How To Get Food Stains Out Of Clothes
Home » Clean Clothes » Stains Clothes » How To Get Food Stains Out Of Clothes

How To Get Food Stains Out Of Clothes

Food Stains Make Clothes Look Unsightly
Food stains can make your clothes look unsightly, and it’s time to tackle them properly!

Both you and I more or less already knew how to get food stains out of clothes. Am I right? That is to say; food stains are one of the most popular stains on a daily basis.

The stain might come from butter, berries, chocolate, curries, coffee…The list can stretch from here to forever.

As you can see, they’re varied, and you might need a lot of effective methods, tricks, and tips to tackle each of them and save your items from being thrown away.

Start with 18 common food stains that you might encounter every day, and then dive deep into several valuable tips and tricks for cleaning food stains.

18 Annoying Food Stains And How To Eliminate Them Effectively

If you’re a person who always drops food on the clothes, you might keep scrolling to find out the suitable method for your current food stains. Whether they’re caused by juice, tea, ketchup, gum, or anything else, I hope I’ve got you covered.

Red Wine

Red Wine Stains
Red wine stains can be tough to remove.

During holidays, there is a good chance that some drops of red wine are going to drop on your beautiful skirt, or someone might spill it on you accidentally in the middle of a party. Have no fear; even red wine creates a stubborn stain on your item; I can show you how to deal with it.


Salt is ideal for eliminating red wine stains on shirts or linen. Some often use it to tackle unwanted armpit stains and odor from fabric. That is to say, salt is essential in many stain removal home remedies.

Keep reading to learn how to work with this miracle and versatile ingredient.

What You’ll Need

  • Boiling Water
  • A clean cloth
  • A bowl
  • Salt


Step 1: Dab the red wine stain with a clean cloth to soak up excess liquid.

Step 2: Stretch the affected garment over a bowl and keep it as straight as you can.

Step 3: Add a layer of salt to the stain.

Step 4: Pour boiling water into the need-to-treat area.

Step 5: Launder with the warmest water setting of your washing machine.

The easiest way to remove a red wine stain you must know now!

Watch this video: Way to Remove a Red Wine Stain

Baking Soda/Salt And Club Soda/Dishwashing Liquid +Vinegar

This method definitely helps you get rid of annoying red marks on your favorite shirts. Wait no more and try it now.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda/Salt
  • Paper towels
  • Club soda/dishwashing liquid +vinegar


Step 1: Baking soda or salt can be used interchangeably to stop fresh red wine stains from spreading on your garments.

Step 2: Put paper towels right under the affected spot to absorb excess red wine.

Step 3: If the red wine spot is large, you need to put a layer of salt on the paper towel before placing the garment on it, then continue to add another salt layer on the stain. Allow the salt to work in 10 minutes.

Step 4: Remove salt by rinsing your item with club soda or equal parts of white vinegar and dishwashing liquid.

White Wine

What You’ll Need

  • White wine
  • White vinegar
  • White, clean towels


Step 1: Apply a lot of white wine to saturate red wine marks.

Step 2: Blot dry with clean towels.

Step 3: Repeat the process a few times.

Step 4: You can also flush the stain with white vinegar until you get the expected result.

Step 5: Launder as usual.


It’s undeniable that you like berries, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more. They taste super tremendous and are extremely good for your health.

While you are engrossed in eating berries, you might get so excited that you will subconsciously wipe your dirty hands on your shirt.

That’s why you need this method below.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is powerful enough to remove berry stains and mild enough to not damage your clothes. Amazingly enough, this pantry-friendly ingredient can also lift stubborn rust marks from clothing. Here’s how to apply it properly:

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Boiling water


Step 1: To get the best result, turn the fabric inside out.

Step 2: Pull the stained area tight over a large bowl and secure it with a rubber band. Pour boiling water over the stain. This way, you can make sure that the water can cover all of it.

Step 3: Hang it dry for several hours, then soak the affected spot in white vinegar, rinse and let it dry or you can dab white vinegar onto the stain and soak in cold water before washing as usual.

Berries Can Cause Stains
Berries can cause stains you don’t want to deal with.

White Vinegar And Dishwashing Liquid

Another way to tackle berry stains is to treat them with a combination of white vinegar and dishwashing liquid. It’s a familiar and convenient home remedy you could keep in your back pocket.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water


Step 1: Rub the mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and dishwashing liquid onto the affected spot.

Step 2: Let it stand for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Step 4: Launder as normal.


Juice is an essential part of your daily diet, for example, orange juice, grape juice, apple juice. So no matter how careful you are, getting spills from a cup of fruit juice seems to be predictable.

If it’s your case, check this out!

