Removing hot sauce stains from clothing, carpets, and upholstery

If you like spicy food, hot sauce is probably your best friend. You can use it for pretty much everything. While giving a great spice to a variety of delicious meals, hot sauce can also leave annoying and unsightly stains on your clothes, carpets, or upholstery. The good news is that those stains are relatively easy to remove as long as you know the correct method.

There is usually some artificial colouring added to the hot sauce but unless a huge amount of those was added, you should be able to easily get rid of the stain by using common household items such as heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent, white vinegar, and a stain removal stick. Make sure you do not put a stained garment in your dryer. The heat will set the stain and cause it to become permanent.

Things to remember before attempting to clean a hot sauce stain:

  • The sooner you treat the stain, the easier it will be to remove it. Fresh stains should be cleaned as soon as possible.
  • Never rub the stained area since you may cause the stain to spread and become larger.
  • Before attempting to get rid of the stain, check the care label of the fabric. Always test the cleaning solution you chose in an inconspicuous area. That way you will be able to see if any damage occurs, or if there is discolouration.
  • Be patient and repeat the cleaning steps if needed.

Cleaning hot sauce stains from clothing

  1. Lift away or blot the stain – Scrape off any solids by using a credit card or a spoon. If the sauce is more liquid, blot it away as much as possible. Make sure you do not rub it in because you will push the stain deeper into the fabric.
  2. Spot-treat the area with a stain removal stick or pen.
  3. Flush with water – It is best if you flush the fabric inside-out under running water. Hold it under the faucet until the water pushes the stain out of the fabric fibres.
  4. Blot with vinegar, then rinse – Dip a clean white cloth or a sponge in some white distilled vinegar. Dab at the stain starting at the outer edge and work your way towards the centre. Keep moving to a clean part of the cloth as the hot sauce transfers.
  5. Treat with heavy-duty liquid detergent or a stain remover. Let it sit for a while, then launder following the instructions on the care label of the fabric. If the stain is not completely gone, do not place the garment in the dryer. Repeat the steps above instead.
  6. For persistent stains mix a solution of oxygen bleach and water (following package instructions). Submerge the garment and let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Cleaning hot sauce stains from carpets and upholstery

The same method can be used for cleaning carpets and upholstery. You should make sure not to over-saturate them. Excess moisture can cause mould and mildew growth.

  1. Scrape any solids away – Use a spoon or a plastic scraper in order to remove any solids. For sauces that are more liquid, use paper towels to blot away. Avoid rubbing because it may cause it to spread and become bigger.
  2. Make a cleaning solution by mixing 2 cups of cool water, ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid.
  3. Dip a sponge, cloth, or soft-bristled brush into the cleaning solution. Work it in the fabric but do not rub harshly and always start at the outer edge and move towards the centre. Blot with a clean white cloth to transfer the grime. Keep doing that until the stain is no longer visible or the dirt stops transferring.
  4. Rinse – Grab a clean cloth, dip it in plain water and dab the stained area with it. That way you will remove any soapy residue. This step is important since if not properly removed, the soap will attract more soil. When done with rinsing, grab a dry cloth or paper towels and absorb as much moisture as possible.

If you decide to use bleach (for more stubborn stains), keep in mind that it is only suitable for white natural fabrics. If you have coloured or synthetic fabrics, make sure you use oxygen bleach. It is suitable for washable, white, and coloured fabrics apart from wool, silk, and leather. If the stain is greasy, you can use cornstarch. It is a great natural product that you can sprinkle on your stained area. The powder will absorb any grease and make the stain easy to remove.

If you have any vintage or fragile fabrics and you want to clean them, it is best that you turn to a professional. Do not risk damaging your nice carpets, furniture, or garments. Blot the stain away then rush to the nearest professional cleaner.