Although adding hot sauce is a great way to enhance the flavor of almost any recipe, spilling it on your favorite shirt and ruining it is an entirely different story. So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?
Before you get an answer to your question, understand that you could run into two different scenarios. You've either recently spilled hot sauce, and your shirt is still wet. Alternatively, the stains may have dried and stiffened. The latter tends to leave behind persistent marks that are difficult to remove.
Fortunately, there are various ways to tackle this problem. Read through this article to find out!
Why Does Hot Sauce Leave Behind Stubborn Stains?
Hot sauce is generally used as a seasoning to spice up your bland food. It contains chili peppers, oils, vegetables, vinegar, etc. When these ingredients are dropped on your shirt, they oxidize and leave a stain.
Moreover, some manufacturers may include varying amounts of artificial food coloring which further deepens the stain and makes it almost impossible to remove. But if you act quickly enough, the spot may be temporary and can be cleaned.
If your upholstery also got stained by the hot sauce, click here to learn how to efficiently clean them.
How Can You Get Rid of Hot Sauce Stains?
As stated earlier, there are several methods you can employ to eradicate these blotches. Use any of these to get your shirt back to its original condition.
If the hot sauce splotch is still fresh, and you have baking soda lying around in your kitchen. It is now time to put it to use by following the steps described below:
Step #1: Remove the Excess Sauce
Use a spoon or a piece of cloth to dispose of the surplus. Your main aim is to get rid of a maximum amount of spilled hot sauce from your shirt as quickly as possible. This is done to prevent the condiment from spreading, which will ruin your entire shirt, leaving a more prominent mark.
Quickly perform this step before the stain fully dries out.
Step #2: Apply Baking Soda
As baking soda is known for its oil-absorbing properties, it can aid in removing hot sauce marks. In addition to breaking down the oil, it can also lessen the color of stains.
To carry out this step, apply a layer of baking soda onto the target spot. After letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, wash it out using cold water. To prevent the stain from spreading, it's advisable to turn your garment upside down before rinsing off the baking soda.
Once done, you may simply hand wash the shirt or toss it in the washing machine.
An effective way to remove many kinds of stains is through laundry detergent. It contains active enzymes that have the ability to break down stain molecules. Here's how to do it:
Step #1: Get Rid of the Solid Particles
Start by cleaning out any large pieces or chunks present in the hot sauce stains. You may do this by using either a spoon or a bread knife. Removing solid particles from the cloth makes it easier to proceed with the cleaning operation without further messing up your shirt.
Step #2: Rinse the Stain With Cold Water
Next, put your garment under cold running water. Wash out the stain from the backside so that it comes out on its own. Keep it under the water for at least 5 minutes. Avoid using warm water as it results in stains that may become too difficult to remove.
Step #3: Blot Out the Stain
This is an essential step in the process of removing the hot sauce stain. Get a sponge or soft piece of cloth and start blotting out the mark. Always avoid forcefully rubbing the affected area. The best approach is to work your way in a circular manner from the stain's border to the center.
This step ensures that the stain from your garment is absorbed into the cloth or sponge. Rinse it with water after you're confident that all the stain has been transferred.
If you don't have a sponge or a cloth on hand at the time of the incident, you can use a slice of white bread to absorb the stain off your shirt.
Step #4: Use Liquid Detergent
If there's some hot sauce mark left on your shirt, then the liquid detergent is the final step. Pour some on the stain and gently rub it away. Finally, launder your garment as usual.
You should never use bar soaps in place of detergent since they tend to set stains owing to aggressive rubbing.
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent option for swiftly removing hot sauce stains. It's known to be a great degreasing agent. As tough stains are made of oil molecules, alcohol may readily dissolve them. This is what you need to do for a quick fix:
- Using a cotton piece, blot the targeted area with rubbing alcohol.
- Wipe it off with clean paper towels or cloth.
- Continue doing so until the stain lightens in color or vanishes altogether.
If you’re curious about the many properties of rubbing alcohol that make it a perfect stain remover, then click here.
Note: Avoid vigorously rubbing alcohol on your fabric because it has moderate bleaching qualities that might create its own stain.
If you don't want to use chemicals or detergents, there are several other options for cleaning your hot sauce-stained clothing. These home treatments are straightforward and easily accessible to everyone. You may use ingredients such as vinegar or citrus oil.
Vinegar, which is also present in the hot sauce, can aid in removing the spots due to the similarity of their chemicals. However, vinegar can fade the color of some materials. So, before applying this ingredient, check to see if the fabric of your shirt reacts negatively to it. To carry out this action, follow the steps below:
- First, take a piece of cloth and lightly dip it in vinegar.
- After that, dab this cloth on the area from the backside of your shirt.
- Start rubbing gently to get the stain out.
- Wash the shirt afterward.
Another great alternative to removing stains is citrus oil. It has the power to dissolve even the most stubborn hot sauce stains. If you want to opt for this method, follow the instruction below:
- Dab some citrus oil onto a piece of cotton wool.
- Then, press it on the stain.
- Next, place some cloth over the hot sauce mark.
- Place a heated iron on top of the cloth, which will pull off the stain.
How Does Fabric Material Affect The Removal Of Hot Sauce Stains?
As various cloth materials react differently to different chemicals, it's essential to consider the fabric of your shirt before beginning the stain removal procedure. As a general rule, adhere to the guidelines provided below:
- To determine the fabric material of your shirt, always look at the tag at the back of the collar. If it's cotton or silk, avoid using vinegar as it can change the color of your shirt.
- When dealing with light fabrics such as linen and silk, it's best to avoid soaking them in bleach water overnight as it may cause discoloration.
- If your garment is particularly designed for dry cleaning, do not hand-wash it after removing the hot sauce stain. The mark will worsen as a result of this.
Things To Avoid While Removing Hot Sauce Stains
It's always good to be aware of factors that may aggravate hot sauce stains. So, for your convenience, we've listed a few things you should avoid at all costs while cleaning up marks.
- Refrain from rubbing recently spilled hot sauce over the clothing, as this generally spreads the stain more.
- Avoid using warm water to wash out the stain. This is attributed to the reason that the high temperature may cause the mark to become permanent.
- Never rub vigorously since that can worsen the stain.
- Always wash off the mark from the backside of the shirt. This prevents the hot sauce mark from spreading elsewhere on the shirt.
- If the mark hasn't been completely erased, don't put your garment in the dryer, as it can set the mark permanently due to its warm temperature.
- Avoid using a dark-colored cloth to remove a hot sauce stain since it may leave a color of its own.
Before you start cleaning a hot sauce stain, keep the following points in mind:
- Always check the manufacturer's tag on your shirt and choose an appropriate procedure for the fabric.
- It's advisable that you test a small concealed area to check whether or not the ingredient reacts positively to it or not.
- Wash the shirt afterward to remove any residues of the active ingredient.
This brings us to the end of our guide. We hope that by now, you have all the information you need to get away from hot sauce stains. If you face any difficulties in carrying out any procedure, feel free to comment down below, and we'll try our best to help you out. Happy cleaning!