How to Remove Peanut Butter Stains

Peanut butter is a popular condiment, with over 90 million jars sold in America every year.  It can often be difficult to remove peanut butter stains from fabric and surfaces, because stains resulting from peanut butter are oil-based stains from the peanut oil. The oil is a thick, sticky substance, and is used in the production of many types of dyes, from hair to food color. 

Remove Peanut Butter Stains

Removing Peanut Butter Stains from Washable Fabrics

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Blunt knife
  • Prewash stain treatment
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Chlorine or color-safe bleach 

As with many stains, the sooner a peanut butter stain is treated, the easier it will be to remove. 

  1. Use a blunt knife to carefully lift any solid peanut butter from the surface of the fabric. The goal is to lift the peanut butter with spreading it or rubbing it further into the fabric. 
  2. Saturate the peanut butter stain with a prewash stain treatment. Aerosol stain treatments work the best on oil and grease stains, but any prewash treatment is acceptable. 
  3. Allow the treatment to penetrate the stain for several minutes. 
  4. Apply a thick layer of heavy-duty laundry detergent to the stain. 
  5. Immediately wash according to garment care instructions. 

Allow to air dry and check thoroughly for any remaining oil stains or discoloration. The stains may be difficult to see on wet fabric. The heat from the dryer may set any lingering stains and make them impossible to remove. If there is discoloration, wash in the appropriate bleach. 

Removing Difficult Peanut Butter Stains

Stains that do not remove easily using the above process often require the use of a solvent to break down the bond between the oil and the fabric's fibers. 

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Clean, white towels
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  1. Fold a clean, white towel until it is several layers thick. 
  2. Place the stained fabric on the folded towel so that the back of the stain is facing up. 
  3. Saturate the back of the stain with dry cleaning solvent. 
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Rinse under warm, running water.
  6. Wash with heavy-duty laundry detergent according to the fabric care label. 

Allow to air dry and check carefully for any remaining stain. If the stain is completely removed, you can wash and dry the fabric as usual.

Removing Peanut Butter Stains from Carpet

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Blunt knife
  • Eye dropper
  • Clean, white towel
  • Clear acetone
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Vinegar
  • Mild dishwashing detergent

Use the knife to gently lift the excess peanut butter from the surface of the carpet. Use caution to avoid rubbing the peanut butter further into the fibers, or over a larger area of the carpet. After the excess peanut butter has been removed, you can begin to remove the peanut butter stain.

  1. Use the eye dropper to apply a few drops of acetone to the surface of the stain. 
  2. Immediately blot with a clean, dry towel. 
  3. Use a clean, white towel to gently apply dry cleaning solvent to the stain. If the stain is large, work from the outside of the stain, moving toward the center. 
  4. Blot with a clean, dry towel until all moisture is absorbed. 

Most peanut butter stains will be removed at this point. If the stain still remains, combine one tablespoon mild dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon vinegar with two cups of warm water. Stir gently to combine.

  1. Sponge the vinegar/detergent solution over the stain and blot with a clean, dry towel. Repeat until the stain is removed. 
  2. Dampen a clean, white towel in cold water. Sponge over the cleaned carpet. 
  3. Blot with a clean, dry towel to remove the excess moisture. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the vinegar/detergentsolution is completely removed.
  4. Allow to air dry. 

Remove Peanut Butter Stains from Upholstery

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Blunt knife
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Clean, white towels
  • Dry cleaning solvent

Gently lift any excess peanut butter from the surface of the upholstery. Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda over the stained area. The baking soda will help draw the oils up out of the fabric and cushioning. Allow the baking soda to remain on the stain for fifteen minutes. Vacuum thoroughly. 

Once the baking soda is removed, immediately sponge the stain with a clean, white towel dampened with dry cleaning solvent. Blot with a dry towel to absorb excess moisture. Repeat the solvent application until the stain is successfully removed. 

Peanut butter stains can be successfully removed if treated quickly. Prewash stain treatments, detergents and dry cleaning solvents all help to break down the oils. Using the right products will speed up the process and produce positive results.