How to Remove Soy Sauce Stains From Clothes and Carpet

How to Remove Soy Sauce Stains from Clothes

The Spruce / Joules Garcia

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 7 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0

Soy sauce, a staple in Asian cuisine, is a dark condiment that tends to splatter, leaving dark splotchy stains wherever it lands. But you can easily remove soy sauce stains from garments and table linens if you act quickly. It's always best to treat stains while they are fresh, but even dried stains can be removed with soaking. Most likely you already have the supplies to get a soy sauce stain out right in the house. Take the following steps to remove soy sauce from clothing, carpet, or upholstery.

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Click Play to Learn How to Remove Soy Sauce Stains From Clothing

Stain type Tannin-based
Detergent type Liquid laundry detergent; dishwashing liquid
Water temperature Hot
Cycle type Varies depending on the type of fabric

Before You Begin

As soon as possible after the stain occurs, blot any excess soy sauce from the garment or table linen with a clean cloth or paper towel. Never rub, as you can push the stain further into the material fibers, making it harder to remove.

Check the care label on the garment and if the garment is labeled as dry clean only, take the item to the dry cleaner as soon as possible. Show them the stain and let them know it's a soy sauce stain.

If you decide to use a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the kit's cleaning bag and tumbling in the dryer. If the stain is not gone after doing this, repeat the steps, or take it to a professional dry cleaner.

If the clothing, upholstery, or carpet is vintage or made from silk or wool, contact a professional cleaner. You can also see our guide for more stain removal tips.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Clothing

  • Clean white cloth
  • Sponge

Carpet and Upholstery

  • Clean cloth
  • Sponge

Materials

Clothing

  • Clean cloth or paper towel
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • White distilled vinegar, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide (for white or colorfast clothing)
  • Stain remover stick, gel or spray

Carpet and Upholstery

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Ammonia

Instructions

materials for getting rid of soy sauce stains
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

How to Remove Soy Sauce Stains From Clothing

Be sure to act quickly, following these steps as soon as possible after the stain occurs. Even if you're in a restaurant, you can follow a couple of these steps to minimize the damage.

  1. Blot Any Excess Soy Sauce

    Use a clean cloth or napkin to blot the wet area.

    Warning

    Never rub or the stain could set in and become harder to remove.

    Excess soy sauce blotted with clean napkin from white shirt

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Flush With Cold Water

    Use cold water to prevent the soy sauce from setting. Run the cold water through the back of the garment, so it doesn't force the stain deeper into the fabric.

    Soy sauce stained shirt rinsed under running cold water

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Spot Treat With Liquid Laundry Detergent 

    Use your thumb and fingers to rub liquid laundry detergent into the soy sauce stain gently. Allow the garment to sit for three minutes before rinsing it thoroughly.

    Liquid laundry detergent rubbed into soy sauce on white shirt

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Apply a Bleaching Agent

    If you've tested your clothing to confirm it is colorfast, or if the garment is white, you can apply a bleaching agent such as vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide with a sponge. Do not do this with clothing that is colored or patterned and not colorfast.

    • Alternate between rubbing liquid laundry detergent and the bleaching agent, rinsing between each application.
    • When no more soy sauce can be removed, rinse thoroughly.

    Tip

    A natural bleaching agent like lemon juice or distilled white vinegar can be a good alternative to chlorine bleach on tough stains—and these natural products have a gentler impact on the environment.

    Sponge rubbing bleaching agent on soy sauce stained white shirt

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  5. Soak the Garment

    If the stain remains, soak the item.

    • Apply liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain and soak the clothing in warm water for 30 minutes.
    • If the stain still remains, apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray before washing the garment normally, using the hottest water suitable for the clothing.
    White shirt soaked in purple bucket with hot water and liquid laundry detergent

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  6. Check the Fabric

    Inspect the garment after washing it but before putting it in the dryer. If the stain isn't all gone, the heat of the dryer could set it permanently. If any stain remains, repeat the cleaning process.

    White shirt held up to light for checking cleaning process

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Remove Soy Sauce Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

If you've dropped soy sauce on upholstered furniture or a rug, the washing machine is usually not an option. Act fast to blot the wet spot with paper towels or a clean cloth, being careful not to rub the stain deeper into the fibers.

  1. Blot the Stain With Soap and Water

    • Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of cold water.
    • Use a clean cloth to blot the stain until all liquid is absorbed.
    • Repeat until the stain disappears.

    For carpet, if the stain remains, mix one tablespoon ammonia with one-half cup of water and sponge the stain with the ammonia mixture.

    Soy sauce stain on tan rug blotted with paper towel and dishwashing liquid solution

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Rinse and Dry

    Sponge the soapy solution from the spot with cold water. Dry by blotting with another clean cloth or paper towel.

    Clean paper towel blotting soy sauce stain on tan rug

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Additional Tips for Removing Soy Sauce

If the stain persists, go ahead and treat it once more using the methods above.

A few additional tips that may be effective at removing older, stubborn stains on clothing.

  • Prepare a tub with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Dab additional dish soap directly onto the stain. Place the garment in the tub and let it soak overnight.
  • Apply household hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Use a colorfast bleach in the laundry cycle. Check for success before moving the garment to the dryer.