Mustard Stain Removal
~Pooja Chakrabarty

The Basics of Mustard Stain Removal

Mustard stains are yellow stains caused by a spice named turmeric. Fast action while the stain is still moist will help in mustard stain removal because the mustard will not have got the chance to set by then. By adopting a patient and methodical approach you should be able to remove even older stains from your garments.

When you have taken up the challenge of mustard stain removal, you must arm yourself with information about the staining agent. Mustard contains a spice called turmeric which leaves yellow stains. Turmeric bonds extremely well with fabric and is a natural disperse dye. Mustard stains must be tackled promptly as older mustard stains are next to impossible to remove.

Method 1: For mustard stain removal, bleaching is always a good option, with chlorine bleach being especially effective, especially if the garment is white. However before using any kind of bleach, the garment care instructions must be read, and the fabric must be tested for colorfastness. If the fabric is not colorfast, avoid using bleach. As it is, bleaching leads to an overall lightening of the colors on that garment.

For mustard stain removal, bleaching is always a good option

Remember, if bleaching is going to make the stain disappear, it is going to bring that about within 15 minutes. Do not bleach a garment for longer than that, for it would make the fabric weak.

Color removers are also available, but they tend to remove some of the color from the fabric itself as well.

Method 2: Using a blunt knife you could scrape off excess mustard from the garment. But be careful and see to it that during the process of scraping you do not further spread the stain. You could then soak the fabric in a solution of dishwashing liquid and denatured alcohol (mixed in the ratio of 3:1) for about 15 minutes. While doing this, the stain might just turn dark, but be assured that it will wash out. Follow the soak with a hot water rinse. You might however have to repeat this process when undertaking the task of mustard stain removal.

Method 3: Clean the stained portion of the fabric with a good detergent in cold water, and blot it with absorbent paper towels. Thereafter pour a weak hydrogen peroxide solution onto the stain and add to it 2 or 3 drops of ammonia, and allow it to remain till the mixture stops bubbling.

Method 4: add some more of the same mustard, and allow the stain to moisten before soaking it in a strong liquid detergent. Follow this up with a regular wash. However there is no guarantee that the stain will be made to vanish.

If after following these treatments a stain remains, you could try adding a few drops of vinegar, and then tapping the cloth vigorously to loosen the stain.

Sometimes mustard stains are extremely stubborn and may not respond to any kind of treatment. Don't let this get you down. The next time round, just be a little more vigilant, and catch that mustard stain while it is still fresh.

[The picture used in this article has been taken from the photo library of stock.xchng.]