Even the most careful eater sometimes encounters a mustard stain. Whether it’s from a sneaky rogue blob of ketchup-mustard or an overzealous hotdog, mustard stains can be tricky to get rid of.
When you’re running late for work and you realize that you have a mustard stain on your shirt, it can be tempting to just throw the shirt in the trash and go buy a new one. However, there are a few quick ways to remove the mustard stain without having to waste time or money. Keep reading to learn how to remove mustard stains from clothes – plus secret tips and tricks!
How to Remove Mustard Stains from Your Clothes: 10 Proven Methods
1. Hot Water And Regular Liquid Laundry Detergent Method
Hot water and regular liquid laundry detergent are a fabulously effective duo when it comes to mustard stain removal. If you happen to have a freshly stained garment, your first step should be to try out this method.
- Simply mix the liquid detergent and hot water together, then apply the mixture to the stained area of your clothing.
- Leave this solution on for 30 minutes to 1 hour to give it time to break down the stain – and if you don’t see any improvement after that, soak the item for another hour or until you notice a change.
- After you’ve let them sit, rewash them normally according to their fabric label instructions; this should then be enough to remove any remnants of the mustard stains. If not, soak a little longer until satisfied with the results.
- Finally, air-dry and voilà – good as new!
2. Apply a Commercial Stain Remover
Look for a commercial stain remover that does not contain ammonia. Ammonia and turmeric, an ingredient found in mustard that produces its yellow color, are like red wine and white clothes: it’s best for them to stay far apart. Chemical reactions between these two substances can actually make the stain worse, causing it to become more difficult to remove.
- To start, blot at the stain with a clean cloth or tissue paper to absorb as much of it as possible before applying the stain remover.
- Then, using an eyedropper or sponge, carefully apply some commercial stain remover onto the affected area. Make sure to follow any instructions on the label and not use too much liquid.
- Let it work its magic on your garment for approximately twenty minutes before putting it in the washing machine.
- Finally, when doing laundry check that the mustard stain is completely gone before taking out the items from the dryer!
3. Vinegar And Dishwashing Liquid Method
You can clean up the mustard mess quickly, with a handy solution of white vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and warm water.
- Mix these ingredients together until they form a bubbly solution, then continue with the method. Don’t be alarmed by why the mixture begins to foam – this is completely normal!
- Take this mixture and drench the stained part of your garment until it’s fully saturated with the solution.
- Leave the fabric to soak for at least thirty minutes, unless you want to get extra fancy with some scrubbing in between.
- Once you’re happy that all residue is gone, rinse your item off with warm water.
4. Glycerine And Cotton Balls Method
Did you know that one of the best methods for removing mustard stains from clothing is by using glycerine and cotton balls?
- Start by applying glycerine to the affected area of the garment – this will soften and loosen the stain material ensuring it comes away more easily.
- Allow the glycerine to work its magic for between 30-60 minutes, then take a selection of wet cotton balls and dab them at the stained area; this should help remove any remaining matter.
- You may need to repeat these steps several times until you are completely satisfied with the results – but once finished, you’ll have a garment free from annoying mustard stains!
5. Hydrogen Peroxide Method
Hydrogen peroxide is a marvelous cleaning tool with numerous uses – from whitening teeth to disinfecting wounds. But perhaps its most amazing quality is its ability to lift stubborn stains out of clothing! If the garment is made from a sturdier material such as cotton or polyester, it likely will tolerate hydrogen peroxide.
To use this method for removing mustard stains, simply add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the washer drum before adding the water and clothes; then wash as usual.
Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide may leave some bleaching effects as it works its magic; but if used judiciously, you’ll find yourself successfully battling stubborn mustard stains in no time!
6. Rubbing Alcohol Method
To create a cleaning solution that can save your favorite shirt or pair of pants, follow these steps:
- Combine one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol with three tablespoons of liquid dish soap and a cup of warm water.
- While wearing rubber gloves, liberally pour this solution onto the stain and allow it to remain there for 10 minutes to break down the mustard oils.
- Finally, rinse out with warm water and launder as usual.
7. Chlorine Bleach (White Clothes Only)
While it is true that chlorine bleach can be an effective means of removing mustard stains, it must also be used with caution. After all, only whites are suitable for bleaching and this chemical should never be used on anything made from wool, leather, or silk – or even items labeled “washable wool” for that matter!
In addition, using too much of the bleach or letting them soak too long can lead to yellowing; so set a timer and always wear gloves to keep your hands safe from irritation.
To use, fill your washing machine’s bleach dispenser with the appropriate proportion of bleach and water, or for hand-washing, pour a diluted solution directly into your washing tub. For best results, use 1 part bleach to 30 parts water.
