How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains

How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains From Clothing

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-$10

Mayonnaise is a delicious condiment that, unfortunately, can leave behind some tough oil stains. Like all oil stains, addressing the mark as soon as possible is key to the success of removal. Some fabrics absorb oils more stubbornly than others. For example, oil stains on polyester fabric may present a more significant challenge to eliminate.

Although a trip to the dry cleaner may be necessary, there are several steps you can take to remove oil stains at home using items you likely already have in your cupboard. Heavy-duty laundry detergent, vinegar, and commercial stain remover can effectively draw out oil stains in clothing, carpet, and upholstery. Never machine dry a still-stained garment, as the high heat can seal the oil and make the mark permanent. 

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

Before You Begin

As with any stain, the sooner the fresh stain can be treated, the better the chances of success for removal. Do not rub immediately. That will only push the stain deeper into the fabric fibers and make the stain harder to remove. Check the care label on the garment and test any detergent or cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to ensure that it does not discolor the fabric. While most cleaning methods are gentle enough for a diverse range of fabrics, knowing an item's specific care needs will help you choose the best stain removal option. Older or dried stains will be harder to remove, so know that you might need to repeat the cleaning process several times before the stain disappears.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • White cloth
  • Paper towel
  • Sponge
  • Machine dryer
  • Dull knife
  • Credit card (optional)
  • Vacuum


  • Stain remover
  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing detergent


How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains on Clothes

When a glob of mayonnaise lands on your lap, you should begin the removal process as soon as possible. The steps you take for removing mayonnaise stains from fabric are applicable to removal from carpet and upholstery.

  1. Remove Solids

    Use a dull knife, spoon, or the edge of a credit card to lift the solids off the fabric's surface. Never rub at the solid mayonnaise because it can push the stain deeper into the fabric fibers and make it more difficult to remove.

    dull knife used to scrape mayonnaise off of a tee shirt
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Apply Stain Remover

    Apply a solvent-based stain remover, like Shout or Zout. You may also use heavy-duty liquid detergent to the stain and work it in by gently rubbing with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Tide and Persil have adequate enzymes to break apart the oil.

    using a soft brush on a mayonnaise stain
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Let the Stain Remover Sit

    Allow the stain remover to work for at least 15 minutes, then wash the garment in the hottest water advised for the fabric, following the guidance on its care label

    Letting the stain remover sit

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Inspect and Dry

    Inspect the stained area before machine drying. The dryer's high heat, especially on synthetic fabrics like polyester, can make the oil stain very difficult to remove. If the stain persists, repeat the treatment as necessary before drying.

    Adding the garment to the dryer

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

You can use the above removal practices for carpet and upholstery. Be careful not to over-wet the stained area, as excess moisture can create mildew and mold.

  1. Scrape Solids

    Scrape any solids using a knife, credit card, or spoon, the same way you would on an article of clothing. Again, never rub or wipe the stained area with a paper towel because it will push the mayonnaise deeper into the carpet or upholstery fibers.

    Scraping mayonnaise solids off of the rug

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Mix a Solution

    Mix a solution of 2 of cups warm water, 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, and 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar. Dip a clean white cloth, paper towel, or sponge in the solution and wring out the excess moisture. Blot the stain.

  3. Rinse

    Rinse using another clean cloth dipped in tepid water to wipe down the stain. Remove any detergent or mixture residue, as it can attract soil to the carpet or upholstery. Blot again.

    wiping down a rug with a mayonnaise stain
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  4. Air Dry

    Allow the area to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift and restore the carpet fibers.

    Vacuuming the rug to lift carpet fibers

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska


You can dab the stain with a piece of clean sandwich bread to remove excess oil.

When to Call a Professional

If your stained garment is dry clean only, head to the dry cleaner and identify the stain. If you decide to use a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain with the provided stain remover pen before putting the garment in the dryer bag. If your stained upholstery is silk or vintage, call a professional and do not attempt to clean it yourself.

Additional Tips for Handling Mayonnaise Stains

If the mayonnaise stain persists, you may repeat your preferred cleaning method as often as you see fit. If the stain won't budge, even after multiple cleanings, consider calling a professional. You may also sprinkle baking soda onto the stain to help the oil-absorption process. You can apply the mayonnaise stain removal process to many other oil-based food stains, like salad dressing.