How to Remove Licorice Stains


There's nothing sweet about licorice stains. If you've gotten a black or red licorice smudge on your clothing or carpet, you need to take the right action or risk making the licorice a permanent part of your jeans, shirt or floor.

Get Licorice out of Clothing

Remove the article of clothing and run it under cold water. Orient the stain so the water is hitting the back rather than the front of it. This will push any ground-in licorice back out the other side.

Spray a standard laundry stain remover onto the licorice stains, and leave the item to soak in a tub of hot water (or warm water, if it's a delicate fabric). Leave it for at least 30 minutes--the longer, the better.

Use liquid detergent to cover the stain. With a brush or your fingertips, gently massage the stained area before returning it to the soaking tub. Every 5 minutes or so, scrub the stain again. You should notice the licorice stains beginning to lift.

Put your clothing through the laundry as you normally would, making sure not to use bleach on any unbleachable fabrics.

Remove Licorice From Upholstery or Carpeting

Use the pointed end of a knife to remove any excess licorice from the surface of the upholstery or carpet.

Moisten a cloth using a citrus-based cleaning agent. Taking care not to saturate the entire carpet, gently dab the citrus cleaning agent directly onto the licorice stain.

Combine about 1/4 tsp. standard crystal dishwasher detergent with a cup of water, stirring the two together.

Use a white cloth to apply the solution to the stained area. A white cloth allows you to see how much of the stain the cloth is absorbing. Be sure to turn the cloth over frequently, using clean corners to blot the solution into the licorice stains.

Rinse the spot by dabbing lukewarm water on the stained area using a sponge. Let the stained area dry.

Consult a carpet cleaning professional if you're still having problems. Licorice stains can be tricky to remove, especially if they became ground in to the upholstery or carpet. You might need to have steam cleaning done to remove them fully.