How to remove iodine stain

Do you have a pot with sticker residue that you can’t seem to get rid of? Or Maybe there is a stain on your white cotton shirt that won’t come out no matter how much Stainmaster you pour on? Beware – sometimes stains are tougher to remove than we think.

Iodine is an essential mineral that our bodies need for thyroid function, metabolism, and growth. However, it has also been used as a disinfectant and chemical bleaching agent. When these products come into contact with other materials, they can leave behind a stain.

There are several ways to remove iodine stains from various surfaces. If you can identify the source of the stain, using specific cleaning products may be more effective. In some cases, a professional cleaning service may be necessary. Here are some tips on how to remove iodine stains:

remove iodine stain

What is an iodine stain?

An iodine stain is an orange or brownish discoloration of the skin that can occur when iodine comes into contact with it. Iodine is a chemical element found in many food items, such as dairy products, seafood, and some fruits and vegetables. It’s also used as a disinfectant and can be found in some first-aid kits.

What causes iodine stains?

There are many factors that can lead to iodine stains, but the most common is simply using iodine-based products. Iodine is a very useful element and is found in many disinfectants, antiseptics, and even some foods. However, it can also be very damaging to fabrics and other surfaces.

When iodine comes into contact with these surfaces, it can cause a chemical reaction that permanently alters the color of the material. In some cases, iodine stains may be able to be removed with special cleaners or home remedies. However, in other cases, the stain may be permanent.

To avoid iodine stains, it is important to be careful when using any products that contain iodine. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid any contact with clothing or other surfaces that could be damaged.

Removing Iodine Stains from Skin

If you accidentally spill iodine on your skin, follow these steps to effectively remove the stain:

Method: Alcohol

  1. Dampen a cotton ball or clean cloth with alcohol.
  2. Gently rub the stained area, ensuring you cover the entire stain.
  3. Continue rubbing until the iodine stain fades away.
  4. Rinse the area with warm water and pat dry.

Removing Iodine Stains from Fabric

When dealing with iodine stains on fabric, you can try the following methods:

Method: Ammonia and Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. Mix a few drops of ammonia with a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Soak a white blotter (approximately the size of the stain) with the solution.
  3. Place the blotter over the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the blotter and rinse the fabric thoroughly.

Method: Sodium Thiosulfate

  1. Mix one tablespoon of sodium thiosulfate with one cup of cool water.
  2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with this solution.
  3. Rinse the fabric well after treating the stain.

Method: Dishwashing Detergent and White Vinegar

  1. Mix one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
  2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the solution.
  3. Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove any residue.

Removing Iodine Stains from Upholstery

When iodine stains find their way onto upholstery, you can try the following methods:

Method: Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Pour baking soda directly onto the stain.
  2. Pour vinegar on top of the baking soda.
  3. Allow the chemical reaction to occur for at least 4 hours.
  4. Rinse the area and wash the upholstery as usual.

Method: Rubbing Alcohol

  1. Sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Blot the stain gently to remove the iodine.
  3. Flush the area with alcohol and let it air-dry.
  4. Sponge the upholstery with cold water and blot dry to remove any remaining residue.

Removing Iodine Stains from Hard Surfaces

When iodine stains appear on hard surfaces, such as countertops or floors, try the following method:

Method: Dishwashing Liquid

  1. Create a solution of water and dishwashing liquid.
  2. Wet a clean white cloth with the dishwashing liquid solution.
  3. Dab at the stain with the cloth, gradually lifting the iodine stain.
  4. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.

Removing Iodine Stains from Carpet

To remove iodine stains from your carpet, use the following method:

Method: Household Soap

  1. Soak the affected area in water.
  2. Rub the stain liberally with household soap.
  3. Allow the soap to sit on the stain for about 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly and wash the carpet as usual.

Precautions and Tips for Iodine Stain Removal

  • Always perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area before applying any cleaning solution to ensure it does not damage or discolor the surface.
  • Act promptly when dealing with iodine stains to prevent them from becoming permanent.
  • Read and follow the instructions provided with commercial stain removers.
  • For delicate fabrics or valuable items, consider seeking professional assistance for stain removal.


Iodine stains can be stubborn, but with the right techniques, you can successfully eliminate them from various surfaces. Remember to choose the appropriate method based on the material you are treating, and always test any cleaning solution on a small area first. By following the methods outlined in this article, you’ll be able to effectively remove iodine stains and restore your surfaces to their original condition.


Q1. Can I use bleach to remove iodine stains from colored fabric? Bleach is generally suitable for white fabrics only. Avoid using bleach on colored fabrics, as it may cause discoloration. Instead, opt for alternative methods mentioned in this article.

Q2. What should I do if the iodine stain persists after trying these methods? If the stain remains after attempting the suggested methods, it is advisable to seek professional help, especially for valuable items or delicate fabrics.

Q3. Can I use these methods to remove iodine stains from wood surfaces? No, these methods are not recommended for wood surfaces, as they may cause damage. Instead, consult a professional or use specialized wood cleaners for stain removal.

Q4. Are iodine stains permanent? Iodine stains can become permanent if not treated promptly. It’s important to act quickly and choose appropriate stain removal methods based on the affected surface.

Q5. Can I use these methods for removing iodine stains from electronic devices? No, it is not recommended to use these methods on electronic devices or any water-sensitive equipment. Instead, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.