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How to Remove Berry Stains

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: What do boiling water, vinegar, and toothpaste have in common? (And no, it's not a horrific trip to the dentist.)

We've waxed poetic about berries before, those devilish beauties that are impossible to resist. We've tried to reform their naughty behavior—and in some ways, we've succeeded.

But as every chick flick has taught us, you just can't turn bad boys good. And berries still have one powerful weapon they've been known to employ at any given moment. Beneath their beautiful veneers lies a colorful—and dare we say fatal—juice. 

Until now, that is. We're showing you how to remove even the most brutal of berry stains. And to prove it, we've dirtied our own pristine Provisions towel.

Here's how to fix the mess:


Immediately after the incident, drop everything you're doing and go treat the stain.

While the blemish is still fresh, stretch the fabric over a bowl until taut. From as great of a height as possible, pour boiling water in a smooth, steady stream over the affected area. This should remove the bulk of the stain and allow you to breathe a little easier.


Submerge the stained part of the fabric in a bowl of white vinegar for about an hour. Apple cider vinegar also works well, but it will leave your fabric with a yellow tinge.

Wring out the fabric. If the stain remains (and let's be real: berry stains are persistent), apply non-gel whitening toothpaste to the area and rub, rub, rub! 

Rinse well and remove excess water. Repeat as needed.

How to Remove Berry Stains from Food52

And voilà, our towel is practically as good as new! If you've got some time, hang the fabric in the sun to fade any lingering stains and get rid of the smell of vinegar.

Now that we've shown you how to make berries stay fresh longer and how to remove their evil stains from your clothing and linens, what's next? Perhaps we can work some magic and make berries less expensive too? Now that is some wishful thinking.

What's your best advice for getting rid of berry stains? Share your tricks and tips in the comments below!

Tags: Laundry, Berry, Summer, Tips & Techniques, Videos, Instagram, DIY Food, How-To & Diy, Kitchen Confidence