Boiling Water Can Actually Clean Some Food Stains

Stains happen. If you've ever bitten into a slice of watermelon and had its juices end up on your white pants, let your little one do a little self-feeding only to be left with a very dirty onesie, or made a boysenberry pie that seeped onto your favorite tea towel or apron, then you are all too familiar with the stains these fruits can leave. But, as it turns out, there's an easy solution. Boiling hot water is the answer for removing fruit stains. It may seem like unconventional wisdom to use hot water instead of cold, but trust us when we say that this trick is worth keeping in your pocket for the next time you are eating fruit.

If you have a shirt or tablecloth with a fruity stain, boil some water in a kettle and take it to the bathtub. If you have a deep kitchen sink, that will work too. Place your stained article in the sink or tub and do a high pour so that the hot water hits the garment hard and fast, pushing out the stain. The high edges of the sink or tub should protect you from splashes, but you should still use caution. Whatever you're cleaning should be soaking wet by the time you're done pouring. You may have to repeat this process twice before the stain is completely gone, but it should work on most fruit stains.

Why does this work?

How and why does it work? It may seem odd that pouring boiling water from a high vantage point removes any stain better than simply running it under hot water, but there is science to back it up. It all comes down to how quickly the water molecules are bouncing about. The higher the temperature, the faster the water molecules are moving. Add momentum into the equation, and the water has a great chance of squirming its way between the offending stain causer and your fabric, thus removing the stain. 

Hot water works on a number of stains, particularly if they are protein-based and water-soluble stains. Fabric that has been tarnished by a tomato-based product, egg, or mustard, should be treated with hot water. If you forget which type of stain needs hot water, don't fret. The most important thing is that you run it under water quickly so that it doesn't dry and bake into your clothing before you go to wash it.