3 Ways to Remove Salsa Stains From Fabric

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How to remove salsa stains from fabric

A salsa stain is most likely one of the last things you want to see on a white t-shirt or a tablecloth, but it’s just as problematic on darker fabrics. It’s also next to impossible to avoid, as even the most careful people may end up with a stain.

Getting rid of salsa stains requires patience, and you need to be careful with colored fabric. However, don’t consult a dry cleaner yet. We’ve got a few methods that have a high success rate and will help you remove salsa stains from your fabrics.

Before you begin

If you want to ensure a good outcome, we recommend taking a look at our tips and tricks.

  1. It’s recommended that you don’t clean around children or pets.
  2. Before trying to clean your fabric, perform a safety test: apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a hidden patch of fabric. Leave it to sit for up to 30 minutes. If it doesn’t stain, you can use it.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice should only be used on white or colorfast fabric. White vinegar may be risky too, so test it first.
  4. Always read the tags on your fabric and ensure that it will be suited for the solution you’re using.
  5. If using detergent, remember to air out the room.
  6. Do not apply heat to the stain. Only throw the fabric in the dryer once the stain is fully cleaned.
  7. All of the methods require the use of liquid laundry detergent, so make sure you have that on hand.

Simple ways to remove salsa stains from fabric

The first and most important step in getting rid of salsa stains is simply acting quickly. Dried stains are harder to clean, so if you can, start the cleaning process immediately.

Whether you’ve caught a fresh stain or a dried one, always start by removing excess salsa from the fabric – you can do that by scraping it away with a spoon or a dull knife.

Once that’s done, follow our methods. We’re certain that with enough persistence, you will be able to save your clothes or other fabrics.

Method #1: Using white vinegar and laundry detergent

Time: >30 minutes + laundry time

Required items: cold water, liquid laundry detergent, white vinegar, a sponge. Optional: pre-wash stain remover

This is a solid method that will work on most stains, but the steps may need to be repeated. Test using the white vinegar first to ensure there is no stain.

I’m a big fan of Harris Cleaning Vinegar and keep a bottle of this in my pantry at all times. There are copious materials and cleaning methods that utilize it – it’s worth having the large bottle on hand.

  1. Start by scraping off all the salsa that you possibly can. 
  2. Place the back of the stain underneath the tap, and run a strong stream of cold water through it.
  3. Blot some liquid laundry detergent into the stain, and leave it to sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse well using lukewarm water.
  5. Pour some white vinegar onto the stain, and blot it in using a clean sponge.
  6. Rinse from the front and the back using a stream of water.
  7. The above steps should be repeated until you are satisfied with the stain – it should be gone, or at the very least almost gone.
  8. Optional pre-laundry step: apply some pre-wash stain remover to where the stain was/is.
  9. Launder as normal.
  10. If the above steps did not help, move on to our next methods.

Method #2: Using liquid dish soap

Time: >30 minutes + laundry time

Required items: a spoon or a butter knife, cold water, a clean sponge, liquid laundry detergent, mild liquid dish soap

This method is recommended for especially oily stains.

  1. Begin by scraping off as much of the salsa as you possibly can. Be gentle.
  2. Run the back of the stain underneath a strong stream of cold water.
  3. Using a sponge, rub liquid dish soap into the stain.
  4. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse the liquid dish soap off with cold water.
  6. Apply a generous amount of liquid laundry detergent to the stain, and rub it in gently.
  7. Once again leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
  8. Rinse off using cold water.
  9. Optional: Like before, at this point, you can use a pre-wash stain remover for extra great results.
  10. Once the stain is entirely gone, wash the piece of fabric like you normally do.

Method #3: Using hydrogen peroxide

Time: >30 minutes + laundry time

Required items: a spoon or a butter knife, cold water, a clean sponge, lemon juice, liquid laundry detergent, 3% hydrogen peroxide

This method is only recommended for white and/or colorfast fabric.

  1. As in the previous methods, begin by quickly scraping all the salsa that you can. 
  2. Run a strong stream of cold water over the back of the stain.
  3. Pour a generous amount of liquid laundry detergent onto the stain. Rub it in.
  4. Leave it for around 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  6. Mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of water.
  7. Apply the solution to the stain, and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. 
  8. Once again, rinse thoroughly.
  9. If the stain persists, you can apply some lemon juice to it and rub it in with a sponge or a clean cloth.
  10. Repeat the above steps as necessary.
  11. Optional: As per the first two methods, you can use a pre-wash stain remover at this point.
  12. When the stain is fully gone, launder as normal.

What’s next?

Salsa stains are not easy to remove, because salsa has a tendency to stain badly. The longer the stain remains untouched, the more trouble you can expect when you attempt to clean it.

If all of our methods haven’t helped, you can use an enzyme cleaner, (I recommend Amazing Whip It Cleaner for the really tough stains) combined with liquid laundry detergent as a last resort. Alternative stain removers may also help.

It’s important to remember that using solvents such as bleach, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice may cause discoloration – always perform safety tests first on a sample or hidden patch of material.

In a situation where nothing helps, please consult a professional dry cleaner, especially if you’re dealing with a delicate kind of fabric. It’s better to play it safe than risk damaging your fabric.

Salsa stains are difficult to avoid, but if you know you’re eating something that can stain badly, we always recommend putting down a napkin. You’ll thank yourself later. Everyone is prone to spilling their favorite salsa on their clothes.

Be patient and persistent, and remember to act as fast as possible. If you do, the odds of saving your favorite shirt, tablecloth, or dress are quite high.