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How to Get Mustard Out of Carpet

Cleaning carpet with mustard, collage.

It’s summertime and that means it’s time to fire up the backyard BBQ and grill up some hamburgers and hotdogs and slather them with ketchup and mustard.

But when the condiments come out, the likelihood of stains also increases, and mustard can be one of the worst stains to get out.

Mustard contains turmeric, which is a yellow dye common in Indian and Middle Eastern foods. Although it makes your food look pretty, it can leave behind a nasty stain if it comes into contact with your clothing or carpet.

Whether it’s traditional yellow mustard, honey mustard, French Dijon, or spicy brown, all mustard contains turmeric and can pose a stain risk to your carpet.

That’s why it’s important to act fast as soon as that mustard falls to the ground.

If you’re looking to get yellow stains out of carpet, like those left by mustard, there are a number of DIY and commercial stain removal methods that can work quite well at tackling this notoriously difficult stain.

The key is to act fast and remain patient. Check out our tips below to find out how you can vanquish that yellow mustard stain once and for all.

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Scrape Away the Excess

A close look at spilled mustard from the bottle.

When it comes to rescuing your carpet from the bright yellow turmeric stain left by that careless blob of mustard, it’s important to act quickly to remove as much of the excess mustard as possible.

Grab a spoon, butter knife, or another dull object and begin to scoop or scrape as much of the excess liquid away as possible. You may want to keep a small plate or disposable cloth handy to deposit the mustard as you scoop it away.

Removing as much of the mustard as possible will go a long way to lighten your load when tackling the remainder of the stain.

As you perform this procedure, take care not to scrape to sharply or deeply, as this may cause damage to your carpet.

In addition, you should avoid use of any pressing motion, as this can actually push the mustard deeper into your carpet, causing the stain to spread and set in further.

Take care not to spread the mustard outside of the already affected area as you scrape or scoop.

After you have scooped or scraped as much of the excess liquid away as possible, take a dry paper towel or soft, white cloth and gently set it on the remaining stain, working to absorb as much of the remaining stain as possible.

Shift the cloth around to clean areas to continue absorbing the stain.

After you begin to notice that mustard is no longer being absorbed into the cloth, it is time to apply a treatment to the stain.

What if the mustard stain is dry?

If you are wondering how to get dried mustard out of carpet, the answer may surprise you.

Unlike other types of stains where you simply moisten the area to rehydrate it and prime it for treatment, mustard is actually a little different.

Instead of applying water to rehydrate the area, squeeze an additional blob of fresh mustard. Be sure to use it sparingly and squeeze slowly so as to not expand the area affected by the stain.

Allow the new mustard to sit for several minutes, but do not allow it to dry.

This process actually reactivates the turmeric and primes the spot for treatment.

You can then attempt to remove the excess mustard again using a spoon or butter knife and blot any remaining liquid to draw up as much of it as possible before moving on to attempt one – or more – of the solutions discussed below.

Dish Detergent

A hand cleaning the carpet with a soapy sponge.

One of the easiest and most convenient stain treatment options for getting yellow stains like mustard out of your carpet is the use of dish detergent.

Make sure the dish detergent is bleach-free and then mix one tablespoon of dish detergent with two cups of warm water. You can apply the mixture using a spray bottle or simply dip a soft, white cloth into the solution and dab it onto the stain affected area.

Whichever application method you choose, gently blot at the stain using a soft cloth and taking care not to push the stain deeper into the carpet.

Continue dipping the cloth or spraying the treatment solution on the affected area, repeating the blotting process until you no longer find any yellow stain absorbed into the white cloth.

Examine the carpet to determine whether any stain remains.

Often, the use of dish detergent and water will suffice to remove a mustard stain.

Other stains, however, may prove more stubborn and may require additional or more serious treatment methods, as discussed below.

If you have a wool carpet, removing mustard stains can be a bit of a challenge, as not all products are safe for use on wool. This dish detergent option can be a safe and effective way for tackling a tough mustard stain on your wool carpet.

White Vinegar

If you’re looking for a natural way to lift the bright yellow mustard stain from your carpet, vinegar may provide an effective solution. It has natural bleaching properties and can be an effective option for removing tough stains, especially if you’ve already scraped and blotted as much of the stain away as possible or applied dish detergent to the area.

You can make a mixture using equal parts white vinegar and water. ¼ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of water should suffice.

Mix the ingredients together into a spray bottle and apply, as needed, to the stain.

