How To Remove Stains From Cross Stitch Fabric

Cross stitch is craftwork that takes a lot of patience and hard work to complete. If something happens to it, you will feel devastated. For example, if you have accidentally spilled something on your cross stitch fabric, you will have face stain marks. 

Stain marks on your cross stitch fabric will shatter your hard work all at once if not appropriately treated. Well, you won’t have to worry, as the stains are removable. So whether it’s a bloodstain mark or ink stain mark on your cross-stitch fabric, it’s savable with a few steps.

You can easily take the help of a few pieces of equipment and start removing the stains in your fabric. In this article, you will get to know every type of stain that can happen on your cross stitch piece. In addition, the article draws the main focus on how to remove them.

So, find out the washing, ironing, and drying tips for removing the stain marks on your cross stitch project.

How To Remove Stains From Cross Stitch Fabric

Cross stitch projects are amazing artwork that is made with the implementation of thread stitches on fabric. Similar to any handcrafted piece, your cross stitch will also need care and preservation.

What if the damage is already done, right? Are you worried about accidentally getting stain marks over your cross stitch piece? Well, you can say goodbye to worries, as you can easily remove the stains with washing, cleaning, ironing, and drying methods.

Furthermore, you must know that there’s a different procedure for removing different types of stains. If you have a vintage cross stitch piece, then you have to start with the removal of dust. There are several steps involved in removing the stains and washing your cross stitch fabric.

So, check for every detail you need to know about removing stains effectively and efficiently.

Your cross stitch project can get damaged with various types of stains. In this step-to-step guide, you will learn how to remove blood stains, ink stains, brown marks, rust marks, scorch marks, tea spilled stains, and thread bleeding stains. So, look out for each step for every possible stain on your cross stitch project.

1. Remove Rust Stain Marks

Rust marks are unusual to occur on your cross-stitch. However, it can happen to the frame where you’ve stored your cross stitch craftwork. Well, you can remove them easily and efficiently with the help of oxalic acid.

You have to get some oxalic acid from either online stores or local cleaning stores. Then, you have to gently apply about 10g of the oxalic acid with water onto the cross-stitch frame. This acid will bind with the iron rust and create a water-soluble solution from the reaction.

Then, you can wash it over a sink with tap water for about 10-15 minutes to restore the new shiny look.

2. Remove Blood Stain Marks

Bloodstain marks are common as they happen while sewing. At times your fingers can get hurt with the needle, or your nose may start bleeding, causing bloodstains. The key to solving this problem is speed. You have to be quick in action to clean out the stains.

Moreover, you must not leave the stain for longer as it will get more complicated for you to clean it later. You have to use salt and water in such a scenario to get immediate restoration from the stain marks. So, take a 3:1 ratio of salt and water, respectively. Put them on the stain and rub until the salt turns brown.

Then, you can wash off the cross-stitch and see the results. If you are not satisfied, you have to repeat this step again. In extreme cases, your bloodstain can dry out on the Aida and won’t come out so easily.

Then, take a bowl of lukewarm water and put some salt in it. Next, put the cross stitch piece in water and cover it with a non-transparent lid to avoid evaporation. You can remove the lid after 10-15 minutes, and the stain must have gone by then.

3. Remove Scorch Stain Marks

The scorch marks from your candles can be a common issue. Well, the best way to treat such a stain mark is using bicarbonate soda and water.

You can use about a 2:1 ratio of soda and water and rub it on the stain. This rubbing action and chemical reaction in your fabric will remove the top layer of threads to remove the stain.

However, you can also use a minimal amount of white vinegar to remove the dark burn color from the stain.

4. Remove Brown Stain Marks

If you have not washed your cross stitch fabric properly, it can leave brown marks. This happens due to the oils from your fingers that get stuck into the fabric. When this oil gets in contact with sunlight, it discolors and turns into brown marks.

The best solution is to iron your cross stitch after washing it in cold water with mild soap or detergent for about 5-6 hours. But, if you have already ironed the cross stitch before washing, then you will have to remove the stitches and redo them.

5. Remove Tea Stain Marks

If you’re a tea lover, then you will face the issue of tea spilled stain marks quite a few times. You can use cold water to rinse the cross-stitch fabric to remove the stain. Moreover, you can also use carbonated or soda water over the stain marks to remove the stain quickly and efficiently.

6. Remove Ink Stain Marks

Ink stains are the most irritating and troublesome marks to happen in your cross stitch project. But it’s always removable, so don’t worry about that.

You have to take a lemon and cut it. Then squeeze the lemon slightly and drip it over the ink stains. Then your ink will get wi[ed off. In addition, you have to wash the cross stitch after the process of stain removal. However, you should not use excess lemon as it can bleach and affect your fabric quality.

7. Remove Thread Bleed Stain Marks

Incorrect washing or unfavorable cleaning fluids can cause thread bleed marks in your cross stitch fabric. Removing these stains can take time, so you have to be patient.

Firstly, take a pan with the cross stitch piece down face up and add some ice on it. Then, you have to keep adding some extra ice every time it melts. So, repeat this procedure for about 3-7 days. The colder your project, the better removal of stains. So, you can choose to keep the pan in a freezer too.

Finally, you can wash it in cold water and make it dry, but not perfectly. Then, iron your cross stitch fabric, and your thread bleed will be gone.

Cupboard Essentials For Your Cross Stitch Stain Removal

It is not possible to get commercial stain removers instantly after accidental stain damage. However, your cupboard essentials act as a beneficial stain remover for your cross stitch in such cases.

Lemon And Tomato

You must have lemon or lemon juice in your cupboard. Well, this little citric essential can remove hard stain marks from your cross stitch. Even half a tomato can remove your cross stitch stains. Tomatoes release oxalic acid into your fabric to remove the stains.


If you have a stain on your cross stitch fabric, using white vinegar from your cupboard will be beneficial. 


Your common salt or table salt in the cupboard can come in handy as an excellent stain remover. Salt and water combine to remove stains, especially the ones with blood.

How To Test The Colorfastness of Your Cross Stitch Project?

If you want to test the colorfastness of your cross stitch piece, then check for the fibers. Testing the colorfastness of your cross stitch will prevent it from running dyes. The steps to test the colorfastness of the fabric is simple yet effective.

If you want to test the large block color of your cross-stitch, then dampen a clean cloth with cold water. Then, you have to rub it gently over every different shade of color in your fabric. For smaller areas, follow the same steps only with a cotton swab instead of cloth.

If you see any transmission of color from your piece of fabric to the clean white cloth, stop washing. So, try not to wash the piece ever as it will lead to fading and discoloration.

If you missed testing the piece and someone already washed it, then treat the dye stains with oxy bleach. However, you will have to soak the piece several times until the running dye gets exhausted.

Can You Remove Stains By Removing Stitches?

Yes, you can remove stains by removing stitches if your cross stitch is affected by stains over a small area. You can easily remove the stitches with a needle threader and put in the new one. Moreover, it takes less effort than cleaning and washing your cross stitch.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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