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How to Remove Mustard Stains From Clothing

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Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

Before and After Removing the Mustard Stain

Before and After Removing the Mustard Stain

Mustard Stains Can Be Tricky

The Backstory

The weekends are for lounging around in pajamas and relaxing. At least that's how we do it in my house. I love being comfortable and if I don't have anywhere to go, why get dressed?

This was my attitude on one such fateful day. I cooked a delicious meal of cheddar-filled sausage and fries. I had my sausages on Ballpark buns and loaded them up with ketchup and mustard. While enjoying my lunch, a nice blob of condiments landed on the leg of my pink pajama pants. I quickly wiped up the mess and continued eating. Once I finished, I changed and did a load of laundry.

While folding and putting away my freshly washed clothes, I noticed that my beloved pink pajama pants weren't quite as clean as I had hoped. Defiantly staring at me were two bright yellow spots, evidence of my messy eating habits from lunch.

I chuckled to myself as the irony hit me. A month or two ago I had written an article featuring essential items every adult should have in their house. One of my friends had specifically asked about mustard stain removal and as it wasn't something I had ever dealt with, I did a little research to try to help. Life is full of jokes.

What Didn't Work

I immediately set out to try to remove the stain. My first plan of attack was to take an old rag, soak it in hot water, and dab vinegar on the offending yellow spots. The mustard was laughing at me, becoming brighter with every dab. After a little more research, I realized that heat only sets the stain deeper into the cloth fibers.

I then initiated Plan B. I ran the area under cold water, and using a new dry rag, continued dabbing vinegar on the spots. This helped dull the stain, but wasn't doing anything to remove it.

The third time is the charm! Using my liquid laundry detergent, I was able to successfully destroy all the evidence and had the last laugh as I finally defeated my resilient foe.

Below I've outlined the exact steps to remove mustard stains from your clothes. I recommend tackling your mustard stain as soon as you can, preferably before you wash and dry the article of clothing. However, if you forget and just toss it in, this method will still help you tackle this tricky foe.

How to Get Mustard Out of Clothes

Items you'll need:

  • Cold water
  • Detergent like Tide Simply OXI
  • An old rag

Step 1:

Run the area of the stain under cold water and wring it out.

Step 2:

Lay the clothing item flat. Pour a generous amount of Tide Simply OXI liquid detergent on the stain.

Step 3:

Take an old rag, and using good old-fashioned elbow grease, rub the detergent into the stain. Keep going as the stain fades. Once it looks like the yellow is gone, rinse with cold water.

Step 4:

Check and see if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process above until all the yellow spots are gone. It took me three rounds.

Step 5:

Wash your clothing in cold water. Once the washer is done, verify the stain is gone before drying.

Step 6:

Wear your clothing item with pride and confidence. You defeated the mustard villain!

Why Is Mustard One of the Most Challenging Stains to Remove?

The obvious culprit is turmeric. In addition to being delicious and beneficial for your health, this spice is also a powerful natural dye. No wonder an accidental blob on your shirt or pants becomes a bright, yellow nightmare, constantly reminding you of your messy eating encounter.

What I didn't realize in my first attempts was the distilled vinegar element. This is one of the basic ingredients in mustard and a helpful item to have around the house. According to Aqualux Carpet Cleaning, this mild acid actually opens fibers and allows the turmeric to settle in for the long haul.

Using hot water and dabbing distilled vinegar on my pajama pants, I was actually helping the turmeric do what it does best. However, two bright yellow spots on my very pink pants are a far cry from the tie-dye trend and not a look I'm trying to rock.

The moral of this story is crystal clear: put a napkin in your lap and spread a less generous amount of mustard on your sausages. If your attempt to prevent this crisis fails, work smarter, not harder. Attack the stain right away with choice weapons: an inexpensive jug of Tide Simply OXI, cold water, and elbow grease.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Alyssa


Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 25, 2020:

I agree, Peggy! I hope this is helpful for the future! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 25, 2020:

Thank you Danny!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 25, 2020:

As soon as I saw the stain still on my pajamas, I laughed to myself and thought of you, Pamela! Then I set to work trying to figure out how to remove it. Because it's a tricky one, I thought I would share my success. I hope this is helpful in the future! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 25, 2020:

Hahahaha! No worries Bill. I hope this is helpful :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 24, 2020:

Turmeric is a great thing to consume for people with arthritis, especially if combined with pepper. Having stains on one's clothing, however, is not so lovely. Thanks for the tips about removing yellow mustard stains from clothing.

Danny from India on September 24, 2020:

Alyssa, thanks for sharing the tips. Your tips will not only assist in removing mustard stains but for other stubborn stains too.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 24, 2020:

I remember asking someone ib Hubpages about removing mustard from clothing but I don't remember who it was. Anyway I doI so appreciate this article. Alyssa, I appreciate these steps for mustard removal.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2020:

I solve this problem by not eating mustard. lol But Bev does, so I'll pass this along to her, because she has a dripping issue sometimes when eating (please don't tell her I said that)