Laundry Detergent

Cleaning your clothes with laundry detergent seems to be enough to remove juice stains from your garment. Let’s see!

What You’ll Need

  • A butter knife
  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent


Step 1: Ditch any dried pulp from the juice left on the stained fabric with a butter knife.

Step 2: Rinse the stain under cold run water.

Step 3: Launder according to the care label with the hottest water temperatures your items can handle.

Step 4: If the stain persists, soak your clothes in a mixture of laundry detergent and water overnight. Then wash again as usual.

Step 5: Keep in mind that you need to check the garment carefully to ensure the stain has gone away.

Fruit Juice Can Cause Stains
Fruit juice is good for you but not for your favorite item.

Laundry Detergent And Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural bleach so mixing it with laundry detergent can create a more powerful cleaning solution for your stained fabrics.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Cold water


Step 1: Submerge your items into cold water and gently remove excess pulp.

Step 2: Hold the stain under running water until it disappears. If not, apply a generous amount of vinegar and laundry detergent onto it. Then, wash as usual with the highest water temperature your garments can accept.


Let’s start with the simplest method to remove coffee stains. If the stain is too persistent, you can move to the following method. Happy cleaning!

Coffee Stain
Coffee stain belongs to the tannin-based type of stain.

Method 1: For Fresh Coffee Stains

Fresh coffee stains can be removed simply with cold water only. Let’s find out how to deal with them right now by following my detailed instruction below:

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water


Step 1: Turn the fabric inside out.

Step 2: Keep your fabric under the cold running water for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the water is clear. Water can help flush out the coffee stain from your clothes.

Step 3: If it is still there, move to the next method.

Method 2: For Fresh And Old Coffee Stains

If you’re in doubt about your coffee stains whether they’re fresh or old, feel free to try this method.

What You’ll Need

  • Laundry detergent/Dishwashing liquid
  • Cold water


Step 1: Squirt a few drops of laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid on the stain, then dab a bit of cold water on it.

Step 2: Let it sit about 5 minutes or more for fresh stain as long as you don’t let it dry completely. For old stains, rub the affected spot using your fingers, then soak it in the water for 30 minutes. Keep rubbing the stain every 5 minutes.

Step 3: After that, if the stain stays, soak the garment in warm water for another 5-15 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse the stained area thoroughly.

Method 3: For Stubborn Stains

Powdered laundry detergent’s surfactants may be able to remove coffee stains better in some cases than liquid detergent.

What You’ll Need

  • An old toothbrush
  • Powdered detergent


Step 1: Mix powder detergent with 1 part of water and 1 part of vinegar and work it into a paste.

Step 2: Do a small test on an inconspicuous area of your garment. Make sure the mixture does not harm your items.

Step 3: Apply the paste on the stain and scrub it gently with an old toothbrush.

Step 4: Rinse with water.

Method 4: For Old And Set Stains

Borax can break down the link between coffee residues and fabric; therefore, it’s able to lift even the toughest coffee stain from your garments. Moreover, it’s skin-friendly, environment-friendly, and also easy to find in the supermarket.

What You’ll Need

  • Borax
  • Water


Step 1: Add 2 tablespoons of borax to a cup of water to form a cleaning concoction.

Step 2: Wet the coffee stain with this mixture and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse well with water.

Step 4: Wash as normal.

Method 5: For White Items

Chlorine bleach has long been used as a simple way to whiten clothes and in this case, it could restore the original state of your items.

What You’ll Need

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Water


Step 1: Make a blend of a gallon of water and a quarter cup of chlorine bleach. Stir to mix well.

Step 2: Soak your clothes in the solution for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse thoroughly and launder as usual.

Let’s remove coffee stains on your shirt right now!

Watch this video: How to Remove Coffee Stains


Tea is my favorite morning drink, but tea stains are a big no-no. They might look a bit pale brown, but they can permanently ruin your shirt if you don’t tackle them properly.

There are many useful tips to get rid of tea marks on fabric you should keep in mind and one of them is dealing with these brown rings as soon as possible.

Tea Stains
Tea stains should be treated as soon as possible.

Method 1: For Chiffon, Cotton, and Polyester Fabrics

Baking soda is a versatile cleaning ingredient which is suitable for chiffon, cotton, and polyester items. Find out how to work correctly below:

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • A bucket of warm water
  • A soft-bristle brush


Step 1: Dampen the stain with warm water.

Step 2: Cover it with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and slowly rub the powder deep into the garment.

Step 3: Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare a bucket of warm water, then add 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent to it and stir gently. Place your items on the bucket and soak for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the stain, then rinse with water.

Step 6: Air it dries out but stays away from direct sunlight, which can cause discoloration of your garment.

