How to Get Hot Sauce Out of Carpet

Hot sauce can do some serious staining to your carpet. The good news is, it's possible to remove those spots using products you probably already have around the house. Discover how to easily remove condiment stains from carpet, and how to tackle other tough stains, using natural, budget-friendly products.

You can probably relate to the following scenario:  You have a small crowd gathered at your home for a ball game or family get-together.  After your guests help themselves to heaping plates of food, it isn’t long before someone drops a hot ‘n’ spicy wing on the carpet.  That stuff leaves a pretty obvious stain.  Now what?  We’ve got you covered.  Here’s the rub on how to get hot sauce out of the carpet.

For Best Results, Act Fast

Tabasco and some other types of hot pepper sauce can leave major stains because they’re made with red tomatoes.  This natural coloring can quickly be absorbed by the carpet, clothing, and other porous materials.  Once it sets, it can be difficult to remove.  When it comes to hot sauce stains on the carpet, your best defense is to act as quickly as possible to get them out.

However, you can also follow the steps listed below to get rid of a carpet stain that’s been around for a while.  And when removing stains, remember not to aggressively rub or scrub.  That will only spread the stuff deeper into the carpet.

Clean-Up with White Vinegar and Water

A woman is cleaning up the carpet with vinegar and a rag.

For this method, you need vinegar (or Windex Multi-Purpose with Vinegar), water, and a clean cloth.  (Avoid Windex solutions that are yellow or blue.  Those colors could end up in your carpet).

  1. Soak up the hot sauce with the cloth.  Stand on it to apply pressure.
  2. Set the cloth aside.  Spray the stained area with a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water.
  3. Set a clean part of the towel over the sprayed area.  Again, stand on it to apply pressure.
  4. Repeat these last two steps until any remaining stain starts to diminish.  It should gradually lighten until it finally disappears.  Be sure to use a clean part of the towel every time so the stain doesn’t spread.

Clean-Up with Liquid Dish Soap

You can also use this remedy for a soy sauce stain.  For this method, you will need white paper towels or clean rags, liquid dishwashing soap, and water.

  1. Use the napkins or cloth to soak up as much of the hot sauce as possible before it seeps deeper into the carpet.
  2. Combine 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap.
  3. Soak a clean white cloth in the solution and apply pressure as you place it on the stain.
  4. Repeat these last two steps until the spot disappears.
  5. Soak another clean white rag in cold water and use it to rinse the affected area.  Blot it dry with clean paper towels.

Using Liquid Laundry Detergent or Spot Remover to Remove Hot Sauce from Carpet

A beige carpet with hot sauce stains being cleaned with a spritzer.

You can also use liquid detergent or stain remover on carpet and upholstery.  If you’re concerned that these products may cause discoloration, use them on an inconspicuous area first.

  1. If the hot sauce spill just happened, blot as much as you can from the carpet.  Start on the outside of the hot sauce stain and work your way in to contain it so it doesn’t spread.
  2. Treat the area as directed, using a clean cloth, soft bristle brush, or other soft material.  You may have to sponge the area several times.  Be sure you’re applying a clean surface to the carpet each time so you’re not transferring hot sauce residue to an area that’s already been treated.
  3. Rinse all the soap from the affected spot.  (Soap residue will likely attract dirt and stains).
  4. Vacuum the area to lift carpet fibers.

What to Do When All Else Fails

What can you do should a stain persist?  If you’ve tried everything and can’t completely remove it, consider calling on a professional carpet cleaner.

Removing Other Types of Condiment Stains

A close look at a row of sauces and condiments.

Hot sauce certainly isn’t the only condiment that can stain your carpet.  Here are a few more sauce-stain snafus you may run into, and how to fix them.

How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Carpet

Like hot sauce, barbecue sauce can leave a stubborn stain.  To restore your carpet to its stain-free state, you will need a blunt kitchen knife (butter knives work well), clean white towels, water, nonchlorine bleach detergent, and a spray bottle.