Allow the mixture to set for at least 15 minutes, as this helps to lift and lighten the stain.

Gently blot at the stain with a soft, dry white cloth.

Repeat application and blotting until there is no longer a yellow stain appearing on the cloth.

You can even combine a small amount of dish detergent into your mixture if you choose to boost its stain-fighting power. Allow it to set for several minutes to improve the stain lightening and lifting effects of each ingredient.

Club Soda

Gloved hands sponging off the stain of the carpet.

If you happen to have club soda on hand at home, it may be a quick and effective treatment option to remove a mustard stain.

After you have removed as much of the liquid from your carpet as possible, pour club soda over the area of the stain and begin to gently blot with a dry, light cloth or towel.

This can be effective at removing turmeric stains in some cases.

Just be sure to use plain, unsweetened club soda. Anything with a flavor will have added sugars or flavoring that can leave the area a sticky mess, just exacerbating your staining issues.

However, club soda is not usually considered a household staple, and as a result, you may not have any on hand at home. If that’s the case, you’re better off selecting an alternative method for mustard stain removal, as it’s important to act quickly while the stain is fresh.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If you’ve tried one or more of the methods described above, and you’re still finding it difficult to remove the last of that stubborn mustard stain, then it may be time to use a stronger bleaching agent to remove the last bit of yellow.

Hydrogen peroxide may be a good choice.

You can use a solution of just a small of hydrogen peroxide combined with water, or you can add hydrogen peroxide to a solution of vinegar and dish detergent, so long as none of the products contain bleach.

Either dab the hydrogen peroxide solution on the carpet using a soft cloth or sponge or spray it on, taking care to only spray the affected area. Allow it to sit for several minutes to work on lightening and lifting the stain.

Because hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent, it is a good idea to test out your solution on a small, non-visible area of your carpet before attempting to use on the more prominently located stain to ensure it will not damage your carpet.

Hydrogen peroxide can help to both lift and lighten the bright yellow left by a mustard stain.

Although ammonia is another commonly used option when attempting to lighten a carpet stain, you should avoid the use of ammonia when dealing with a mustard stain or any other stain caused by turmeric.

Rubbing Alcohol

The use of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a bright yellow mustard stain may be useful in removing it, provided you have attempted the other solutions mentioned above to no avail or you have a small stain remaining.

Rubbing alcohol can be effective at removing carpet stains, but it also poses a risk to your carpet.

Rubbing alcohol should not be allowed to penetrate deep into the fibers of your carpet, as it can loosen the adhesive that secures your carpet to your floor.

You can mix a small amount of rubbing alcohol with water and apply it to your stain, repeating the procedures discussed above with other solutions, taking care not to push or dab the product deeply into your carpet.

It’s always a good idea to test out this method on a small, non-visible area of your carpet to ensure it will not damage your carpet.

After you have applied this solution, allow it to set for a few minutes but then quickly and thoroughly remove the solution using a wet cloth.

Take care not to leave any solution remaining in your carpet, as isopropyl alcohol can damage your carpet if it is not removed.

This product may also not be appropriate for use on certain types of carpet, so always check first before using any product on your carpet to ensure a product will not damage or negatively react with your carpet.

Enzymatic Carpet Cleaners

Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator, Enzyme-Powered Pet Odor and Stain Remover for Dogs and Cat Urine, Spot Carpet Cleaner for Small Animal, 32 oz.

If you’ve exhausted all of the methods listed above or if you’d like to just skip the DIY options and head straight for the commercial cleaning options, you can use an enzymatic carpet cleaner to attack and break up a mustard stain.

Enzymatic cleaners are growing in popularity, as they are considered a safer option than other commercial cleaning products. They’re a more favorable option for you and for the environment and can be a good choice for the health or eco-conscious consumer.

These cleaners use non-pathogenic bacteria to break down stains through the production of enzymes. This can be a great way to attack even the most stubborn of stains, like you’ll find with mustard or turmeric.

They are particularly popular for use on tough pet stains, like those left by urine.

Follow the instructions on the product to ensure proper use.

One product that may work well for removing your mustard stain is Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator. Although it’s specifically marketed for use on pet-related stains, it’s useful for any tough stain, and mustard is no exception.

Although a mustard stain is never cause for rejoicing, it doesn’t have to leave you in despair, either. With quick action and a little hard work, you can use any number of these stain removal methods to tackle even the toughest of yellow mustard stains.