How to remove banana sap stains from clothes?

To remove banana sap stains from clothes, scrape off as much of the stain as possible, then apply a stain remover, such as a mixture of white vinegar and water, borax, laundry bleach, or a commercial laundry pre-treatment solution, to the affected area. Next, work on the stains with a soft brush, then wash the clothes in hot water (if recommended on the care label; otherwise, use warm water) with a laundry detergent.

Sticky banana sap can leave stains on your clothes that can be challenging to remove.

However, there are a few simple methods you can use to remove banana sap stains from clothes (more on that below).

Key Takeaways

  • Rubbing alcohol and acetone are considered to be highly effective when it comes to removing banana sap stains.
  • Dry cleaning solvents can also be used to treat banana sap stains, especially if the fabric is labeled “dry clean only.”
  • No matter what kind of fabric your clothes are made of, you should test any chemical-based cleaners in an inconspicuous spot before attempting to remove the stain.
  • For delicate fabrics such as silk, it’s best to take them to a professional.

What is banana sap?

Banana sap is a sticky substance that is produced by the stem and leaves of a banana plant. It can be found on the skin of ripe bananas and can also be released when a banana is peeled or cut. The sap contains enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that can cause staining on clothing and other surfaces.

When banana sap comes into contact with fabric, it can cause a stain that is difficult to remove.

In fact, banana sap can permanently stain clothing (1).

Banana sap has similar characteristics to a dyestuff. As a result, once it settles, it is extremely difficult to remove from clothing (2).

How to remove banana sap stains from clothes?

Sap Stain TypePreferred detergentWater TemperaturePreferred Washing Method
Fresh StainLiquid detergent with enzymesWarm (90 to 110 F)Machine or hand wash
Dry StainStronger enzyme-based detergents & stain removersHot (120 to 130 F)Hand Wash

Note: The above table should be used as a general guide and not as a definitive solution. It’s critical to read the care label on your clothes and then modify your cleaning strategy because not all fabrics can withstand a hot wash or stronger stain-removing solutions.

A word of caution

Before treating any fabric, it’s important that you read the care label carefully to ensure that the fabric can handle the type of cleaning you intend to do.

Delicate fabrics like silk and the ones that cannot handle strong stain removers or are labeled “dry clean only” should be taken to a professional cleaner.

Methods to clean or remove banana sap stains

There are various ways or methods to remove or treat banana sap stains on clothes.

Use a butter knife or another sharp object to scrape off as much sap as you can before moving on to the next steps.

Method 1: Vinegar Soak

One method is to soak the stained clothing in a solution made of one part vinegar and two parts water for 30 minutes.

If you want, you can also add some liquid detergent to the solution to make it more potent.

Then, wash the clothing as usual and check if the sap stain has disappeared.

Method 2: Baking soda paste

Another method is to make a thick paste using baking soda and water.

Rub the paste over the banana sap on the clothing item and leave it to settle for about 20 minutes.

Rinse the stained parts with clean water, and then soak the fabric for another 10 minutes in a bowl of water (mixed with detergent).

Finally, give the clothing a thorough rinse, or just wash it as usual.

Method 3: Use a pre-treating solution

Make sure to apply a mild pre-treatment solution to the stained area of the garment.

Start by soaking the stained garment in cold water for about 30 minutes, as this will help loosen the sap.

Next, rub a pre-treating solution (also called a stain remover) into the stain, followed by rinsing the affected areas with clean water.

Lastly, put your clothes in the washing machine and wash them as usual.

Method 4: Dish soap

Sticky stains such as banana sap can be easily removed using dish soap.

If the sap stain is old or set in, you can apply liquid dish soap over the stained surface.

Gently spread the dish soap over the stained surface using your fingers and leave it to settle for about 10 minutes.

Now, pour a few drops of water and scrub the sap stain using a toothbrush for a minute.

Then, soak the stained portion in a bowl filled with cool detergent water for another 5 minutes.