  1. If the sauce is still wet, use the blunt implement to scrape off as much of it as you can.  If the stain has already dried, apply a clean cloth dipped in lukewarm water.  When you blot the stain, some of the sauce should transfer to the cloth.
  2. Keep repeating this step, using a clean part of the towel each time, until no more sauce transfers to the towel.
  3. Prepare your stain removal solution.  Combine one teaspoon of nonchlorine bleach detergent with a liter of cold water.  Pour some into the spray bottle.
  4. Attack the spot with your cleaning substance, spraying, and blotting.  Repeat these steps until you’ve removed the stain.  Be sure to use a clean surface to blot the stain each time.
  5. Rinse the area completely so there is no soap residue left behind.  Then, use a wet/dry vacuum to lift the carpet fibers.

Removing Mustard from Carpet

Anyone who’s ever dropped a blob of mustard on their clothing or carpet knows it leaves a stain that’s seemingly impossible to get rid of.  But if you do end up with some of the condiment on your carpet, it doesn’t mean your floor is a lost cause.  As with other types of stains, the most important thing is to not scrub the stained area, as it will send the mustard deeper into the carpet.  That said, here’s a simple solution to try.

For this method, you’ll need clean clothes, club soda, dishwashing detergent, and water.

  1. Pour club soda onto the stain and blot it with a clean towel.  This may be enough to completely get rid of the mustard.
  2. If you can still see the stain, combine one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with 2 cups of warm water.  For five minutes, let the mixture soak into the carpet.
  3. Use cool water to rinse the carpet.  Then, blot it dry.

Removing a Tomato Sauce Stain from Carpet

A close look at ketchup being poured onto a dark surface.

The way to get rid of carpet stains caused by spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, or tomato juice is pretty much the same.

Pour club soda directly onto the tomato stain and blot as much of it as possible with a sponge. Soak up any remaining liquid with a paper towel.  Combine 2 cups of cold water plus 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent.  Use a cloth to apply this mixture to the affected spot.  Soak up remaining moisture, and rinse the area thoroughly.

You can also use lemon juice, along with plenty of water, to blot out the spot.

FAQ

Can you use baking soda to get stains out of the carpet?

Yes. Baking soda is great for stain removal.  Sprinkle some on a grease stain to pretreat it.  Let it sit for at least six hours, then vacuum it up.  For other types of stains, combine equal parts soda and vinegar.  Use a wet cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol to remove residue.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to get stains out of the carpet?

Yes. To use this natural remedy on the carpet, you will also need clean cloths and steam iron. Spray peroxide on the affected area and place a damp cloth on top of it.  Then, with your steam iron on the lowest setting, iron the cloth for 10-15 seconds.  Be careful not to inhale the steam or let the iron contact the carpet directly.

Next, check the cloth; some of the stains should have transferred onto it.  Keep repeating these steps until the spot is gone (or nearly gone).  To finish up, spray the area one more time and cover it with another clean cloth.  Weigh it down with something heavy, and allow the treated carpet to dry overnight.

How can I get grass stains out of the carpet?

To knock out a grass stain, vacuum it using the suction tool on your appliance.  (Regular vacuuming will embed the stain deeper).  Dampen paper towels with cool water to blot the spot without scrubbing.

When you can’t lift any more of the stains, combine 2 teaspoons of mild dish soap with tepid water.  Moisten a clean rag in the mixture and apply it to the spot.  If repeated attempts don’t get it out completely, you’ll need to use another remedy, such as sodium bicarbonate or isopropyl alcohol.

References:

  1. Spot Removal: Removing Hot Sauce From Carpet
  2. Carpet Care 2000: How to Clean & Remove Old, Dried Set in Hot Buffalo Sauce Stains from Carpet in Banta, CA
  3. The Spruce: How to Remove Hot Sauce Stains From Clothes, Carpet, and Upholstery
  4. Carter’s Carpet: How To Get Hot Wing Sauce Out Of Carpet
  5. Home Arise: How to Get Hot Sauce Stains Out of Carpet in 6 Easy Steps
  6. Dry Solutions: How to Remove Barbeque Sauce Stains on Your Carpet
  7. Spot Removal Guide: Removing Mustard Stains From Carpet
  8. COIT: How to Get Grass Stains Out of Carpet
  9. University of Illinois Extension: Stain Solutions
  10. Better Homes and Gardens: Natural Carpet Stain Removers
  11. Steamy Concepts: Can I Use Baking Soda to Clean My Carpet?
  12. Spot Removal Guide: How to Get Tomato Sauce Out of Carpet
  13. Spot Removal Guide: How to Get Mustard Stains Out of Carpet
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