them in the washing machine to soak in hot water and detergent with a little bleach for a couple of days. The stains come out, but if the bleach is breaking down the fabric I SURELY don’t want to continue that practice!!!!!! Thanks for the tip!