How to Remove Cheese Sauce Stains From Clothes, Carpet, and Upholstery

How to Remove Cheese Sauce Stains

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr - 1 hr, 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0 to 10

If melted cheese plops onto your clothing, tablecloth, carpet, or couch, this oily stain can be difficult to remove if you don't get to it quickly. Oils resist washing with water, but when you use a heavy-duty detergent that can break down oils and combine that cleaning action with a stain remover, you can get it out at home. One of the biggest cleaning blunders is drying an oil-stained item in a machine dryer before the stain is gone, as heat sets stains. Never apply high heat until a garment is stain-free.

While the tastiness of cheese sauce makes the risk of a drip worth it, these pesky stains still need quick attention. Here's how to get cheese sauce stains out of fabrics, carpet, or upholstery.

 Stain type  Oil-based
 Detergent type  Heavy-duty
 Water temperature  Varies based on fabric
 Cycle type  Varies based on fabric

Before You Begin

If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, lift away any solids using a dull edge. Use plain cold water to sponge the stained area to remove any solid residue left in the fabric. As soon as possible, head to your professional dry cleaner and be sure to point out the stain. Do not leave the stained item in a hot car for several days. It will only make the stain harder to remove.

If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

If the cheese has fallen onto silk or vintage upholstery, remove as much of it as you can with a dull-edged knife and then blot any remaining oil with a clean white paper towel. Then call a professional upholstery cleaner to deal with the remainder of the stain.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Clothing or Table Linens

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Soft-bristle brush (optional)
  • Washing machine

Carpet or Upholstery

  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sponge
  • Clean white cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional)


Clothing or Table Linens

  • Laundry pretreatment stain remover spray or gel
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

Carpet or Upholstery

  • Liquid dishwashing soap


Removing Cheese Sauce Stains From Clothes or Table Linens

Cheese sauce and melted cheese drips are a combination stain of protein from the milk solids and oil. As with any stain, the sooner you can treat it, the easier it will be to remove.

  1. Scrape Away Solids

    Remove any solid blobs of cheese with the edge of a dull knife or spoon.


    Do not apply too much pressure, as that can push the cheese further into the fabric fibers.

    Scarping off cheese sauce with a spoon

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Flush the Stain

    Hold the stained area of fabric underneath a sink with cold water running full force. This will help loosen more of the cheese solids. Do not use hot water, which will set the stain more firmly into the fabric.

    Flushing the stain under cold water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Apply Stain Remover

    Apply a laundry stain remover, such as Shout or Zout, to the cheese stain. If you don't have a stain treatment on hand, you can substitute a bit of heavy-duty laundry detergent, such as Tide or Persil. Use your fingers or a soft-bristle brush to work the stain treatment thoroughly into the cheese stain.

    Working stain remover into the fabric with a brush

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Leave Garment for 15 Minutes

    Let the garment sit for 15 minutes while the stain remover breaks down the oily cheese residue.

    Letting the garment sit for 15 minutes

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Wash the Fabric

    Wash the stained fabric in the warmest water recommended by its care label. Once the wash cycle is finished, examine the fabric. If a trace of stain remains, repeat the above steps. If the stain is gone, you can dry the garment as usual.

    Choosing detergent and washing the garment

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena


    Be prepared to repeat the stain removal process more than once, especially if the fabric is synthetic like polyester. Synthetic fabrics often hold onto oily stains more firmly than natural fabrics.

Removing Cheese Sauce Stains From Carpet or Upholstery

The same cleaning techniques and solution used for carpet can be used to remove cheese sauce stains from upholstery as well. However, do not overwet upholstered cushions because that can cause mildew or odor to develop in the filling.

  1. Scrape Away Solids

    Remove as much cheese sauce as possible with a dull knife or the edge of a spoon. Do not rub hard, as that will grind the cheese further into the carpet or upholstery.

    Scraping cheese sauce off the carpet with a dull knife

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

    Mix a solution of 2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing detergent in a mixing bowl.

    Mixing a cleaning solution for carpet stain removal

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Blot Away the Stain

    Dip a clean sponge into the solution and work it into the stained area using a blotting motion. Work from the outside edges of the cheese stain towards the center to avoid making the stain larger. As the cheese loosens from the fibers, blot it away with a clean cloth. Keep working until no more orange color from the cheese transfers to the cloth. Blot away any excess moisture.

    Blotting the carpet with a sponge

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena


    Rubbing or scrubbing at the stain can make it worse. Use a blotting motion instead.

  4. Rinse With Cold Water

    Dampen a clean sponge in plain cold water to rinse the cleaned area. Keep sponging with cold water until no more soapy residue is present. Blot away excess moisture with a clean cloth, and then allow the area to dry away from direct heat. Vacuum carpets to lift the fibers.

    Vacuuming the carpet to lift the fibers

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Additional Tips for Handling Cheese Sauce Stains

If cheese sauce stains persist despite your best efforts, it's time to call for assistance. Take the stained clothing or table linen to a professional dry cleaner, or call a professional carpet cleaning or upholstery cleaning service. Let the cleaner know the nature of the stain, as well as all of the steps you've already taken attempting to remove it.