How To Remove Lily Pollen Stains

How To Remove Lily Pollen Stains

“Oh $#*@!!”  – did you accidentally get lily pollen on your clothes or furniture? Our recent posts about lilies had a couple readers ask us – what is the best way to remove lily pollen stains?

First thing – don’t panic!  If you do it right, you can easily remove the pollen by following some of these tips:

  1. DON’T touch the pollen.  You’ll just end up rubbing it in which will make removal harder
  2. Gently remove pollen in a number of ways:
    1. Use a vacuum cleaner (like a hand vac) to carefully suck it up
    2. Use tape (masking or clear cellophane tape work well) to gently lift off the pollen. Don’t reuse the same area of tape once it picks up pollen; move to a fresh piece so you don’t put the pollen right back.

These steps should completely remove the pollen from your clothes.

Lily Pollen Stain Removal

So, what if you already rubbed it in and tried to wash it out?  You’re probably still seeing the stain. Don’t worry – you can still get it out by letting the sun bleach it.  Just put your clothes out in a sunny spot and let nature do its thing. You’ll be surprised to see that the stain will disappear.  For some stains, it only takes a few hours in the sun, for others it can take a couple days.

Hope these tips help and the next time you have lilies, we recommend you remove the stamens as soon as the lilies start opening so you can avoid getting pollen on anything.

Let us know if you have any questions or tell us other ways you’ve been able to get rid of these pesky pollen stains!

Enjoy the day,



Add yours
  1. 1
    Cassie Withers

    After many pollen stained pants/shirts, I only knew what didn’t work. Thanks for an easy solution to a constant laundry challenge!

  2. 7

    the pollen landed on my white washed wood kitchen table. unfortunately i did not read your recommendations at that point. I now have orange stains on my table. What can I do? thanks

  3. 12

    Wish I would of read this first! I rubbed into fabric on a large bench not sure if I can get it outside… any other ideas? I used a wet cloth and of course just wiped it into the fabric…(sigh) thank you.

    • 13
      Ellie H.

      Hi Debbie, so sorry to hear about your bench! You can try to move it to a sunny spot in the room and see if that will help bleach out the pollen stain, but if it has been rubbed in pretty well, it may not do much except lighten the stain a bit. If it’s a white cotton fabric, then you could try to see if a little bleach will get it out (but I would highly recommend spot testing first because you don’t want to ruin things even more). Otherwise, your best bet is to get it professionally cleaned. On the bright side, if this happens again, you’ll now know exactly what to do!

  4. 14

    Sunshine!!!! Just have to pass on this tip sourced elsewhere. Pollen on brand new shorts worn for just 3 hours. I was gutted. I knew about the sellotape trick but in this instance it did not remove all the pollen. I had 2 big mustard coloured streaks down the front of each leg. Soaked in cold water first with stain remover, then put in washing machine. Stains still there. Then I read about leaving clothes in direct sunshine. So, washed again, hung out in direct sunshine – MAGIC – the stains have completely disappeared without fading the pale grey material! Don’t know how it works but really glad it does. Just had to share this tip!

  5. 16

    HI, I need to get the lily pollen stain off the material at the roof of my car. I am hoping that you might be able to help me get it out. Please let me know what could I use?

    • 17
      Ellie H.

      Hi Rosemarie, if the pollen hasn’t set yet, then you should try getting as much off as possible with tape. People have also had good luck getting pollen off by rubbing with Styrofoam (static helps to lift off the pollen). If you’ve already tried to wash it out and the stain has set in, then I’m assuming some of the other tips (letting sun bleach it out) won’t work given the placement, so it might be best to get it professionally cleaned. I’ve heard of other tips (like Folex carpet cleaner) to get the stains out, but we’ve never tried it so can’t say if they work or not. Sorry I don’t have a better answer!

  6. 19

    I read this and a bunch more sites because I got lily pollen on my brand new 100% polyester shirt on the second wearing. It had already set by the time I realized it. I tried everything: baking soda, two washings, Woolite, vinegar, Dawn, oatmeal soap, salt, Spray n Wash, Oxi-Clean laundry spray, straight detergent, Resolve (for carpets AND the one for laundry.) I went out and bought Oxi-Clean crystals and soaked it for 4 hours. Nothing. Figured I had nothing to lose, so I rinsed out the Oxy-Clean and then took a Q-tip and dipped it in…straight bleach. Took me about a half hour, but my shirt is 100% good as new! Amazing. Astonished. Hurray!

    • 23
      Ellie H.

      Hi Casi,

      I’m assuming the pollen has already been rubbed into the carpet? If so, then does the carpet spot get sunlight? If so, give it time and the sun may eventually bleach out the pollen stain. If it doesn’t get any sun, then you can try a carpet stain cleaner to see if that will get the stain out or at least lighten it up. If the carpet is white, you can try dabbing it with bleach too but I would carefully test a spot first to make sure it doesn’t make things worse! Hope that maybe one of these tips work. Next time pollen gets on your carpet, just follow our steps we noted above and you won’t have a problem at all!

  7. 24
    casi Fox

    I have a shirt with curry stain on it , small patch, i have tried everything you can think of and it won’t come out, i have bleached, boiled, tried stain removers, you name it i have tried it, please help really nice shirt don’t want to throw it away!

    regards casi

    • 25
      Ellie H.

      Hi Casi – sorry, wish we could help with this one. Have you tried dry cleaning and specifically ask them to treat the stain? Maybe that will do the trick!

    • 27
      Ellie H.

      Hi Pat! This is a new one we haven’t come across before. I would suggest something like Bar Keeper’s Friend (a powder cleanser/polish that you can typically find in most retail stores). I’m not sure if it will work on lily pollen stains, but I’ve used it to get other stains out of stainless steel.

  8. 28

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research
    on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because
    I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to
    reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks
    for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your website.

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