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How to remove condiment stains from everything and anything

Summer barbecues can get messy. We're here to help.
Mayo stain on shirt
Did you spill some mayonnaise and don't know what to do? Refer to this handy guide.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

We all love mayonnaise — on sandwiches, in salad dressings and in sauces — but not as much on our clothes, sofa or carpet. No need to hold the mayo! Just follow the advice from these cleaning pros and you’ll be stain-free and smiling in no time.

Washable clothing

Cleaning pro Robert Bell, owner of Threads dry cleaners in Mansfield, Texas, recommends two ways to remove mayonnaise stains.

Method 1:

  1. Apply dishwashing liquid directly to the mayonnaise stain.
  2. Tamp or tap with a brush to work the dishwashing liquid into the stain.
  3. Let dishwashing liquid rest on the mayonnaise stain for 5-10 minutes to penetrate.
  4. Rinse area with fresh water.
  5. Repeat as needed.

Method 2:

Non-flammable dry-cleaning solvent (like Carbona Stain Wizard) removes all types of oil-based stains, says Bell. Apply it to the stain, let it work as specified on the label, then rinse. Repeat if needed.

If the stain remains, take the garment to the dry cleaners.


(Note: This is not recommended for silk, antique or vintage upholstery.)

Jack White, vice president of technical services for Rainbow International, offers this easy tip for removing mayo stains.

  1. Using a white cotton towel, blot and remove any residual mayonnaise from the upholstery.
  2. Starting at the edges of the stain and working inward, dab on a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 1 cup of water.
  3. Agitate or work the solution into the spot using the white cotton towel.
  4. Rinse by alternately dabbing with a dampened cloth and blotting with a dry cloth.
  5. Continue blotting to remove as much liquid as possible.
  6. Repeat as needed.
  7. If stain persists, contact an upholstery-cleaning professional.


(Note: Not recommended for silk or wool carpets.)

Carpet cleaning pro Dean Carter of Carter’s Carpet Restoration in El Dorado Hills, California, removes mayo stains with this two-part cleaning regimen.

  1. Using paper towels or a clean cotton cloth, blot the carpet with a light, lifting motion, twisting the fibers as you lift.
  2. To prevent the stain from spreading, start at the outside of the stain and work inward, blotting with isopropyl alcohol or clear window cleaner. Don’t use too much. Just dampen the cloth and blot, moving to a clean section of the towel as needed.
  3. Next, dab lightly with a cloth moistened in a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 1 quart of water.
  4. Blot with a clean cloth, lifting and twisting the fibers as you go.
  5. Repeat until all traces of the stain are gone.
  6. Rinse the area by dabbing with a cloth lightly moistened with clean water. Blot with a dry cloth, lifting and twisting fibers.
  7. Blot up as much moisture as possible by pressing firmly — or even standing — on a towel or paper towel.
  8. If the stain remains, have the carpet professionally cleaned as soon as possible.