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Stamens loaded with lily pollen.

Lily Pollen Stains and White Clothes

What You Need to Know

Flowers really do brighten up a room, but if you’re not careful, their pollen can brighten up your clothes too. A casual brush against the sleeve of your favourite white shirt, and you have a problem: powdery yellow lily pollen stains, unmissable and notoriously difficult to shift. 

So, what’s your plan of action? Firstly, don’t panic – we know how to get pollen out of clothing, and we’re here to help.


How to remove lily pollen stains from white clothes

The most important thing to remember is not to use water for lily pollen stain removal – the powdery pollen is more likely to come out if you keep it dry, at least at first. Here’s how to get rid of pollen stains:

  1. Lift the pollen away. Trying to brush the pollen away with your hands is a bad idea, as the oils in your skin will just set the pollen stain into your clothing. Instead, use sticky tape. Lightly press the tape onto the pollen stain and lift it off; the pollen should come away. You could also try (very gently!) rubbing a pipe cleaner over the stain.
  2. Leave in direct sunlight. If you can, hang the item up outside for a while: some lily pollen stains will fade away into nothing if they’re exposed to sunlight.

If you’ve tried this method and you’re still looking at a yellow stain, wondering how to get pollen out of clothing, try the steps below:

  1. Treat the stain with Persil liquid. Dab the stain with the undiluted detergent, using the Stain Eraser Ball to massage it into the fabric. 
  2. Leave to soak. Soak your garment in cold water overnight before leaving it to dry in the sun, as above.

If all else fails, try using a specialist stain remover on the lily pollen stain. Follow the instructions on the packaging, and then wash the garment at the highest temperature suggested on the garment care label. Line dry outdoors if you can.


Lily pollen stain prevention

In future, you can skip the stain removal process entirely with a little preventative action: simply remove the anthers (the bright yellow powdery pods in the centre of the lily) when you first bring the flowers home. 

Do this by wrapping your hand in a tissue and gently pulling the anthers away – don’t touch them with your fingers, as lily pollen is no joke to remove from skin, either! 

Dispose of the anthers carefully, especially if you have pets: lily pollen is highly toxic to cats, and often to dogs as well.

There you have it: even if you prefer to leave your lilies intact, you now know how to get rid of pollen stains like a pro. Relax and enjoy your flowers!

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