Method 2: For Delicate Fabric Like Lace, Wool, And Silk

Delicate fabrics can be a bit challenging to work with but it’s still possible to remove tea stains from them if you follow my instructions carefully.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Clean rag
  • A bucket of warm water
  • Light-duty detergent
  • An old toothbrush
  • A large towel


Step 1: Spritz a mixture of a cup of water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar onto the stain using a spray bottle.

Step 2: Lift the stain by slowly blotting it with clean rags.

Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of light-duty detergent to a bucket of warm water and mix well to create a soapy solution.

Step 4: Soak your delicate items for about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Scrub the impacted spot with an old toothbrush. Act with care because delicate materials like silk can easily be ruined.

Step 6: Rinse until the water is clean.

Step 7: Place your item on the towel and roll both from one end to another to remove excess water. After that, let it lay flat and dry in a well-aired area.

Removing tea stains is not as challenging as you might think. Here’s how.

Watch this video: Remove tea stains from clothes

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can become annoying when it stays glued on your pants. For these sticky stains, the first step is always to freeze them. The same method is also applied for eliminating sap from your clothing items. Keep scrolling to find out the next step.

What You’ll Need

  • A freezer or an ice cube
  • A butter knife
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing detergent


Step 1: Freeze the gum by putting your item in a plastic bag, then toss it into the freezer if you encounter large or set-in stains. Or place an ice cube on the gum stain for at least a few minutes if the stain is pretty small.

Step 2: Scrape off all the gum by hand or with a butter knife. If you have trouble doing so, continue to freeze the gum and start again.

Step 3: Rub a mixture of 1 part of dishwashing detergent and 1 part of white distilled vinegar into the fabric. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Wash as usual. If the stain can’t be washed away, treat it with the above cleaning solution again.

Chewing Gum Can Stick
Chewing gum can stick to your pants unexpectedly.


Ketchup can be your great friend and enemy because it appears in most of your favorite recipes, but it also leaves a lot of red marks on what you wear.

Frankly, because you can’t give up on ketchup, let’s find an excellent way to combat its stains.

Laundry Detergent And Enzymatic Stain Remover

Enzymatic stain remover is extremely effective in eliminating tannin-based stains like stains from ketchup. Let’s find out how.

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Warm water
  • Enzymatic stain remover


Step 1: Scrape excess ketchup from the stained area of your clothes.

Step 2: Turn it inside out and let cold water run through the stain.

Step 3: Apply some drops of laundry detergent to the red mark and rub gently to loosen the stain.

Step 4: Let it stand for several minutes before soaking the affected area in warm water for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse with water and repeat if necessary.

Step 6: For hard-to-remove stains, rub them with an enzymatic stain remover, and allow the solution to stay for 15 minutes

Step 7: Wash as normal. Repeat if the stain persists.

Ketchup Can Leave A Red Stain
Ketchup can leave a red stain on your items.

Dishwashing Liquid And Vinegar

Try to repeat some steps several times to achieve the best outcome. If you haven’t thrown your clothes into the dryer, there’s a high probability that they can be cleaned with this method.

What You’ll Need

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • White vinegar
  • Commercial stain remover
  • A bucket of cold water


Step 1: Combine 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of cold water.

Step 2: Soak the stained garment into the bucket for half an hour. Rub gently to release the ketchup embedded in the fabric.

Step 4: Rinse with water. Repeat if needed.

Step 5: If the stain is visible, it’s time to use commercial stain remover. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely to pretreat.


It’s kind of a challenging task to eat pizza without dripping melted cheese on your shirt. I’d rather learn how to remove cheese stains rather than having to enjoy my favorite dish with care. Anyone with me?

What You’ll Need

  • Enzyme-based laundry detergent
  • Water


Step 1: Create a cleaning solution of water and enzyme-based laundry detergent.

Step 2: Soak your stained items in this mixture for 30 minutes if they’re fresh and for a few hours if they’re old.

Step 3: Launder as usual.

Cheese Drips And Stains
Cheese drips and stains can be removed as long as you treat them quickly.

Curries Or Turmeric And Other Spices

Although curry dishes are always a good idea, a yellow, nasty stain they might leave on your clothes is not welcome. As you might know, curries have their colors mainly from turmeric.

Also, curries contain other spices and oil. So, you can apply some solutions for lifting greasy marks on clothing. And if you don’t want to dye your item yellow, read on to discover a well-rounded way to fight the curry stains.

The Sooner You Tackle Curry Stains
The sooner you tackle curry stains, the better.

Method 1: For Regular Clothes

Here are two natural cleaning methods which you can try at home right now. Thanks to their cleaning properties, they can combat curry stains effectively.

