How to Get Mustard Out of Polyester

Mustard-stained clothing is frequently seen at picnics.
Mustard-stained clothing is frequently seen at picnics. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Yellow stains on polyester clothing are typical telltale signs of a mustard spill. The pigment in mustard is absorbed into the fibers as the stain soaks in. Respond to the stain in a timely manner to prevent it from spreading to surrounding fibers. Since polyester is a sensitive, synthetic fiber you must remove the mustard stain without damaging the garment with heat or aggressive cleaning methods. The use of proper cleaning methods and supplies removes the yellow stain while maintaining the condition of your polyester garment.

Things You'll Need

  • Spoon
  • Paper towel
  • Pre-wash stain remover
  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxygen bleach

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Lay the mustard-stained polyester garment on a work surface with the stain facing up. Carefully scrape the mustard off the fabric with a spoon. Remove as much mustard from the clothing in this manner.

Press a paper towel into the remaining mustard stain without rubbing. As mustard transfers to the towel, move to a clean portion and continue to blot until no further mustard is soaked up by the paper towel.

Blot mustard stains with a paper towel.
Blot mustard stains with a paper towel. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Hold the polyester garment underneath cold running water from the tap to flush some of the mustard stain from the fibers.

Apply a pre-wash stain remover to the remaining stain. Allow the stain remover to soak into the fabric fibers for 10 minutes.

Launder your polyester garment in warm water with laundry detergent and oxygen bleach to remove any last trace of mustard stain. Check the polyester fabric before drying the garment to ensure all of the mustard stain has been removed. If any remains, repeat these steps to remove the rest of the stain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute glycerin for pre-wash stain remover, if desired. Rub the glycerin into the mustard stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Avoid placing polyester garments in the dryer as this will damage or melt the synthetic fibers.
  • Do not rub and scrub when removing a mustard stain. This will likely spread the stain.


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