How to Get Mustard, Ketchup and Sauce Stains Out

Most of us have kitchen cupboards teeming with a number of condiments and sauces like mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce. These sauces top our favorite foods, adding to their flavor, but may easily be an accident waiting to happen. If you’ve spilled sauce or a condiment onto your clothing, removing the stain is as simple as following these tips.

Types of Mustard, Ketchup and Sauce Stains

The first thing you need to consider is the type of sauce you’re dealing with. Some may require extra care when removing. Typical sauces include:

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pasta sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Marinara

Sauce Stain Removal: Step by Step

  1. Scrape as much sauce away as possible
  2. Turn the clothing inside out and flush the stain with cool water from the backside
  3. Choose a detergent and stain remove based on the color and type of fabric
  4. Wash at the hottest temperature possible
  5. Check the stain

Get Rid of Extra Sauce

No matter what type of sauce you’ve dribbled on your clothes, your first step should be scraping as much of it as possible off. Then, turn the clothing inside out and flush cool water through the backside of the stain. This makes it easier for the stain to exit the clothing, as it goes back through the same fibers it came through.

Choose Your Detergent and Stain Remover

Opt for a detergent and stain remover that works best for the type and color of fabric.

  • Use Sil 1-for-All Stain Gel for colorfast laundry
  • Use Persil Universal Megaperls® or Persil Universal Gel for white clothing
  • Use Persil Color Megaperls® or Persil Color Gel for colored clothing
  • Use Perwoll Care for hand-wash-only garments and delicate fabrics

Pre-Treat the Stain

Check the colorfastness of your fabric before you begin. If you’re cleaning dyed laundry, treat it only with Sil 1-for-All Stain Gel, but do not allow it to dry before you rinse. After applying the detergent to the ketchup, mustard or sauce stain, let it soak into the fabric for a couple of minutes.

Wash and Rinse

After a few minutes of soaking in the stain remover, place the clothing in the washer using your detergent’s ‘heavily soiled’ dosage. Wash at the hottest temperature possible according to the fabric’s manufacturer label.

Check the Stain

After washing, check to see if the stain is gone before you place the clothing in the dryer. If it isn’t, wash it again using Sil 1-for-All Stain Gel.

Getting Mustard, Ketchup and Sauce Stains Out of Special Laundry Types and Fabrics

If you need to remove a ketchup stain from a shirt or a mustard stain from your pants, the steps above will typically be all you need to get rid of the stain. However, if your clothing is a delicate fabric, like silk, satin or wool, use Perwoll Care for your stain remover and hand wash the clothing. It may take a few additional washes to completely remove the stain, but this detergent will be gentler on the fabric. Other fabrics, like cotton and polyester will typically do well in the washer.

Special Conditions for Mustard, Ketchup and Sauce Stains

Have a sauce stain that has dried on your clothing? If you can, scrape off the old ketchup, barbecue sauce or mustard, then soak the fabric in warm water for thirty minutes. Apply the stain remover and let sit for a couple of minutes, then wash normally.

Removing Mustard, Ketchup and Sauce Stains From Different Colored Clothing

Condiment and sauce stains are notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially on certain colors of clothing. White clothing doesn’t mix well with red tomato sauces and ketchup, while darker clothing may stubbornly hang onto mayonnaise stains. Mustard contains turmeric, which acts like a dye and can be hard to remove on white shirts. The best way to get rid of these stains is to apply your detergent and wash the fabrics as quickly as possible.

Accidentally spill a condiment or sauce on your shirt or pants? Don’t let that stain ruin your clothing. Use these tips to remove it.