Mustard or Ketchup – Which One is Your Clothing’s Biggest Competitor?

Whether attending a family barbeque or sitting at your own dinner table, your clothing comes into contact with different types of food stains that threatens to cut its lifespan short. Sauces and condiments are especially damaging to different types of fabrics out there. So which ones are the most common and the most destructive?

Most people will tell you that they fear mustard and ketchup the most when it comes to food stains. From hot dogs to those juicy burgers, mustard and ketchup is everywhere – fairs, restaurants, camping, barbeques, and your own kitchen. However, is there one more harmful to your clothing than the other? Most experts will tell you yes.

While you may think ketchup can do the most harm to your clothes because of its rich red color, people that deal with these food-based stains have another opinion. They say that mustard is by far the most damaging type of stain your clothing can come into contact with. It even surpasses wine stains.


Science Behind the Stain

So, what is their unanimous opinion based on? Truth be told, it is the recipe used for crafting ketchup and mustard. While many people believe ketchup can be the most difficult to remove from clothing because of its bright red coloring, this is actually only the result of the tomato being cooked down to form the product you love for dressing your hot dogs and burgers.

Mustard on the other hand uses turmeric in its recipe. Turmeric is a natural form of food coloring that gives the condiment its rich yellow hue. Any type of food coloring or dyes used in the creation of a product soaks into the materials and gets locked in deep to the fibers of your clothing. Now that we have a better understanding of which is worse to get on your clothes, let’s see how to remove mustard stains when they do occur.


How to Remove the Stain

Once you know that ketchup is mostly a plant-based product, you can begin to understand the cleaning techniques needed to remove any stains that do occur when dropping those dollops of the condiment on your clothes. Plant-based stains can be removed with the use of acids. This can include lemon juice or vinegar if you have any handy. Using a clean towel or dish cloth, pour a little of the acid solvent onto the rag and begin blotting the spot. Make sure that you do not rub or scour the material as this can damage the fibers and force the stain deeper into your clothing. For tougher stains, use your cloth to remove any loose ketchup from the clothing. Pour the vinegar or lemon juice directly onto the spot. Allow the acid-based solvent to soak in for 5-10 minutes. Rinse the material with cold water thoroughly and pre-treat with an enzyme stain removing solvent. Wash the clothing as directed in cold water to avoid setting in the stain. This process may need to be repeated if the stain is still present.

Now for removing mustard stains that you have collected on your clothing. Since mustard is more aggressive of a stain, you will need to begin with a more aggressive cleaning method. Use a clean towel or dish cloth to remove any loose mustard. Pour a small amount of laundry detergent or enzyme-based stain remover onto the mustard stain to begin breaking down the base and loosen the food from the fibers. Treat the stain with a color-safe bleach. One handy product that does work well is hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you read the label of the clothing thoroughly to ensure that you don’t damage the material when you are removing mustard stains. Let the bleaching solution soak into the fabric for 10 minutes and wash as normal.

No matter what type of stain you are dealing with, if your clothing is sensitive or requires dry cleaning, make sure you don’t try to treat the stain yourself. Get the items to the dry cleaner right away. Let them know what types of stains are present so they can get to work removing them for you far quickly.


How to Remove Mustard Stains When on the Go

When you are at home, you have everything you need for removing stains from your clothing when they occur. However, what do you do to remove mustard stains when at a restaurant, work, or on the go?

Here are some tips that dry cleaning professionals recommend:

1. Remove any loose mustard from the clothing quickly with a clean napkin or towel.

2. Rinse the stain thoroughly with cold water avoiding a rubbing or scouring motion that will lock the mustard stain into the fabric.

3. A small amount of hand soap or hand sanitizer placed on a clean towel that is applied with a blotting motion can help.

4. Always take delicate fabrics to a dry cleaner as quickly as possible. The longer the stain is left untreated, the harder it will be to remove the mustard stain.

For more tips on getting stains out of your clothing, we recommend contacting professional and experienced dry cleaners in Farmington, NM. They can help maximize the life of your clothing while ensuring it looks fresh and clean at all times.