Mustard Stain: Doggone It!

man spilling mustard down front of his white shirt

If you’ve ever gotten mustard on your fingers while making potato salad, deviled eggs or anything containing mustard, you know how it can stain your skin. Imagine what it can do to your clothes! We all try to be careful when eating, but accidents do happen. You’re enjoying an outdoor barbecue with friends or taking in a ball game with your family when the unthinkable happens — a blob of mustard drips off your hot dog and onto your shirt. Is your only option to trash the shirt or use it for cleaning rags? Absolutely not. We’ll tell you how to remove mustard stains so your clothes will look like new again.

Why does mustard stain so bad?

Many people believe the mustard seed is what gives mustard its bold yellow color; it’s turmeric. Turmeric originates from the rhizome of an Asian plant in the ginger family and was once used as a fabric dye, and the reason mustard stains can be so difficult to remove.

The best way to remove mustard before treating it if you have excess you don’t want to spread around or a dried, crusty portion is to gently scrape using a spatula, dull knife, credit card, or anything with an edge that works for scraping without damaging the fabric.

How to remove mustard stains

Before we get into the best way to remove mustard stains, it’s important to know that ammonia reacts negatively with turmeric, essentially setting the stain in for good. Never use ammonia or cleaners that are ammonia-based when trying to remove mustard stains!

Regardless of whether you are at home or away from home, the stain should be treated right away so that it doesn’t set in further and become more difficult to remove. Follow these steps to get rid of the stain once you’ve removed any excess.

  • Whether at home or away, use cold water to flush the backside of the stain.
  • Use a clean towel to lightly blot the front side of the material.
  • If you’re away from home, keep blotting and use club soda or warm water to flush the stain.
  • If you’re at home, apply a stain remover to the spot before laundering the garment.
  • Consider wearing a yellow shirt the next time you eat foods with mustard on them!

Mustard stains can be frustrating! The good news is you don’t have to trash your favorite clothes all because you enjoyed a hot dog or burger! By following the tips above, that ugly stain will be gone for good.

If you found these hints useful, you may enjoy other cleaning tips from Molly Maid, the experts in all things related to house cleaning! To hire a professional housekeeper in your area, please contact your local Molly Maid for a free in-home estimate.