Lemon Juice

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • A clean, white towel


Step 1: It’s important to note that curry stains or turmeric stains need to be treated as soon as possible. The longer you leave them, the harder you can remove them from your clothes.

Step 2: Remove any leftover curry or turmeric as well as other spices using a spoon.

Step 3: Turn the clothes inside out and flush them with cold water.

Step 4: Rub lemon juice on the stain and leave it there for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Use a wet white towel to blot the stain (Use cold water only)

Step 6: Wash as usual with cold water. Repeat as needed.

Baking Soda

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • A soft toothbrush


Step 1: Rinsing the stained area of your garments under the running cold water. This can push a part of the remaining curry out of the fabric.

Step 2: Lay your items flat and put a layer of baking soda on the yellow spot. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Gently scrub the stain using a toothbrush.

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly and toss them into the washing machine as usual.

Step 5: Let them dry.

Method 2: For White Clothing

Both lemon juice and 20% hydrogen peroxide can remove dye from black and dark-colored clothes. Therefore, this method is perfect for white and bright items.(1)

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • 20% hydrogen peroxide
  • A clean, white towel


Step 1: Dilute 1 part of 20 percent strength hydrogen peroxide in 9 parts of water and transfer to a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spritz the mixture onto the stain to saturate it thoroughly.

Step 3: Allow the mixture to stay for 4 hours.

Step 4: Wash as usual in cold water.

Step 5: Hang it dry under the sun.

Step 6: Use bleach if the stain doesn’t go away.

Here’s an excellent instruction on how to eliminate curry stains.

Watch this video: How to get curry off your clothes


Chocolate can mess up your garments with its dark brown streaks, which are sticky and greasy. Don’t worry; my tips below can help you get rid of the most stubborn chocolate stain.

Laundry Detergent, Dishwashing Liquid, And Enzyme-Based Detergent

This method calls for many cleaning solutions you have in your house. To get it right, read the following instructions and do as you’re told.

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Enzyme-based detergent


Step 1: Scrape off any excess chocolate left on your garment using a spoon.

Step 2: Run the back of the item under cold running water. This way, water helps push the stain out of your fabric effectively.

Step 3: Apply laundry detergent or the mixture of laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. Allow it to work in 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Rub the stain a bit and soak it in cold water for another 20 minutes. Rinse until the water is clear.

Step 5: Repeat Step 3, 4 with enzyme-based detergent if the stain persists.

Step 6: Wash as usual.

Chocolate Stains
Chocolate stains are common among people who love chocolate.

Dishwashing Liquid And Ammonia

Household ammonia is proven to bring streak-free effects to various materials. (2) It’s widely used in commercial cleaning products as well as home remedies.

Let’s see how it works when combined with a powerful cleaning solution like dishwashing liquid.

What You’ll Need

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Ammonia
  • Cool water
  • An old towel
  • Lint-free cloth
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide (Optional)


Step 1: Turn the items inside out and place it flat on an old towel.

Step 2: Blend 1 cup of cool water, ½ teaspoon of ammonia, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.

Step 3: Use a cloth to gently blot the stain so that chocolate will slowly transfer to the towel. Rubbing is not necessary because it will create a mess on your garments.

Step 4: If it doesn’t work, 3% hydrogen peroxide might be your next option. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach dark-colored garments so use it for white only or you can test on a small area first.

Pour this cleaning agent on the stain and let it stand for a few minutes.

Step 5: Rinse with water.

Enzyme-Based Detergent

This method is specially used for milk chocolate. It’s pretty simple so that you can easily follow to remove these nasty and greasy spots on your items.

What You’ll Need

  • Enzyme-based detergent
  • A soft sponge


Step 1: Mix some enzyme-based detergent with water and stir well.

Step 2: Dab this cleaning mixture to the stain with a soft sponge.

Step 3: Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly under water. Repeat if necessary.

Oil And Butter

You cook every day; therefore, oil and butter stains can be a regular but troublesome part of your life. They help foods become delicious, but they’re not friendly with what you’re wearing. A splash of oil or butter drips can send your items to the trash bin.

Let’s learn how to remove oily stains out of your clothes by following the instruction below:

Baking Soda

What You’ll Need

  • A piece of cardboard
  • Baking soda
  • A toothbrush
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent


Step 1: Place a piece of cardboard under the stain.

Step 2: If the stain is fresh, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over it. If it’s an old stain, squirt a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent on it. Allow baking soda or liquid dishwashing detergent to work in 10 minutes.

Step 3: For a fresh stain, scrape off the old baking soda and reapply until baking soda doesn’t change its color. Then cover the stain with liquid dishwashing detergent. For an old stain, add baking soda on the stain now.

Step 4: Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain.

