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How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
how to remove bbq stains

Eating BBQ isn’t exactly the tidiest pastime no matter if it’s on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or even Labor Day.  So, it’s no surprise that a lot of people find themselves looking up how to remove BBQ sauce stains from their clothing.  It happens to the best of us, but the good news is that removing a BBQ sauce stain is very doable, especially if the stain is on the fresher side.  The faster you act, the more likely it is that your clothing will show zero remaining discoloration.

Why is BBQ Sauce So Tough to Remove?

BBQ sauce is sort of a double-whammy in the stain department.  Tomato-based products notoriously stain clothing because the red pigment in tomatoes is very effective at absorbing into fibers, meaning that the stain is much deeper than on the surface.  But, add to that the fact that BBQ sauce contains oils that in and of themselves cause staining, and you have a pretty annoying stain to work out. 

Still, it can be done, as you will soon find out here.

Easy Steps for Removing a BBQ Sauce Stain

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Remember, the longer the stain sits on your clothing, the more it’s gonna absorb past the surface and into the fibers, thus making it harder to remove.  So, as soon as you notice the stain, remove the garment and get ready to attack.

Step #1: First, use a spoon or knife to gently scrape off any excess BBQ sauce that’s on the surface of the garment, to prevent more from absorbing into the fibers than is necessary.  Don’t bother trying to scrape away discoloration that’s soaked into the fibers – it’s too late for that.

Step #2: Run the stain under cold water immediately.  Hot water will set the stain, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen, essentially cooking the discoloration into the fibers permanently.  Run the stain under cold water and you should notice it fading pretty quickly.  If you notice it fading, keep running it under cold water for as long as you want until the stain hopefully disappears.

Step #3: Now, massage some liquid detergent into the stain using your fingers, without running the garment under cold water.  The detergent will do a great job at removing the grease in BBQ sauce especially.  Work the detergent into the stain really well and allow it to sit for 10 minutes so that the detergent can do its job breaking up the stain.  Then, rinse in lukewarm water.  If there’s no detergent available, Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap can work just as well.

Step #4: If the stain is still there, try pouring some white vinegar on top.  Vinegar is an excellent stain remover that’s not going to create harmful fumes that you’ll be breathing in.  Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes saturated before rinsing again.

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Step #5: If there’s still a bit of discoloration, run the garment through the laundry on the hot setting, using a non-chlorine whitening agent like Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods.

Step #6: Check that the stain is fully removed before throwing it into the dryer, and if there’s still faint discoloration, air-dry it instead.  Then, give the garment a final soak in warm, soapy water with a little bit of vinegar, for 30 minutes before doing a second and final laundry cycle.   

Recap: BBQ sauce is messy – that’s one of the things that we love about it – but that can spell disaster when it comes to our favorite garments.  While we can never guarantee that a sauce stain will be fully removed, the methods above are your best bet at taking care of the problem, especially if the stain is fresh.  Follow these tips exactly and you’ve the highest chance of ending up with clothes that look brand-new.

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