A plantain is a starchy vegetable in the banana family that can wreak havoc on clothing. During peeling, plantains ooze a white liquid that turns into a brown stain on clothing, hands and cooking utensils. Plantain stains on clothing are usually permanent. The best way to avoid getting plantain stains when you are cooking is to apply oil to your hands and knife prior to peeling or cutting plantains, or to cut them under cold, running water. If this advice comes too late and you already have plantain stains on fabric, there are several methods you can use to remove the stains.
According to LifeTips.com, rubbing alcohol removes chlorophyll and is effective for grass stains and other botanical stains. Depending on the type of fabric, rubbing alcohol may not completely remove the plantain stain, but it may fade it so it appears less conspicuous. Soak the stained cloth in a bowl filled with rubbing alcohol for half an hour. Then wash the garment as usual on the warmest setting recommended for the fabric. If the plantain stained a small spot on the fabric, dab the spot with rubbing alcohol several time before washing.
The plantain is a cooking staple in India, where it is widely used in its green and yellow stages as a vegetable and in its black stage as a fruit. According to the Indian Beauty Blog, to remove plantain or raw banana stains, immerse the stained fabric in water mixed with a generous amount of salt. Allow the garment to soak for two to four hours, and then wash it in warm water.
According to Useful Cooking Tips, the best way to remove plantain stains from hands is with lemon juice. This logic also applies to cloth. Before you wash the plantain-stained fabric, apply lemon juice to the affected areas. Be aware that lemon juice can remove color from some types of fabric, so you may want to test a small area before dousing your garment. After applying the lemon juice, let the fabric dry, then wash in the warmest temperature recommended for the fabric. According to Chowhound, lime juice also works on plantain stains.
Because of its high acidity level, vinegar is effective in removing difficult stains from fabrics. According to How To Get Rid Of Stuff, vinegar severs a stain from cloth fibers. To remove plantain stains, soak the stain in equal parts white vinegar and warm water. After soaking the fabric, apply the vinegar directly to the stain. Then wash the garment as you normally would using your preferred laundry soap and warm water.
A seasoned public relations professional, Kristen McClung has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience. She has created publications for a wide range of clients, including real estate, business, engineering, education, religion and non-profit organizations, and has written and edited for Work.com and contributed articles to eHow. McClung has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University.