Step 5: Leave the cleaning concoction for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Wash as normal with the hottest water temperature your fabric can tolerate according to the care label.

Butter Stains Are Pretty Troublesome
Butter stains are pretty troublesome.

Alcohol-Based Products/Wood Soap

If baking soda or dishwashing liquid doesn’t work, you can refer to alcohol-based products, including rubbing alcohol, hand-sanitizer, or wood soap as an effective resort.

What You’ll Need

  • Alcohol-based product(rubbing alcohol, hand-sanitizer)/Wood soap


Step 1: Do a small test on the inconspicuous area of your garments before full use. If everything goes well, you can move to the next step.

Step 2: Rubbing alcohol-based products to the stains or soak the pesky spot in wood soap in 10 minutes.

Step 3: Wash as usual. You might have to repeat a few rounds before getting the expected result.

Peanut Butter

Getting peanut butter out of your clothes is not as easy as pie. You might have to go through several steps to achieve the expected outcome. So, be with me, and follow each step carefully:

Method 1: For Acrylic, Cotton, and Polyester Fabrics

Let’s learn how to get rid of peanut butter stains from clothes which are made from acrylic, cotton, and polyester. Don’t try to skip any following step if you want to successfully restore your items.

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Dry spotter
  • Wet spotter
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Absorbent pads


Step 1: Scrape off excess peanut butter on the surface of the stain with an edge of a spoon. Pay attention, so you don’t smear it all over the place.

Step 2: Sponge dry-cleaning solvent directly to the stain.

Step 3: Apply dry spotter on a pad and place it on the affected area. Allow it to absorb grease and the remaining peanut butter.

Step 4: Switch to a fresh pad as it works.

Step 5: Pour dry-cleaning solvent into the stain to flush away any peanut butter mark. For old stains, dampen them with water, apply a bit of wet spotter, and tamp or scrape to lift the stain.

Step 6: Rinse thoroughly with water. Repeat all steps if necessary.

Method 2: For Silk, Wool, and Rayon Fabrics

Delicate items need to be treated with patience and the right methods. Find out how you can do with them right now.

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Wet spotter
  • Dry spotter
  • Absorbent pads


Step 1: Remove the peanut butter stick to your fabric by using a spoon.

Step 2: Mop the stain with dry-cleaning solvent.

Step 3: Then, treat it with a dry spotter.

Step 4: Flush the affected area again with dry-cleaning solvent.

Step 5: If the stain persists, dampen the stain with water and apply a wet spotter with some drops of vinegar. Cover it with an absorbent pad soaked in a wet spotter and let them sit for a while. Change the pad until the stain goes away.

Step 6: Rinse and let it dry.

Peanut Butter Stain
Peanut butter stain is an oil-based stain.

Food Coloring

Food colorings are essential when making beautiful and appealing desserts for your family. The bad news is that they can stain your clothes easily. However, it’s possible to remove these colorful marks.

Let’s see how I do it!

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • A butter knife
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • A soft-bristled brush


Step 1: Flush cold water through the back of the stain. Scrape off any powder or solid particles using a butter knife.

Step 2: Opt for a heavy-duty laundry detergent or a stain remover product. Apply one of them on the stain and work it into the garment slowly with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush.

Step 3: Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 4: If the stain can’t be removed totally, opt for oxygen-based bleach. You create a bleach solution based on the manufacturer’s instructions (mix bleach with water according to a specific ratio). Soak your whole item in the mixture for at least 8 hours.

Step 5: Wash as usual. Repeat Step 4 if needed.

Food Colorings Can Paint Foods
Food colorings can paint foods and also your clothes too.

Baby Food

Food stains are an inevitable part of your life as a mom or dad, especially when your children are small. Don’t worry; many people have “been there, done that” and know how to cope with this problem. Let’s see!

What You’ll Need

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Laundry prewash stain remover
  • A spoon
  • Cold water
  • Chlorine bleach or color-safe bleach


Step 1: Use the edge of a spoon to scrape off as many food particles as possible. Be careful not to make it messier.

Step 2: Turn the garment inside out and flush it with a lot of cold water to release the baby food.

Step 3: Pour liquid laundry detergent into the stain and soak your item in cold water for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse entirely with cold water.

Step 5: Use laundry prewash stain remover to treat the pesky spot.

Step 6: Launder as normal with the hottest water temperature your items can handle according to the care label.

Step 7: Bleach the stain using chlorine bleach for white items and a color-safe one for colored garments.

Baby Food Stains
Baby food stains are an inevitable part of parents’ lives.


Like it or not, mustard can slide off your hotdogs and land on your shirt in the middle of a BBQ party. The bad news? Most mustard products contain turmeric, so they can dye your shirt if you don’t act soon. Here are two methods for washable and dry clean only clothes.

