How to Remove Steak Sauce Stains from Clothes, Carpet, and Upholstery

steak sauce
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

There are more brands of steak sauce than there are cuts of steak. Most recipes are made from a combination of tomatoes, sugar, spices, and 'secret ingredients'. Because the sauce contains different types of ingredients, it leaves a combination stain that may take a bit of elbow grease to remove. You can use these tips to remove your favorite steak sauce as well as Worcestershire and soy sauce.

How to Remove Steak Sauce Stains from Washable Clothes

If the steak sauce is thick, use a dull knife or spoon or edge of a credit card to lift the sauce from the surface of the fabric. Don't rub because you'll push the stain deeper into the fibers. If the sauce is thin, blot with a clean white cloth or paper towel. If you have nothing else handy, blot with a slice of white bread to absorb as much as possible.

As soon as possible, flush the stain from the wrong side of the fabric with cold water. The easiest way to do this is to hold the wrong side of the fabric directly under a running faucet and let the force of the cold water do its work. Next sponge the stain with a bit of plain rubbing alcohol or non-sudsing household ammonia and rinse well.

Wash as usual following the care label instructions. Check the stained area before drying. Never put a stained garment in a hot clothes dryer. The excess heat may permanently stain the fabric.

If the steak sauce stain remains, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names are: OxiClean, Clorox 2, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite) and tepid water following package directions. Submerge the garment and allow it to soak at least four hours or overnight and then launder as usual.

How to Remove Steak Sauce Stains from Dry Clean Only Clothes

If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, lift or blot away as much steak sauce as possible. Then as soon as possible, point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner. If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

How to Remove Steak Sauce Stains from Carpet

When that drop or splash of steak sauce lands on the carpet, act immediately. Lift any solids from the carpet with a dull edge or blot up as much liquid as possible with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Work from the outer edges of the stain toward the center when blotting to prevent making the stain larger.

Next, mix one tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap with two cups of warm water. Using a clean cloth or sponge dipped in the mixture, saturate the stain working from the outside edges toward the center. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred to the cloth. Work slowly and methodically. 

When no more stain is being transferred, dip a clean cloth in plain water to rinse the area. Rinsing is very important because the soap solution can actually attract soil. Blot with a dry cloth and allow to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift fibers.

If the stain remains after drying, treat the stain with a solution of oxygen bleach and water. Saturate the stain and allow the solution to remain for at least one hour. Blot to dry. NOTE: Do not use oxygen bleach on wool carpet as it can cause discoloration and change the texture of the fibers.

How to Remove Steak Sauce Stains from Upholstery

The same tips and cleaning solutions suggested for cleaning steak sauce stains on carpet can be used for upholstery. Take extra care not to oversaturate the fabric which can leave moisture in the cushion stuffing.

If the upholstery is vintage or silk, call a professional upholstery cleaner.