First, I apologize if this seems a bit off topic but since I can't find a StackExchange site where this fits, I imagine experienced gardeners would probably know how to solve this problem. So, I figured I'd ask here and take a chance.

This past Easter I bought my wife some flowers which contained Easter lilies. After the lilies bloomed, pollen fell onto a enamel-painted, white charger that the vase was sitting on.

When my wife went to clean off the pollen, and wash the charger, the pollen stained the charger and she cannot get the pollen off.

Are there any old, tried-and-true tricks that we can use to get the pollen stain off of a hard, painted surface?

  • I had a pair of shorts stained with lily pollen once. Believe it or not, a full day in the bright sun bleached it out! Try the natural UV rays. It works on tomato stained plastic kitchen ware too. – Evil Elf May 1 '14 at 13:10
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about gardening/landcaping as described in the help center. – J. Musser Jun 20 '14 at 0:49

If the pollen has already been wetted with water or cleanser and wiped, then the stain is probably set now. It will likely require some kind of enzyme or chemical treatment to remove from the painted surface of your charger. I have heard that vinegar can help in some cases, so you might try that to see if it removes the stain.

In the future, use sticky tape to blot up the DRY pollen. Or, if there is a lot, use the small nozzle attachment on your vacuum.

Btw, it is perfectly okay to take a small pair of scissors and just snip off the stamens in lilies (and other large flowers) so they don't drop pollen all over the place.

  • Thank you so much! Yes, well we've learned this the hard way. This topic was a bit difficult to google. Nearly all suggestions that I found regarding lily pollen stains were about getting it out of clothing, and none of them were optimistic. However, an enameled surface is much tougher than cloth. I'm not afraid of chemicals. I just hoped that someone knew of a solution that would break down the fats or enzymes that caused the yellow "chemical" in pollen to seep into the pores of the surface. – RLH May 1 '14 at 12:59
  • Can't answer because question is locked but turps worked for us on stainless steel and laminate kitchen bench. – Walf Dec 25 '16 at 21:57

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