Mustard Stains Dye Your Clothes
Mustard stains can dye your clothes easily.

For Washable Clothes

It’s possible to machine-wash and hand-wash these clothes. But before this, there are a lot of cleaning steps you need to go through. Remember hot water can make the mustard stains more difficult to remove.

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • Oxygen bleach
  • A bucket
  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent/dish detergent
  • Laundry stain remover


Step 1: Prepare a bucket of cold water and oxygen bleach.

Step 2: Soak your items with dry stain in the bucket for up to an hour. Keep soaking several times to soften the stain. For fresh stains, skip Step 1 and 2.

Step 3: Use an edge of the spoon to gently scrape off as much mustard sticking to the fabric as possible.

Step 4: Flush the stain from the other side of the fabric with cold water to remove the remaining mustard.

Step 5: Apply liquid laundry detergent or dish detergent on the stain and work it to the fabric. Let the cleaning solution stay for 10 minutes before rinsing under running water.

Step 6: Dab a bit of laundry stain remover onto the mustardy spot and wash as usual according to the care label.

Step 7: Check your items carefully to see if there’s any stain left before tossing them into the dryer. If the stain is still there, repeat the procedure.

For Dry Clean Only Clothes

You might need to be more careful when treating dry clean only garments. Here’s how to clean this type of clothes:

What You’ll Need

  • An absorbent towel
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • White vinegar (Optional)
  • Cold water
  • Sponge
  • A spoon
  • An old toothbrush
  • Hydrogen peroxide (Optional)
  • Ammonia (Optional)


Step 1: First, slowly scrape off excess mustard with the edge of a spoon.

Step 2: Apply dry-cleaning solvent to the mustardy area on your items. This helps loosen the stain considerably.

Step 3: Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the pesky spot gently. Continue to scrub to eliminate as much of the stain as possible. To remove excess moisture, don’t forget to blot it with an absorbent towel.

Step 4: Reapply a good amount of dry-cleaning solvent on the stain. Repeat step 3. If the yellow mark has gone completely, you can finish here. If not, move to Step 5.

Step 5: Dampen the affected area with a wet sponge and move the sponge in an outward circular motion to scrub the stain. Pour a bit of vinegar on the damp sponge and rub the stain out. Rinse with water and check the stain carefully. (Optional)

Step 6: If the mustardy mark is still visible, you can dab a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with a drop of household ammonia on the stain. Allow it to stand for a maximum of 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and dry according to the care label (Optional)

Wonder how to remove mustard stains with simple household ingredients?

Watch this video: Remove Mustard Stains

Salad Dressings

Oil-based and vinaigrette salad dressings can leave a troublesome mark on your items which you might need to tackle right away to avoid a permanent stain.

For Washable Clothes

Remember not to toss your stained items into the dryer because high heat can make them extremely difficult to remove. Therefore, inspecting the stained area one more time after washing is essential.

What You’ll Need

  • A spoon
  • An old toothbrush
  • Cornstarch, baking soda, a piece of bread, or baby powder
  • Solvent-based stain remover spray or gel/heavy-duty liquid detergent/powdered detergent


Step 1: Depending on the type of salad dressings, you can blot up as much oil as possible with an absorbent cloth or use the edge of a spoon to scrape off solid food particles on the fabric.

Step 2: Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch, baking soda, a piece of bread, or baby powder on the stain to absorb the remaining oil.

Step 3: Leave it there for 15 minutes and brush it away.

Step 4: Next, pretreat the stain with a solvent-based stain remover spray or gel product.

You can use heavy-duty liquid detergent by pouring a bit of it on the stain and rubbing it into the fabric using your fingers or an old toothbrush.

Also, powdered detergent and warm water paste can do the trick.

Step 5: Wait for 15-30 minutes so that the stain remover can have enough time to take effect.

Step 6: Wash as you normally do using the hottest water cycle that the fabric is allowed.

Step 7: For polyester and other materials which aren’t usually washed with hot water, you can stretch the oily area over a large bowl and slowly pour a stream of hot water straight to the spot. Wash in warm or cold water.

Step 8: Check the stain to ensure it has gone away before using the dryer.

For Dry Clean Only Clothes

If your garments aren’t allowed to wash under any circumstance, do a spot treatment, then take them to the professional service. This way you can enhance the cleaning power greatly.

What You’ll Need

  • An absorbent towel/Cornstarch/Talcum powder/ White bread
  • A spoon
  • A clean cloth
  • An absorbent white padding


Step 1: Scrape off excess food with the edge of a spoon.

Step 2: Use an absorbent towel to soak up as much oil as possible. Cornstarch, talcum powder, or white bread can also do the job.

