Guide: Cleaning Ketchup and Mustard Stains from your Carpets

Who doesn’t love grilled hotdogs on a bun, piled high with mustard, ketchup, and relish? The only safe way, to eat your hot dog is on a plate, but where’s the fun in that? Bite into it while holding the hotdog bun in your hands, balancing it all the while to make sure the hotdog doesn’t slide out and the mustard, ketchup and relish stays where they are, is the challenge. That’s the fun of it.

Sometimes the hotdog does slip, and sometimes the mustard, ketchup, and relish get knocked out of position. If these ingredients end up on your carpet, then you are left to deal with a difficult mess. Fortunately, immediate action can usually work at getting the stain out completely. The sooner you address the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

How do you treat this kind of stain? Arm yourself with commercial carpet cleaners specially formulated to treat these kinds of stains. Begin by scraping off most of the food ingredients that are on the carpet, gently removing the bulk of it if you can without unintentionally rubbing more of it onto the carpet. What you can’t scrape off, you can try to blot out.

Then apply the carpet cleaner liberally over the stain. Let the solution set for a few minutes, and then use a clean cloth and water to blot the area. Do this repeatedly until the stain begins to lift as you blot. Reapply the cleaner and blot again – do this repeatedly until you succeed in removing the stain completely.

If you wish to take a more DIY approach to removing your carpet stain, try creating a homemade cleaning solution made of dish soap and water instead of commercial carpet cleaners. You can deal with the ketchup stain separately from the mustard stain, and vice versa, but if you are dealing with a spilled hotdog, it is likely that you are dealing with mixed condiments all jumbled up on your carpet.  The good thing is that the homemade cleaning solution of the dish soap and water can be used for both, either separately or together.

First, scrape off as much of the mustard and ketchup as you can, following it up by blotting the worst of the stain off. Then, apply the solution liberally by a sponge or by using a spray bottle. Begin to blot up the solution with clean paper towels or a clean cloth. With any luck, the stain will begin to come right off.

Do this repeatedly until the stain has lifted completely, always remembering to blot instead of scrubbing the solution into the carpet.

Finally, when the stain has been completely lifted from the carpet, use cold water to blot at the area to remove any soap residue. If you don’t do this, you’ll only be leaving a patch of damp spot on your carpet that will attract dirt and dust.

After you have blotted out the soap with cold water, make sure to dry the carpet completely. You can place paper towels on the damp spot, laying something heavy on top of it. The paper towel will work by absorbing the moisture from the carpet, effectively drying it out.