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How to Remove Ketchup & Mustard Stains from Clothes

Summer often means fun in the sun, family barbecues, and hot dogs and hamburgers loaded with all of the fixings! Whether it's a hot dog, burger, or fries, it's common for ketchup and mustard to drip onto clothing. Luckily, there are several ways to remove these stains from clothes. In this blog post, we'll share some effective methods to help you get rid of ketchup and mustard stain.

Method 1: Scrape off the Excess Sauce

When ketchup or mustard falls on our clothes, don’t panic and try to rub at the stain! This tends to make both ketchup and mustard stains larger and more difficult to remove. The first step in removing these stains is to scrape off the excess sauce. Use a spoon or a blunt knife to gently remove as much of the sauce as possible without spreading the stain further.

Method 2: Rinse with Water

Turn the garment inside out and run cold water through the stain from the inside of the shirt, allowing the water to flow through the back of the stain. This will help remove any part of the stain that has not been set. Turn the shirt so the right side is out and lay it flat. Avoid using hot water as this can cause the stain to permanently set.

Method 3: Apply a Stain Remover & Wash the Clothing Item

If the stain remains, apply a stain remover directly to the affected area. We recommend testing the stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the clothing first to ensure it doesn't cause any discoloration. If you spot no discoloration:

- Spray the stain and gently rub the stain remover into the fabric
- Work the cleaner into the stain from the outside perimeter of the stain to minimize spreading
- Let the stain remover site for approximately 5 minutes and then launder with stain removing laundry detergent or pacs, such as Purex ® 4-in-1 + Oxi Pacs

If you don’t have a stain remover handy, you can try using a little bit of detergent or white vinegar to dab at the stain. Don’t rub the stain too harshly, you do not want to make the stain larger or set it further into the fabric.

Method 4: Check for Residual Ketchup & Mustard Stains

Both ketchup and mustard are very persistent stains so please check for complete removal before transferring the clothing from the washer to the dryer. If the stain has not been removed completely, repeat treatment with the stain remover or pour a little detergent (such as Purex ® + Oxi liquid detergent) onto the stain and gently rub in as you did before. If you were unable to tackle the stain when it was fresh, do not despair! Treat the stain as described above – just be aware that it may take an extra treatment cycle to remove the stain. Also, don’t forget to make sure that the stain is gone before putting the garment into the dryer.  
Removing ketchup and mustard stains from clothing may seem like a challenging task, but by following the steps above & using the right products, you can keep your clothes looking brand new all summer long.

For how to remove other popular summer stains, check out our how to remove ice cream stains & barbecue sauce stains. For our stain fighting detergent & other products, view our detergents along with our fabric boosters to keep your clothing smelling fresh.

Author: The Purex® Stain Lab

We understand that life gets messy and want to make laundry as easy as possible for you. With quality & value continuing to be at the core of our product development, we continue to create highly effective laundry detergent & supplies. We tested some of the toughest stains to keep your clothing looking brand new. View our Stain Lab for our best recommendations to get life's toughest stains out of your clothing.

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