Step 3: Turn the item inside out and place it on absorbent white padding.

Step 4: Dampen a cloth with dry cleaning solvent and start patting it on the stain. It’s recommended that you work from outside toward the center of the affected area. As you can see, the stain will gradually transfer to the white padding.

Step 5: Move the nasty spot to another clean area of the white padding so that the stain can continue to transfer to it. Repeat the procedure if necessary.

Step 6: Bring it to the professional dry-cleaning service.

Salad Dressings Include Oil
Salad dressings include oil-based and vinaigrette-based options.

Soy Sauce

Are you a fan of sashimi or Japanese foods? Soy sauce might be essential in your kitchen, and soy sauce stains might still be visible as a light brown mark on some of your shirts. Right?

From now on, let’s discover methods to remove them as soon as you notice, especially if your items are washable.

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • A clean white cloth
  • Glycerin
  • White vinegar/Isopropyl alcohol/Clear dishwashing liquid/Ammonia


Step 1: If the stain is dry, apply glycerin onto it and allow glycerin to work in 30 minutes. Rinse well with cold water. If the stain is fresh, use a clean white cloth to blot up as much soy sauce as possible. Try not to rub the stain; otherwise, you’re putting it deeper into the fabric.

Step 2: Flush with a strong stream of cold water. Remember to work from the wrong side of your items.

Step 3: There are 4 cleaning solution options you can choose from. It’s highly recommended that you do a small fabric test before deciding.

  • A mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • A combination of equal amounts of isopropyl alcohol and water
  • A blend of 1 cup of water and ¼ teaspoon of clear dishwashing liquid
  • A mixture of ½ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of ammonia

Step 4: Blot the affected spot with 1 of 4 solutions with a clean cloth until the stain disappears.

Step 5: Rinse well before trying another one if your chosen method doesn’t work.

Step 6: When the soy sauce mark is eliminated, rinse thoroughly again and launder as usual.

Soy Sauce Stains On Clothes
Soy sauce stains on clothes can be removed with various methods.

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce can be messy when you look at it, but you can remove this type of tomato-based spot quickly with the right methods and tricks. Let’s see!

For Fresh Spaghetti Sauce

You’re lucky if you notice the red streak soon enough when it’s still wet. Let’s follow my cleaning instructions below to get the expected result.

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • Dish soap


Step 1: Flush the impacted area with a good amount of cold water.

Step 2: Squirt a drop of dish soap on a damp cloth and dab it to the stain.

Step 3: Use your fingers to work dish soap into the need-to-treat spot.

Step 4: Rinse well and wash as usual.

Step 5: Air-dry your clothes and check if the stain remains.

Step 6: Repeat if necessary.

For Set-in Spaghetti Sauce

Old and set-in spaghetti sauce stains are more challenging to tackle and need to go through several rubbing and blotting steps.

What You’ll Need

  • Cold water
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Ice cubes
  • A clean white rag
  • Vinegar


Step 1: Turn your clothes inside out, and let’s run cold water through the reddish spot to push the spaghetti sauce out of the garment.

Step 2: Rub a bit of liquid laundry detergent into the stain and wait 15 minutes.

Step 3: Use ice cubes to rub over the stain for 1 minute.

Step 4: Blot it with a clean white rag.

Step 5: If the stain is still visible, apply vinegar onto it.

Step 6: Blot again with a clean white rag until the stain has gone completely.

Step 7: Wash as usual.

Step 8: Hang to dry and repeat the procedure if necessary.

Spaghetti Sauce Should Be Tackled
Spaghetti sauce should be tackled as soon as possible.

Terrific Tips And Tricks To Remove Food Stains Properly

There are some essential and powerful tips and tricks that can enhance the quality of your cleaning process. I’ve listed them all here. Let’s check them out one by one.

Treat The Stains Fast

The first rule of thumb you should keep in mind is to tackle the stain as soon as possible because fresh food marks are more accessible to fight against than the old ones.

It’s said that how quickly you act and pretreat your garment can have a decisive impact on whether it can be restored to its original state or will be thrown in the trash.

As long as you’re not on the road or in the middle of something important, you can opt for a quick cleaning solution within reach.

Scrape And Blot

To get the ultimate result, before pretreating the affected spot, you might need to scrape away and blot up as much excess food and liquid as possible, especially egg yolk. This way, the cleaning solution can contact directly with the stain and performs better.

To do this, you should prepare a spoon, a butter knife, or a credit card and clean, absorbent towels.

It’s important to note that you only blot the stain gently without rubbing it intensely to the fabric or making it spread larger.