8. Color-Safe Bleach for Non-White Clothes
Color-safe bleaches provide the cleaning power of regular bleaches, but without putting your colored garments at risk.
Here’s how it works: color-safe bleaches contain smaller molecules that easily penetrate fabrics while still removing dirt and stains. And because of their chemical formula, they don’t run like traditional bleaches and do not cause overly dramatic fading or discoloration of your clothes.
Simply submerge your garment in cool water and add a color-safe bleach and everything they touch will turn out perfectly in the end. Try to soak for at least 30 minutes, and if that doesn’t quite do the trick it may take several rounds of soaking for the best results.
9. Baking Soda Method
To use this method, simply create a paste of baking soda and white vinegar, apply it to the spot and then put it through its paces with a full wash cycle. Voila! No more mustard stains to worry about. Why does this combination work? It comes down to science!
Vinegar is acidic, and so naturally neutralizes the properties of the mustard that adhere it to the fabric. Plus, when vinegar reacts with baking soda (which is basic/alkaline), it creates carbon dioxide – an effective degreaser that helps break down the proteins in the stained area, allowing for a successful laundering!
10. Oxalic Acid Method
Oxalic acid is an organic compound best known for its ability to form crystals of calcium oxalate – but don’t worry, this rarely poses a health problem. This acidic compound has many commercial uses, from producing rust remover and wood bleach to refining sugar and bleaching fabrics.
- To start, make sure to wear rubber gloves in case any spillages occur.
- Mix three parts of hot water with one teaspoon of oxalic acid powder, stirring until it forms a paste-like consistency.
- Carefully apply this paste to the stained areas, using a stiff brush to really get it in there.
- Thoroughly rinse with cold water before finishing off with some warm water.
- Finally, leave your clothes somewhere they can air out properly.
This method works best on shoes, but it can be used for other fabrics as well.
How to Remove Mustard Stains from Non-Washable Fabric
Removing a mustard stain can seem like an intimidating job, especially if it’s on non-washable fabric. Before attempting to remove the stain, start by lifting away any excess mustard with a dull knife, a fork or a spoon. Then, follow these instructions:
- Apply a dry cleaning solvent or specific stain remover to the affected area, taking care not to use too much – remember, you don’t want it printing through the other side!
- If the fabric isn’t too delicate, use a soft brush or toothbrush dips in cleaner and make gentle back-and-forth strokes over the surface of the fabric.
- Dab with an absorbent white cloth to absorb any excess liquid until the spot fades away.
After the initial application, observe the effects; if some stain remains on the fabric, then it’s time for additional steps.
- A sponge dampened with water should be used to make light strokes outward from the center of the stain, and once that has been applied, a wet sponge with a few drops of white vinegar should follow.
- Use a tamping motion while applying either ingredients to help loosen up stubborn stains and once that is done, flush with cold water.
If all else fails, it’s time to bring in the heavy artillery – either hydrogen peroxide and ammonia or a professional cleaner!
- For white fabrics, mix three percent hydrogen peroxide with a drop of ammonia and apply directly on the spot.
- Make sure to not leave the solution on for longer than 15 minutes – otherwise, you risk damaging the fabric.
- Flush out with cold water and let your garment dry completely.
When it comes to colored fabrics, we recommend taking them to a professional cleaner as homemade treatments may cause bleaching and discoloration.
5 Secret Tips for Removing Mustard Stains From Your Clothes
No matter how careful you might be when dealing with condiments like mustard, accidents happen. Here are some tips for effectively removing mustard stains from your clothes:
- When you first notice the stain, blot it with a paper towel or cloth, being sure not to spread it further.
- For dried stains, scrape away as much as possible with a dull knife or a spoon before taking any other steps.
- When you are ready to wash the clothing item, select the water temperature setting that matches its type: hot for white cotton, warm for chlorine resistant colors, and cold for delicate items such as silk and wool.
- Always check the cleaning instructions on your clothing label before attempting any kind of stain removal technique.
- If none of these approaches is effective enough for you, and you’ve already tried scrubbing off anything that’s loose enough to be removed, then don’t give up hope just yet – try repeating the cleaning method with hot water instead of cold water, as long as it won’t damage your clothing too much.
By following these few tips you’ll be able to salvage even your favorite shirt and keep mustard mishaps from ruining your day!
It’s a fact of life – sooner or later, you will deal with mustard stains on your clothes. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to avoid them; these stubborn little yellow spots seem impossible to eradicate. But don’t panic because we shared with you these 10 simple and effective methods for treating mustard stains on your clothes.
Whether you resort to hot water and regular liquid laundry detergent, hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, it’s important not to panic and instead use a logical and tested method for stain removal. When all else fails, call in a professional dry cleaner with experience in stain extraction. Good luck cleaning!