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How to Remove Mustard Stains

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The following instructions will help you remove mustard stains from your carpet - if they can be removed. The truth is, mustard is one of the tough ones, and if the stain is old it is likely to be permanent. On the other hand, even when they cannot be removed completely, sometimes stains can be lightened enough that they become unnoticeable.

If it's a fresh spill, do your best not to spread it while cleaning it up. Scoop the mustard up from two sides at once using a couple spoons or small pieces of cereal box (something stiff). If you have a wet/dry vacuum available, try to suck the rest out, perhaps adding a drop or two of water to loosen it. Just be sure that you do not add so much water that you spread the mustard.

Once you have removed what you can of the initial spill, or if you are starting out on an old stain, follow the steps below.

Our First Mustard Stain Removal Method

Use a commercial cleaning solution and follow the directions. But follow all the directions, including the ones that say you should test the cleaner on a hidden piece of carpeting (a corner in a closet or a leftover piece from when it was installed). If it causes discoloration you need a different cleaner.

Important Note: Do not use any cleaners that contain ammonia. It reacts with the turmeric and causes the stain to set more permanently. Check the labels!

Method Two

Get out the hydrogen peroxide; the 3% variety you can buy at grocery and drug stores. Soak a corner of a white cotton cloth with it and dab at the stain until it is covered - but try not to let the hydrogen peroxide soak down to the carpet backing. Allow this to sit for ten to twenty minutes. Rinse with water (blot it up repeatedly with a clean cloth) and move to the drying routine outlined below, or - if there is still a stain - move on to the next step.

Method Three

Mix two ounces of white vinegar with four ounces of warm water and apply some of this to the spot using a spray bottle (or carefully drip it). Blot this up with white paper towels or a clean white cotton cloth. Repeat this process until the mixture is gone (three or four applications). If there is still mustard in the carpet fibers, move on to the next step. Otherwise skip to the rinsing and drying instructions.

Method Four

Mix a pinch of bleach-free laundry detergent with water to create a paste. Work this into the spot and scrub gently with your fingers. Rinse repeatedly with water, blotting it up each time with paper towels or a clean white cotton rag. If there is still a stain, you can try a rinse and gentle scrub with club soda, but it may be permanent in any case.

If you need a bit of visual instruction, the following video shows you a method for getting mustard stains out of carpet:

Rinsing and Drying

Whenever you use cleaning solutions, rinse the spot with clean water afterward. Apply a little at a time and suck it out with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner or blot it up with clean white cotton cloth or paper towels.

After the spot has been rinsed, dry it quickly. A wet/dry shop-vac can help with this. You can also stack some white paper towels over the spot and weight them down with something that will not be damaged by the moisture. Replace them as they get wet, and finish by placing a fan where it can blow on the spot for an hour or two.

Following the instructions here is about the best you can do to remove mustard-based stains or lighten them, but these procedures will not always work. If they don't, you might hide the spot under furniture or a rug. You also might try some of the tricks described on the page about permanent stains.

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