No One-Size-Fits-All Stain Removal Method

Some people might think club soda is a life savior when they spill food on their shirts, but it’s not. In fact, each type of food stain has a different approach.

Take a look at 4 common types of food stains that are identified based on what they are made of:

Grease-based stains: Stains created by cooking oil, salad dressings, and butter belong to this group

Tannin-based stains: Anything which leaves color on the surface of the garment can be tannin stains such as chocolate, teas, ketchup, coffee, juice, red wine, mustard, and berries,

Protein-based stains: Stains caused by meat dishes and dairy products will be protein stains.

Dye-based stains: Food coloring can cause this kind of stain.

As you can see, food stains belong to different groups; they might have different chemical properties, which lead to different cleaning methods.

For example, tannin stains can be removed using an acidic blend like vinegar and water, while protein and grease can be tackled by a degreaser, like dishwashing liquid.

It’s a safe bet that each stain is a unique problem you need to solve.

Do A Small Test On Your Garments Before Cleaning

You should do a small test before applying a cleaning solution to your items, especially if you’re not 100% sure about what they are made of. Remember to use a tiny amount of the stain remover on the hidden spot.

Don’t Toss Your Garment In The Dryer Without Checking

If you don’t want your stains to stay permanently on your items, avoid tossing them in the dryer before checking them carefully and make sure there’s no sight of food stains.

As you might know, it’s pretty challenging to recognize the stain when they have just been washed and are still wet. Let’s air them dry for a while, then check again.

When In Doubt, Bring Them To Professional Service

If you’re not sure about what to do with the stained garments, blot as much excess foods and beverages from them as possible, then take them to professional service. This way, you can avoid ruining your pieces of clothing with the wrong cleaning methods.


Having questions related to food stains and their methods? Here is a collection of many prevalent problems people wonder about this topic. Let’s find out.

What Is A Proper Way To Remove Indian Food Stains?

Let’s check the curry stain section in my article to find the answer to the question. In most cases, you can try a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this mixture onto the stain for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to scrub the stain with a toothbrush.

Lemon juice and vinegar can be your next option if the first doesn’t work.

How To Get Food Stains Out Of Baby Clothes Easily?

Depending on different types of food stains, which I have listed above, you can remove annoying marks on baby clothes. Remember to prioritize natural remedies.

Can I Get Rid Of Vegetable Stains On Fabric?

Yes, you can refer to methods to eliminate fruit, tea, coffee, and wine stains in my article. They are also considered vegetable stains.

Are Soup Stains On Clothes Hard To Remove?

They might be challenging to deal with if they’re heated; however, they can be removed with the correct method. You can try to wash the stain with a solution of washing soda or laundry detergent with water, brush with a toothbrush, rinse and allow to dry.

Depending on tomato-based or protein-based soup stains, you will look for their proper solutions in my list.

How Do You Eliminate Red Pepper Stains On Your Items?

Mix Oxiclean with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and soak your garments into it. Wash as usual. Hang to dry. Check if the stain is still there before drying. Feel free to use bleach to remove the red mark if your items are white.

How Do You Get Kraft Dinner Stain Out Of Clothes?

Sponge the stain with a soapy solution made from 2 cups of cool water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent. Then, dab the affected spot with cold water and blot dry.

How To Get Rid Of Hot Sauce Stains From Clothing?

Sponge a cleaning mixture of 1 tablespoon of Dawn and 2 cups of warm water on the stain using a white cloth. Keep dabbing on the stain to lift it from your clothes. Repeat if necessary.

How Do You Get Sweet And Sour Sauce Out Of Clothes?

Apply liquid laundry detergent on the affected spot and work it into the fabric using your fingers. Let the solution stay for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water.

How Do You Get Stains Out Of Clothes That Have Already Been Washed And Dried?

Dab the stain with a generous amount of white vinegar, then cover it with a blend of vinegar and baking soda. If the stain is hard-to-remove, soak it in a bucket of water with vinegar and laundry detergent overnight.

Then, rinse and wash as usual.

Keep Eating And Spilling

Most human activities happen around the dining table because foods connect people, so it’s agreed that you and I love food and consider it an essential part of a good life.

However, food also brings many headaches, including food stains. You don’t just put everything in the washing machine and expect it to come out clean again, even with the most advanced one.

There are some steps you need to do by yourself, like pretreat the stain, soak your garment, check if the stain still remains, and more.

With all of the information provided in my article, I’ve equipped you enough to tackle food stains you encounter daily.

Therefore, don’t worry and keep enjoying your foods because all stains can be well taken care of.

How To Get Food Stains Out Of Clothes


[1] 2021. Hydrogen peroxide – Wikipedia.

[2] 2021. Ammonia – Wikipedia.

Similar Posts

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *