Lilies have large, pollen-filled stamens that protrude quite obviously from the centre of the flower. The pollen is a bright orange-yellow and adds to the attractiveness of the flowers. The pollen brushes off the stamen very easily and will adhere to any surface. It leaves a yellow stain that is nearly impossible to remove and gets worse if you add water and try to wipe it off. Stain removers will only lift the stain a little and fade it and bleach is harsh on clothing and works best on white items. Be careful when handling lilies, but there are steps you can take to remove the stains.
Shake the garment or piece of fabric to remove some of the pollen grains. Use the sticky side of a long piece of tape to pull up more pollen. Do not brush at the fabric and do not add water. This will spread the stain and set it into the fabric. Continue with fresh pieces of tape until you can remove no more pollen. If the stain is in the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner to pull up the pollen grains.
Set the garment in the sun for two to three hours. This often will remove the remainder of the stain. If it does not, rinse the back side of the stain with cold water and see if the last of the colour has rinsed out. For carpets, use a rag to flood the spot with cold water. Soak up the water and rinse the rag and repeat.
Soak the stain in cold water for 2 hours to loosen the stain. Rinse the back of the stain in cold water again. Continue the cold water rinse and soak up to three times. To further treat the carpet, soak a rag in cold water and lay it over the stain for an hour. If this has not removed the stain, you will have to wash the garment or shampoo the carpet.
Apply a pre-treatment stain remover to the fabric and rub it in. Let the treatment sit on the garment for at least an hour. Launder the garment in the hottest water that the fabric can handle. Use a washing powder that is safe for the fabric.
Rent, buy or borrow a carpet steamer. Pre-treat the stain with a carpet stain remover and let it sit for five minutes. Shampoo the carpet, running over the stain from several different directions.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images