Mustard, like most condiments, is a slippery thing. When you put it in your sandwich, on your hot dog, or any food that fits the mustard profile, you enter the danger zone. Something is likely to come flying out and splat right on a white garment or fabric.
For some reason, things that stain land on light colored items. Murphy’s Law maybe.
Why is mustard such a tough stain to remove? Because of the natural dye called “turmeric”. It is why mustard is usually yellow, sometimes a light brown. When it lands on fabrics, it goes inside the fiber and stains it. Other condiments, such as mayonnaise and ketchup, can also stain, but not as much as mustard.
Before doing any cleaning, remove or scrape off as much residue as you can. When you start the cleaning process, you are at the point of no return. Once the fabric dries, any further efforts are probably going to produce minimal results.
With garments, it’s possible to wash them and mustard may come out. It may not. In the washing machine, some use chlorine bleach, although there is always a chance of removing other colors. The big picture here is do not put anything in the clothes dryer if the stain is still visible. The high heat may set that stain.
For carpet and upholstery, carefully wiping off the mustard and using a neutral spotter may help. But professional cleaning is recommended. If you start working on a mustard stain and you don’t remove all of it at one time, it makes it much more difficult to remove later on. It is always best if the pros do the work from the very beginning.
As with all cleaning projects, presoaking is important. Allow your cleaning solution, spotter, whatever you are using time to work. Use warm solutions, not hot.
Using peroxide on mustard stains often works as the bleaching agent in peroxide will either remove or at least lighten up the stain, while usually not affecting the natural colors in garments or fabrics. Wet out the area, and if you can, cover it up with plastic or foil, to keep it wet for an hour or two. The longer the peroxide solution has to work on the stain, the better the results. Rinse completely when you see good results.
Mustard is tough. No way around that. Besides being careful with your next hot dog, if a mustard disaster strikes, do the right thing. Call a professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!