Well, we discussed ketchup (catsup), red sauce, chocolate, and even gravy. It’s about time we discuss how to remove mustard from your carpet, right? After all, mustard is a classic condiment, just like its red counterpart. Its origin dates back even further than ketchup, to the time of early Romans. Very few people can enjoy a good American hotdog without that yellow squiggly line over the top of it, and some people reduce the calories of their tuna (as well as add a kick) by replacing mayonnaise with mustard.
Unfortunately, mustard often becomes very antagonistic when it meets your carpet. Some versions of spicy brown, Dijon, or coarse mustards can be removed with home remedies, but the mustard we all know and love – that sweet, perky, yellow spread – is more dangerous to your carpet than any of its cousins. Why?
The Secret Ingredient
Way back in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, George T. French introduced his style of mustard to the world. The world not only accepted it, but they loved the unique, spicy yet sweet flavor as well as its bright yellow color. Eventually, Mr. French’s version was dubbed “American Mustard” by connoisseurs. But what gave this mustard such distinction? Well, Mr. French added another spice to his concoction: turmeric. Turmeric by itself has a bitter, peppery flavor that’s responsible for much of the kick in curry powders. When added to mustard, it not only boosts the flavor but acts as a natural food dye, supplying that yellow brilliance.
And therein lies the rub: being a natural food dye, turmeric stains fabric and carpet without even trying. As such, the longer that mustard is left to sit, the worse the issue gets. In all honesty, if you spill American yellow mustard on your carpet, do not proceed with any DIY remedies. Contact Preferred Carpet Care immediately for guidance or recommendations.
What About Other Mustards?
Most Dijon and white mustards do not contain turmeric, but it is a common ingredient in spicy brown mustards. In any case, be very careful when trying to address spills from these varieties. If you are confident that your mustard spill does NOT contain turmeric, you could attempt the following method.
- Gently scrape up the excess, but please take care to avoid scrubbing the stain. This will easily work the mustard further into your carpet fibers. Blotting the stain with a lightly damp towel is more effective.
- Mix 2 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid (no bleach or lanolin). Blot the stain with the mixture from the outside inward.
- In a separate bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and mix into a paste.
- Use a dull knife, spatula or other flat tool to spread the paste onto the stain.
- Now, to apply heat – but it’s important to avoid making contact with the paste or the carpet. Bring over your steam iron or steam mop. Make sure it’s turned to its lowest setting. Line up your iron or mop just above the paste, and hold it there for about 30 seconds. This allows the stain and the paste to bond easier.
- Dip a clean white towel in cold water and use it to blot the stain until there is no more transference.
- Pat the area with a dry clean towel until the stain is no longer visible.
- If necessary, rinse the area with hydrogen peroxide and allow to dry with the help of weighted towels.
Due to the unsavory nature of this type of stain, and likely complications, we feel that tackling this issue on your own just won’t cut the mustard. Preferred Carpet Care highly recommends you leave mustard stains to our well-maintained professional equipment, our wide variety of cleaning solvents, and our decades of expertise to successfully clean your carpets. If you have any further questions about mustard stains or would like to discuss other cleaning options, feel free to give us a call or drop us a message online.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On July 9, 2020