How to remove pollen stains from clothes and household items

So, you’ve received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and you feel so happy. In this stunning creation, there are maybe some flowers such as lilies that contain a lot of pollen. You maybe had a former bad experience with some pollen stains in your clothes or carpets. With our tips, this will soon no longer be a problem, just a lovely bouquet to enjoy and admire!

Better know the pollen structure to clean it

You should always bear in mind pollen’s unique and organic properties. You need to consider that pollen stains are not the same as other stains. Indeed pollen is dusty as opposed to liquid and it’s also non-absorbent. Looking under a microscope, you can see all barbs, tendrils and other structures that aim to get stuck and be spread by animals or pollinator insects. This is a very important aspect to consider to be able to use the appropriate method to remove it.


Pollen that accidentally has been rubbed into your clothes or carpets is quite hard to remove.

That’s a fact, lily pollen can stain everything that comes in contact with, leaving yellow or brown marks into your clothes, carpets and household surfaces. These stains are often resistant to traditional methods of cleaning because of their properties. Check our list of what you should not do:


  • Do not brush or rub with your hand. Indeed human skin contains oils that will help keep the pollen to the fibres.
  • Do not press the stain, you may press the pollen further down into the fibres. Try to keep the pollen right on the surface.
  • Do not wipe the stain, you may create a bigger area to clean as the yellow marks will spread across the surface
  • Do not add water. Indeed watering the fabric will dissolve the yellow powder and create a bigger area. Watering will come later, but right now, the best thing to do is to let the pollen dry.

Our tips to remove pollen stains

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! When possible, remove the anthers (tips of the stamens) of the flowers. This is the easiest way to prevent getting pollen on your clothes or carpets. Don’t forget to repeat it with every bud when opening, or just cut off the stamens. You can also use a tissue to wrap the anthers to pull them off. Immediately dispose of these as they are poisonous to cats. Many florists do this for bridal bouquet where the dress should remain immaculate. But if it’s too late and the stain is there, here are several tips:


  • Let the pollen dry totally – this is the MOST important step!
  • When dry, remove it with a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner
  • An alternative is a piece of adhesive tape that you press into the pollen
  • Grandma’s tip – hang the carpet(if possible), rug or clothes in the sun, especially when some stains are stubborn. Once totally dry, try the tape or vacuum method
  • For very difficult stains, once the pollen is DRY, soak the fabric in cold water for half an hour, rinse and dry in sunlight.


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