How to Remove Condiment Stains

Ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise all make our sandwiches more tasty, but when they end up on your shirt, they quickly lose their appeal. Just as each condiment has its own unique flavor; it also has a unique chemical makeup and requires a different cleaning solution to tackle the stain it leaves behind. As with any cleaner, you may want to try a test application on a small, hidden spot to be sure it does not damage the color or fabric of your garment.

Removing Ketchup and BBQ Sauce Stains

Mustard and mayonnaise stains are addressed further down the page.

You Will Need:

  • Lestoil
  • Mr. Clean
  • Spoon
  • Old toothbrush

How to Remove the Stain:

 

  1. Begin by using the spoon to scrape away excess “spillage” of the condiment from the clothing.
  2. Run some cold water through the stain from the back of the fabric. This will help to push the stain to front.
  3. Dab some lestoil onto stain.
  4. Scrub the stain gently with an old toothbrush.
  5. Rinse and repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
  6. When the stain is removed, wash the fabric as usual, following the directions found on the tag.
  7. When washed, air dry the fabric by either laying flat or hanging from a clothes line. DO NOT place in the dryer until you are sure the stain is completely gone—if any stain remains, the heat from the dryer will set the stain and it will be virtually impossible to remove.
  8. You can also apply Mr. Clean to the stain and allow it to set for 30 minutes. Then rinse and wash as usual.

Removing Mustard Stains

Mustard contains turmeric which gives it it’s beautiful color, and also acts like a dye. Because of this, it can be a very difficult stain to remove. While it’s used on lots of other stains, never use ammonia to remove mustard!

You Will Need:

  • Spoon
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Small bowl

How to Remove the Stain:

  1. Begin by using the spoon to scrape away excess “spillage” of the condiment from the garment.
  2. Run some cold water through the stain from the back of the fabric. This will help to push the stain to front.
  3. Combine 3 parts dishwashing liquid with one part alcohol in a small bowl
  4. Place the stained part of the garment in the bowl.
  5. Let the stain set in the solution for 10-20 minutes. It is normal for it to turn a dark brown color, it’s okay, it will wash out.
  6. Rinse the solution from the stain.
  7. Wash the fabric as usual, following the directions found on the tag.
  8. When washed, air dry the fabric by either laying flat or hanging from a clothes line. DO NOT place in the dryer until you are sure the stain is completely gone—if any stain remains the heat from the dryer will set the stain and it will be virtually impossible to remove.

Removing Mayonnaise Stains

You Will Need:

  • Spoon
  • Baking soda or corn starch
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Cleaning Solution: 1 T. dishwashing detergent, 1 T. white vinegar, 2 cups water
  • Clean white cloths or paper towels

How to Remove the Stain:

  1. Begin by using the spoon to scrape away excess “spillage” of the condiment from the clothing.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda or corn starch on the stain
  3. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes and then rinse.
  4. Apply dry cleaning solvent to the stain.
  5. Blot with clean cloth.
  6. If the stain remains, apply the cleaning solution.
  7. Blot with clean cloth. Repeat until the stain is completely removed.
  8. Rinse with clean, fresh water.
  9. Rinse thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue.
  10. If a mayonnaise stain persists, you can dab it with alcohol or vinegar.
  11. Wash the fabric as usual, following the directions found on the tag.
  12. When washed, air dry the fabric by either laying flat or hanging from a clothes line. DO NOT place in the dryer until you are sure the stain is completely gone—if any stain remains the heat from the dryer will set the stain and it will be virtually impossible to remove.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If the mustard stain is on a white piece of clothing, simply soak it in a bowl with ½ cup of water and a denture cleaning tablet.
  • If all else fails or if your garment is dry-clean only try taking your item to a professional cleaner.

 

Comments

  1. Clara says:

    I am in desperate need of a product that will remove starch & or sizing from cotton & linen fabrics. Can you recommend a product?
    Thank you,
    Clara

  2. Susan says:

    Fabric starches and sizing are water soluble and can be removed with normal washing. If several washings do not remove the starch, soak the item in water for several hours and then wash as normal. If the item is white, it can be soaked in a bleach solution to expedite the removal.

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