How to Remove Saliva Stains From Fabric

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Things You'll Need

  • Pre-treatment stick or spray

  • Liquid laundry detergent

  • Color-safe bleach


Check the care label on your fabric before treating it. If the item is dry-clean only, do not try to remove the stains at home. Take care of stains within the first 24 hours, if possible. Never rub stains with a colored cloth. Doing so may transfer dye, adding to your problem. Don't put clothes in the dryer until the stain is completely removed, or the stain will set.

Treat saliva stains promptly.

Saliva stains from a young child or pet leave ringed marks on fabric. Saliva contains protein, so you'll want to handle stain removal as you would for other protein stains such as blood, egg and urine. The most important thing to remember when removing saliva stains is to avoid using hot water. Hot water cooks the stain, causing it to adhere to the fabric fibers.



Step 1

Apply a pretreatment spray or stick to the stain. Soak the fabric in cold water for one hour.

Step 2

Remove the fabric from the water and wring it out with your hands. Pour 1/8 cup of liquid detergent directly on the stain. Wash the fabric in a regular wash cycle.

Step 3

Add color safe bleach to the wash cycle if the stain is colored (baby food). Wash as directed in step 2. Check that the stain is gone before drying. Repeat the above steps if necessary.



Step 1

Check the furniture's fabric label for a "W" which indicates it is safe to use water-soluble cleaners. Treat a small inconspicuous corner of the upholstery first to make sure dyes won't bleed. Spray a small amount of pretreatment product or upholstery shampoo onto the stain. Wait 30 minutes.

Step 2

Wet and wring out a soft, white cloth. Blot the stain with the damp cloth, but do not rub it.

Step 3

Spray fabric labeled with the letter "S" (solvent) with a dry-cleaning solvent. Apply sparingly and blot with a dry, white cloth. Don't rub or use water on this furniture. Open a window or run a fan for ventilation.


references & resources

Julie Christensen

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."