It’s always great to see a child eating what’s good for them, and you can’t get much better for them than a banana. Unfortunately, bananas are not just good for us. They’re also very good at staining clothes.
In this article, we’ll find out just what it is about a banana that makes it such a wiz at discolouring clothing.
But, before we do, we’ll get straight on with what to do when it happens. Happily, there are a few alternatives, so you can go household or shop-bought.
Ready? Let’s peel the banana subject and see what’s within.
Get to It Quickly!
The good news is that banana stains are fairly easy to get out of your clothing, as long as you get to them before too much time elapses.
You know the way bits of banana turn brown quickly if left out on a plate? That’s because they oxidise, and this is the process that makes a banana stain that’s left in place a whole lot harder to shift.
So, as soon as the banana hits the garment, swing into action. Much like a banana-bonkers baboon.
Banana Stain Removal Tactic 1: Washing-Up Liquid
This one’s a cinch. Using a spoon, scrape off any excess banana. Then get some standard washing-up liquid and mix it with some cold water, in the ratio of one dessertspoon in one cup of water.
Use a clean white cloth to sponge the stain until it’s covered. Then blot with kitchen towel until the excess water is absorbed. Once this is done, stick the garment in the wash on as hot a programme as it can stand.
Banana Stain Removal Tactic 2: Bicarbonate of Soda
If you’ve done the whole household-product-as-stain-remover thing before, it probably won’t surprise you in the least to read that bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) does the business with bananas.
Once you’ve got rid of any outstanding bits of banana, apply some bicarbonate of soda paste to the stain, covering it. Leave for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water (you might need to work at it a bit with your fingers).
You may find that this is all you need to do to absorb the stain. If it’s still visible, however, try rubbing on a little of your usual laundry detergent and leave in place for five minutes.
Then rinse under the hottest water the garment can handle, sending the water from the inside of the clothing outward so that the stain is forced back out through the front of the material.
Banana Stain Removal Tactic 3: White Vinegar
Another cupboard stalwart in the struggle against stains is white vinegar, which has a gentle bleaching action so can be a good choice if you’ve got banana on a white garment.
Dilute it 1:1 in water then apply to the stain. Then rinse off and wash in a normal wash.
You can also use lemon juice. It has a similar power (it’s all about the acidic nature of these substances).
Note – always test on an inconspicuous part of the garment first, just to be on the safe side.
Banana Stain Removal Tactic 4: Stain Remover
Again, remove any excess banana with your trusty spoon. Then run the garment under plenty of cold water until the stain has been totally soaked. Then apply some stain remover, like Ecover Stain Remover.
Finally, put in a hot wash. That should spell the end of all that banana bother.
Help! It’s Still Stained!
If, after doing the above, that banana stain’s still hanging on in there, it might be time to bring out the bleach.
If your clothing’s white and it’s up to it, try some regular chlorine bleach. Be sure to wear personal protection though – gloves, goggles and a facemask are recommended.
If, on the other hand, your clothing is coloured or otherwise unsuitable for regular bleach, you might find that oxygen bleach is a better bet. It’s gentler but still has excellent banana-busting power.
So, How Do Bananas Do It?
Well, we mentioned the oxidation process, which can be a real headache with banana stains that have been allowed to turn brown or black.
However, even before this happens, bananas are capable of giving your clothes a really bad day.
This is because of the oils which bananas contain in abundance. Those oils can be very bad news for clothing.
One of the best things about banana oil is its effect on leather. Next time you’ve got a banana skin handy, rub the inside of it all over your shoes – you’ll be delighted with the results.
A Final Thought
Hopefully, by following one or more of these options, you’ll see off all that banana baloney.
But, as ever with these things, it’s imperative that you check to make sure that the stain’s disappeared before you go and tumble dry your clothing.
Nothing sets a stain like a spell in the tumbler, so give your garment a proper inspection first. If you don’t, that’s a potential calamity right there. You could call it a banana skin.
Right, time to split.
Martin’s life revolves around films, dogs and food, but rarely all at the same time. At least two out of these three like to give clothes and furniture a hard time, and Martin enjoys discovering and writing about new ways to stop them doing their worst.