When eating barbecue, it sometimes can’t be helped that they spill onto your clothes. BBQ sauce stains tend to be bothersome, especially on light-colored clothing.
They’re a bit stubborn and hard to remove, too. It only takes a couple of seconds to get BBQ sauce on your clothes. But it could take you more than an hour to get them off.
There are many ways to get BBQ sauce out of clothes, though. So, don’t worry. You can use a variety of laundry products such as liquid detergent, stain remover, and bleach. You can also use white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda which are readily available at home.
We’ll walk through these different methods step-by-step so that you’ll learn how to deal with BBQ sauce stains on your clothes.
Home Remedies to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes
Here are some home items you can use as remedies for BBQ sauce stains. Check if you have any of the following available:
- Liquid detergent
- Stain remover (liquid, gel, or spray)
- Hydrogen peroxide or bleach (preferably, color-safe)
- Dishwashing liquid
- White vinegar
- Baking soda or cornstarch
How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes
- If the stain is fresh, try to lightly scoop up as much of the BBQ sauce as you can with a spoon or butter knife. Make sure not to spread the stain further.
If you’re dealing with an already-dry stain, use a spoon to scrape off as much as you can. Be careful not to rub it further into the fabric. You could also dab the spot with a paper towel or clean cloth.
- Turn the clothing inside out and run cold water over it for a couple of minutes until the stain becomes lighter.
Doing so would make the water push the stain out where it came from. Not turning the garment inside out might only set the stain and make it harder to remove. It’s the same case when you use hot water instead of cold to wash the stain off.
- Pre-treat the stain using a liquid detergent. Work it into the stain. Dab the spot gently and lightly. Try not to rub into the fabric too much.
Just make sure that both sides of the fabric are covered with liquid detergent. If you don’t have liquid detergent, a dishwashing liquid could do the job, too. Both of these are great for removing the grease that comes with the BBQ sauce.
- After letting it sit for 5–10 minutes, rinse it off with lukewarm water.If you have a stain remover product, you can work it into the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing again.
- If the stain still won’t come off, try using bleach or hydrogen peroxide. You can also try using lemon or white vinegar for this. Their acidic properties might help break down the BBQ sauce stains.
These would only work best on white clothes, though. If you have colored clothes, use color-safe bleach or try the others on a small hidden area of the garment just to see if it does alter the color. This is only optional. You may skip this step if you’re worried about ruining the color of your clothes.
- After rinsing the bleach off thoroughly, you can go ahead and put your clothes in the washer as usual. Set the water to the highest possible temperature that the piece of clothing allows. Using hot water at this point would help in getting the stains off.
- After washing, check if the stain is still there. If it is, you can go through steps 3–6 again until the stain is gone.
- Only throw the garment in the dryer once there’s no more stain left. Throwing a still-stained garment in the dryer makes the stain harder, if not impossible, to remove. The dryer sets the stain onto clothes, so make sure it’s completely gone first.
Stain Remover to Get BBQ Stain Out of Clothes
Stain Remover Spray
The Zout Laundry Stain Remover Spray has a triple enzyme formula that works on protein, starch, and oily stains. It’s safe to use on all colorfast washables too.
Just spray it onto the stain enough to cover it completely. Wait for about five minutes. Put it in the washer under the warmest possible setting and you’re done.
Stain Remover Gel
The Shout Advanced Stain Remover for Clothes with Scrubber Brush is an ultra-concentrated gel that treats even dry stains. It has a built-in scrubber brush that allows you to work the gel into the fabric gently.
Its thick gel formula can handle even the toughest stains like food, grass, dirt, and blood. It’s also safe to use on colored clothes and delicate fabrics.
Stain Remover for Laundry
The OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener & Stain Remover Power Paks is a chlorine-free product. It’s designed to revive the whites in clothes. But it’s also safe to use on colored garments.
You can add one Power Pak to every laundry load. You can also dissolve it in the warmest allowable water for your clothes to pre-soak. Never open the Pak as it easily dissolves in water when stirred. Leave the pre-soak solution for up to six hours and then you can wash it as usual.
On-the-Go Stain Removers
The Shout Wipe and Go Instant Stain Remover works as a regular wet tissue would. It’s perfect for instant stain fixes. It can handle makeup, blood, and wine stains while being gentle on the fabric.
Another perfect on-the-go option is the Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover. It works like an eraser pen that breaks down even tough stains. It doesn’t contain bleach, so it’s safe to use even on colored clothes.
How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Non-Machine Washable Clothes
There are fabrics that are not advisable to be washed in machines as it may damage them. These include silk, satin, cashmere, wool, leather, and fur. Structured garments like a shoulder-padded coat should also not go into the washer. Clothes with embellishments and manufactured pleats are also not machine-washable.
If BBQ sauce stains get on these types of clothing, it could be a disaster. Good thing there is a way to deal with the problem—baking soda or cornstarch.
- Lay the garment on the floor or any flat surface.
- Remove any excess BBQ sauce from the garment. Dab a wet towel lightly onto the stained area.
- Once done, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or cornstarch on the affected area. The powder is supposed to absorb the grease from the BBQ sauce and make the stain come off easier.
- Let it sit for about an hour.
- Rinse it off with cold water.
- Repeat as needed until the stain is mostly gone.
- Handwash the garment. If you can, wash only the affected area to keep the garment safe.
- Air-dry the garment completely.
If you’re not too confident in cleaning the garment by yourself, bring it to a dry cleaner or a stain expert. They would know how to handle these issues much better.
Ways to Avoid Getting BBQ Sauce on Clothes
The best way to avoid getting BBQ sauce on your clothes is to wear an apron or a bib when you eat. It’s the most straightforward way of preventing the BBQ sauce from ruining your clothes.
You can use just about any kind of bib or apron. A disposable one might be the most practical, though. If there are no other options, you could use your handkerchief or a table napkin as well.
If you’re the one preparing the barbecue, you might want to try using less sauce. Only put enough BBQ sauce to achieve the desired taste. It would also be cleaner and easier to eat if the sauce isn’t dripping everywhere.
At some point, a barbecue could be delectable enough to make you forget about being careful when eating it. If the barbecue is that good, it just can’t be helped.
If you’re only at home, it wouldn’t matter that much. But it could be a bummer when it happens over your lunch break or at an important event.
BBQ sauce stains are one of the toughest stains to remove, especially on light-colored clothes.
That’s why it would be a good thing to know just how to handle them.
To recap, here’s how to get BBQ sauce out of your clothes:
- Scoop off the excess sauce using a spoon or butter knife.
- Turn the garment inside out and run cold water through it.
- Pre-treat the stain with a liquid detergent. Make sure that both sides are covered with it.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Use a stain remover product on the area. You can also use bleach or other home remedies to get rid of the stains.
- Let these sit for about 15 minutes and rinse off.
- Put the garment in the washer. Set the water temperature to the highest allowable setting. Check the garment’s label for the exact maximum temperature.
- Check if the stain is gone. If not, you can repeat the earlier steps as needed.
- Once it’s gone, you can go ahead and throw it in the dryer. Or you could also just continue air-drying the garment if you prefer
I love sharing my passion for BBQ with people who are new to cooking outdoors. We’re a family of foodies with a passion for grilling, BBQ and all things meat. We love what we do and we look forward to showing you.