Lastly, rinse the item well under clean running water; the stain should go away or get lighter.

That being said, you may have to repeat this step a couple of times and wash the garment as usual.

Method 5: Rubbing alcohol or acetone

If the above methods don’t work, you may need a stronger cleaning solution, like rubbing alcohol or acetone.

Make sure to test these strong cleaners on an inconspicuous part of the fabric first to ensure they won’t harm it.

In order to use this method, just dip a cotton ball in either rubbing alcohol or acetone and dab it over the sap stains (let it settle for 10 to 15 minutes).

Next, soak the stained portion of the garment for about five minutes in a bowl filled with detergent water, followed by working on the stained areas using a soft brush or your fingers.

Once you are done treating the sap stains, rinse the affected portion of the clothes under clean running water and wash the clothing as usual.

Method 6: Borax

Borax is a strong solution and is said to be the best alternative to removing banana sap stains from clothing.

However, applying borax to a garment’s surface should be done with caution; first, test a hidden area of the garment to confirm if it’s safe for your fabric.

If the fabric can handle it, just put a teaspoon of borax on the stain and a few drops of water on top.

Use a sponge or a soft-bristled brush to rub the stain gently until the sap is gone.

Next, rinse the garment and make sure to wash it as usual.

Method 7: Bleaching

As a last resort, you can use bleach on white garments or color-safe bleach.

In order to use bleach, start by soaking the garment in the solution for about 15 minutes, then transfer those clothes to a sink or bucket filled with detergent water.

Treat the stains carefully using a soft brush, and then wash the fabric as usual.

If all else fails, you can always bring your clothes to a professional dry cleaner. They will have the tools and chemicals needed to handle even the toughest stains.

How to remove banana stains from upholstery?

Step 1: Remove any excess banana sap

Using a butter knife or the edge of a spoon, scrape off as much of the excess banana sap as possible.

This is an extremely important step, as allowing the sap to remain on the upholstery will make it more difficult to remove the stain in later steps.

Step 2: Prepare the stain-removing solution

In a small bowl or container, mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent or baking soda with two cups of cool water.

Step 3: Apply the stain remover solution

Once the stain-removing solution is ready, it’s time to apply it to the stain-affected areas of your upholstery.

So, take a clean white cloth and sponge the stain with the stain-removing solution that you’ve prepared.

Step 4: Sponge and dry

Once the liquid is absorbed, sponge the stained area with cold water and blot it dry.

You may need to repeat the above steps if the sap stain persists.

How do you get banana sap stains out of the carpet?

Step 1: Get rid of excess banana sap residue

Start by using a scraper, butter knife, or spoon to get rid of any extra banana residue from the affected area.

This step is especially important if the sap is fresh and still wet.

Step 2: Prepare the stain-removing solution

Now, prepare a stain-removing solution by either mixing one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of warm water or simply mixing baking soda and detergent in a bowl of water.

Step 3: Dab the stained areas

The next step is to take a white cloth and gently rub the stain with the solution you made to get rid of the stain.

Once you have treated the stain, use a dry cloth to absorb any liquid from the stain.

Step 4: Reassess the stain and adjust

The next step is to reassess the stain and see if you need further treatment or not.

It’s perfectly normal if you see faded stains after the initial cleaning.

In fact, you should never overtry to remove a stain as it can damage the fabric; the stains will go away after a few washes.

If you feel you need even more aggressive treatment, you can do so by either using borax or ammonia as your stain-removing solution.

Final Thoughts

Removing banana sap from clothes can be a challenging task; however, with the right techniques and methods, you can get rid of the stain from your fabric.

Just make sure that you don’t try to treat the stains with something you don’t know much about or aren’t sure about.

There is always the option of visiting the nearest laundromat or a dry cleaning professional for help.

And most importantly, make sure to always test chemical or strong solutions on an area of the fabric that is hidden or not visible before using them on the stained area.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)