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How to remove toothpaste stains

We’ve all been there: you’re in a rush and just when you finish brushing your teeth, you notice a toothpaste stain on your shirt. Of course, kids manage to do this fairly often, but it’s extra annoying when it happens to us as adults! It might feel like your day has gotten off to a bad start already, but don’t worry, as it’s very simple to remove toothpaste stains.

A glass of red wine spilled onto a button-up shirt.

How to get toothpaste stains out of clothes

Regular toothpaste often contains titanium dioxide, which gives this teeth-cleaning product that fresh, white color. Because of this, just dampening your shirt or jeans with water usually isn’t enough to remove toothpaste stains completely. You’ll need something a little stronger, like a liquid detergent such as Persil® ProClean® Stain Fighter. First off, however, follow these simple steps:

  • If the toothpaste stain is still quite new, grab a blunt object like a spoon or butter knife, and proceed to carefully remove any excess toothpaste from the clothing item.
  • Get a damp cloth and very gently dab at the stain, but be careful not to rub vigorously, otherwise you run the risk of pushing the toothpaste stain deeper into the fabric. If the toothpaste stain has dried, then skip the first step but continue dabbing with a damp cloth.
  • Pour just a few drops of Persil® liquid detergent onto the stain and gently work it into the fabric using a circular motion.
  • Wash the clothing item according to the care symbols. Check if the garment is dry clean only, as it may have to be handled by a professional if so.

Remove toothpaste stains from whitening or gel types

Whitening toothpaste is a little different from regular toothpaste, because the former often contains very mild bleaching agents. These could affect darker or colored clothing with a deeper white stain. However, the same methods of how to remove toothpaste stains mentioned above still apply, but speed is really the key here. Work quickly to ensure that the stain doesn’t end up bleaching your clothing.

Gel toothpastes commonly have a dye to give them color, which looks fun but is a nuisance, especially on white clothing! Remove the toothpaste stains as we’ve already mentioned, but try to hang out the item in the sun to dry. This is because the sun works great at naturally removing discoloration on white clothing, like from gel toothpaste. 

As with all the stain-removing tips we’ve just discussed, be very careful not to throw the clothing items into the dryer until you’re sure that the stains have been removed. Drying on high heat can set the stain and make it virtually impossible to remove. If the stain hasn’t completely gone after washing, follow the same steps and wash again.