How to remove beetroot stains

Beetroots are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable, but they can also be quite stubborn when it comes to stains. The deep red pigments in beetroots, called betalains, can easily transfer onto fabrics, skin, and other surfaces, leaving behind unsightly purple-red blotches. While these stains may look daunting, there are several effective methods you can use to remove them and restore your items to their original condition.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the science behind beetroot stains and provide you with a step-by-step approach to tackle them. Whether you’ve spilled beetroot juice on your clothes, discovered a stubborn stain on your kitchen countertop, or need to remove it from your hands, we’ve got you covered.

remove beetroot stains

By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to confidently tackle beetroot stains and keep your home, wardrobe, and skin looking their best.

The Science Behind Beetroot Stains

Beetroots owe their vibrant color to a group of water-soluble pigments called betalains. These pigments are composed of two main classes: betacyanins (responsible for the red-purple hues) and betaxanthins (responsible for the yellow-orange hues).

When beetroots are cut, juiced, or cooked, the betalain pigments are released and can easily transfer to nearby surfaces. The pigments are highly reactive and can bind to a variety of materials, including fabrics, skin, and hard surfaces like countertops and utensils.

The reason beetroot stains can be so stubborn is that the betalain pigments are quite stable and resistant to degradation. They are not easily broken down by heat, light, or many common household cleaning agents. This means that the stains can persist and even deepen over time if not treated promptly.

Understanding the science behind beetroot stains is the key to effectively removing them. By using the right techniques and cleaning agents, you can target the specific properties of the betalain pigments and lift the stains from your surfaces.

Removing Beetroot Stains from Clothing

Beetroot stains on clothing can be tricky to remove, but with the right approach, you can restore your fabrics to their original condition. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Act quickly: The sooner you treat a beetroot stain, the easier it will be to remove. As soon as you notice the stain, blot it with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the excess moisture and pigment as possible.
  2. Run under cold water: Flush the stained area with cold water to dilute the pigment and prevent it from setting into the fabric. Avoid using hot water, as it can actually set the stain.
  3. Apply a stain remover: Look for a stain remover specifically formulated for fruit and vegetable stains. These products often contain enzymes or other agents that can break down the betalain pigments. Apply the stain remover according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure to cover the entire stained area.
  • Recommended product: Biz Stain Fighter – This enzyme-based stain remover is designed to tackle tough fruit and vegetable stains, including beetroot.
  1. Launder as usual: Once you’ve treated the stain, wash the garment as you normally would, using the hottest water safe for the fabric. You can also add a small amount of white vinegar or lemon juice to the wash cycle to help further break down the pigments.
  2. Air dry: Avoid putting the garment in the dryer, as the heat can set any remaining stain. Instead, hang or lay the item flat to air dry. The natural drying process can help lift any lingering traces of the stain.
  3. Repeat if necessary: If the stain persists after the initial treatment and wash, repeat the process until the stain is completely removed. Stubborn stains may require multiple applications of the stain remover and additional wash cycles.

Remember, always check the care instructions for your garments before attempting any cleaning methods, as certain fabrics may require special handling.

Removing Beetroot Stains from Skin and Hands

Beetroot stains on skin and hands can be a common occurrence, especially when preparing or eating the vegetable. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to remove these stains:

  1. Lemon juice or vinegar: The acidic properties of lemon juice or white vinegar can help break down the betalain pigments on your skin. Simply rub a slice of lemon or a cloth dampened with vinegar onto the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  2. Baking soda: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water and gently scrubbing it onto the stained skin. The abrasive nature of the baking soda can help lift the pigment. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.
  3. Exfoliating scrub: Using a gentle exfoliating scrub can help remove beetroot stains from your hands and skin. Look for scrubs that contain natural abrasives like ground nuts, seeds, or salt. Gently massage the scrub into the stained area and rinse clean.
  • Recommended product: Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub – This all-natural sugar scrub contains shea butter and sweet almond oil to gently exfoliate and nourish the skin.
  1. Nail polish remover: For stubborn stains on your hands, you can try using a small amount of nail polish remover (acetone-based) to break down the pigments. Dab the remover onto the stained area with a cotton ball, let it sit briefly, and then rinse thoroughly.
  2. Soap and water: Good old-fashioned soap and water can also be effective in removing beetroot stains from your skin. Lather up with a mild, non-drying soap and scrub the stained area, then rinse clean.
  • Recommended product: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap – This plant-derived hand soap is gentle yet effective at cleaning and deodorizing the skin.

Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to moisturize your skin after removing the beetroot stain, as the cleaning agents can be drying.

Removing Beetroot Stains from Hard Surfaces

Beetroot stains can also wreak havoc on hard surfaces like countertops, cutting boards, and utensils. Here’s how to tackle them:

  1. Baking soda and water: Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water, and then use a damp sponge or cloth to gently scrub the stained area. The abrasive nature of the baking soda can help lift the pigment.
  2. Vinegar and water: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the stained surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an effective oxidizing agent that can break down the betalain pigments. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe clean.
  • Recommended product: Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant – This multi-purpose cleaner contains hydrogen peroxide to tackle tough stains and disinfect surfaces.
  1. Commercial cleaners: Look for cleaning products specifically formulated for removing fruit and vegetable stains. These may contain enzymes or other agents that can target the beetroot pigments.
  • Recommended product: Carbona Stain Devil #5 – Fruit & Wine – This stain remover is designed to tackle stubborn fruit and wine stains, including those from beetroots.
  1. Elbow grease: For particularly stubborn stains, you may need to rely on good old-fashioned elbow grease. Use a non-abrasive scouring pad or scrub brush to scrub the stained area, applying a bit of pressure to lift the pigment.

Remember to always test any cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the surface. Additionally, be sure to rinse the area thoroughly and dry it completely to prevent any lingering stains or moisture damage.

Preventing Beetroot Stains

While removing beetroot stains can be a challenge, it’s often easier to prevent them in the first place. Here are some tips to help you avoid beetroot stains:

  1. Wear an apron or protective clothing: When handling or cooking with beetroots, wear an apron or old clothes to protect your clothing from potential spills and splatters.
  2. Use cutting boards and utensils carefully: Be mindful when chopping, slicing, or grating beetroots, and use a dedicated cutting board to avoid transferring the pigments to other surfaces.
  3. Clean up quickly: Wipe up any spills or drips as soon as they happen, before the betalain pigments have a chance to set.
  4. Wear gloves: Consider wearing food-safe gloves when handling beetroots to protect your hands from staining.
  • Recommended product: Nitrile Gloves – These durable and flexible nitrile gloves can help shield your hands from beetroot stains.
  1. Use acidic ingredients: Incorporate acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar into your beetroot dishes, as they can help counteract the staining properties of the betalain pigments.
  2. Avoid direct contact: If possible, try to minimize direct contact with beetroots, such as by using a food processor or blender to prepare them.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering stubborn beetroot stains in your kitchen, on your clothes, or on your skin.


Beetroot stains can be a frustrating challenge, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can tackle them effectively. Whether you’re dealing with a stain on your clothing, skin, or a hard surface, the methods and recommended products outlined in this guide can help you restore your items to their former glory.

Remember to act quickly, use the appropriate cleaning agents, and be patient – sometimes removing beetroot stains may require a bit of elbow grease and repeated applications. By following these steps, you can confidently tackle any beetroot stain and keep your home, wardrobe, and skin looking their absolute best.

So the next time you’re whipping up a beetroot-based dish or enjoying the vegetable in its raw form, don’t let the fear of stains hold you back. Arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to remove beetroot stains, and embrace the vibrant color and delicious flavors of this versatile root vegetable.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.