Does one of your favorite shirts still bear the remains of last night’s dinner? Did you forget to scarf that pulled-pork sandwich over a plate or napkin? Don’t go buy yourself that bib just yet – we’ll show you how to attack it and with a little luck you just might be wearing that piece of clothing again! We will also cover BBQ carpet stain removal further down the page. If you have any tips to share, please add them to the collection at the bottom of this page.
Barbecue Stain Removal from Clothing
The clock is ticking! The longer you wait to tackle a barbecue stain, the harder it will be to remove. If you can’t get to it right away, keep the stained article wet to prevent the stain setting into the fibers. ALWAYS read the laundering instruction label to prevent damaging your clothes and skip any of the following steps that the instructions forbid. When you’re ready, here’s what to do:
- Remove as much excess BBQ sauce as possible. If the stain is still wet, gently blot it with a clean paper towel, replacing the towel as necessary until it no longer removes sauce. If the stain is dry, use an instrument with a dull edge such as a butter knife to remove as much dried BBQ sauce from the fabric as possible.
- Run cold water through the back side of the stained area. The higher the pressure, the better. This will force some of the sauce back up to the surface and make it easier to remove.
- Pour enough liquid detergent onto the stain to cover it then fold the stained area over itself and gently rub the fabric together to work the detergent in and loosen the sauce from the fibers. Let it sit for a few minutes, repeat, and then rinse. If this method is proving effective, continue to repeat this step until the stain is gone then launder the garment normally.
- Use a specialized stain-removing product on it. You can find these at your local supermarket; they come in small bottles with applicator brushes, pads or spray nozzles. Be careful to read the back of any stain remover you consider to make sure it won’t harm your fabric. After using the product, launder it normally, but don’t dry it! If the stain isn’t completely gone you risk baking it into the fabric if you dry it. Let it air dry and inspect it again for the stain. If it’s gone, you’re golden.
- Set your washing machine on the lowest load setting, add a product containing bleach if the garment is white and bleach-safe (Regular detergent may work if it is not), allow the machine to fill with water and then stop it. Soak the article in your washing machine for several hours, all day if possible and then run it through the wash cycle. Alternatives to detergent include hydrogren peroxide, white vinegar, and lemon juice – be careful though, these are bleaching agents!
If any of the above methods fade the stain, you can repeat them to try and eliminate it completely. If the stain still remains and you don’t know what to do, bring it to a dry cleaner and let them have a go at it, just don’t put it through the dryer!
Barbecue Stain Removal from Carpets
Just as with clothing, the longer you wait after the carpet has been sauced, the harder that BBQ stain is going to be to remove.
If the BBQ stain is still fresh:
- If it’s still wet, blot (don’t rub) with paper towels until they no longer pick up sauce then re-wet the area with a water/mild dish detergent combination and repeat until the stain stops getting lighter. Have patience, this may take a while.
- If the stain still persists, pour some baking soda on the spill and follow that up with some white vinegar. The baking soda will cause the vinegar to fizz and push the stain up to the surface where you can either blot it up and vaccum, or use a wet-vac.
If the barbecue stain is old:
- Use the dull edge of a butter knife to scrape as much dried sauce from the surface fibers as possible and vaccum them up. If you have shag carpeting you might get better results using a brush or comb.
- Apply a store-bought carpet cleaner and follow the instructions on the bottle. They usually include either letting it soak, or scrubbing.
- If that fails, you may have to resort to renting a carpet shampooer from your local home improvement store or calling in professional carpet cleaners to finish the battle for you.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of BBQ stains.