How to Remove BBQ Stains from a Polyester Wedding Dress


Amanda asked: How do remove BBQ sauce from my 100% polyester wedding dress? I bought a used wedding dress, and it looks like BBQ or some kind of tomato based stain. How can I get that out at home?

An old stain is a difficult stain, so the success of this method will depend on many factors including the condition of the fabric, the exact cause of the stain, and the age of the stain. No matter what the situation, however, this combination of steps should improve or clean the stain completely.

You Will Need:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Soft brush (such as a toothbrush)
  • OxiClean Stain Remover
  • Shallow dish
  • Clean white towel

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Create a mildly sudsy solution of dish soap and water in the spray bottle.
  2. Spray the stain, preferably from both the inside and outside.
  3. Using very gentle pressure, use the brush to work the spray solution into the fabric.
  4. Repeat if necessary, and only if you see an improvement.
  5. If the stain remains, create a solution of OxiClean and water in a shallow dish. Place the dish under the stain, allowing the affected fabric to soak in the solution until the stain has disappeared.
  6. Once the stain is gone, hold a clean white towel under the stain and carefully “rinse” by pouring water over the affected area, allowing it to run into the towel.
  7. Smooth away any wrinkles from cleaning.
  8. Allow the dress to air dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Do not use chlorine bleach on a wedding gown. It may weaken the fabric or leave an unsightly or damaging film behind.
  • In place of the soap and water, you can use a laundry detergent made for delicate fabrics. Apply the detergent to the gown full strength and use the same cleaning process.


  1. I used Huggies Natural Care unscented baby wipes to spot clean my polyester satin wedding dress. Worked great to remove ground-in dirt on the hemline. In a few places, I had to really wet the spot to remove it, but I made sure to take a clean white towel and blot it dry. This is important to make sure there are no water spot rings. I used dove soap in a little water to remove some of the dirtier spots. If this doesn’t work, I have read that white chalk or baby powder will hide stains. The baby wipes cleaned my dress like new, but make sure you try this on an inconspicuous place to make sure it is safe for your fabric.

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