October is my favorite time of the year. It’s not about falling leaves and pumpkins for me, but rather Beer and Bratwurst. Zigga-zagga, zigga-zagga, hoy, hoy, hoy! Bring on Oktoberfest!
So here’s my problem: Mustard. I fancy myself a bit of a stain ninja in that I can get out chocolate and blood like nobody’s business, but my mustard stained blouses and lederhosen get trashed. So my question, Millicent, is how do I deal with these mustard stains?!
Splattered and tattered
Mustard is one of my favorite things to put on, well, anything, and as easy as it’d be to simply tell you to go without, I couldn’t in good conscience do that. Grainy, brown, yellow, German, French, Dutch – no matter. Bring on the mustards, I say! However, any spills or blotches inadvertently dolloped on one’s tie or top rather than their sausage can cause quite a headache in the laundry room and getting the condiment out proves harder than a crime scene clean-up.
The funny thing about mustard stains is their propensity to spillage. I believe there is an actual undiscovered scientific formula which explains how my children can eat a relish, ketchup, and mustard loaded hot dog at school and return with only yellow puddles down their shirts. We’ve even instituted a “wear a bib” to school day here on hot dog day. (Being on the PTA has its perks.)
Traditional stain removers – even those which remove blood and wine effortlessly – seem to struggle when it comes to mustard. The key here is to get that spot tended to as quickly as possible – something not easy to do once you’re six beers in and halfway through a swinging polka. But once you notice you’ve been “spotted,” get some clear liquid (water or club soda, preferably) on that thing, pronto. The trick is to prevent the mustard from drying. Start a wet t-shirt contest, possibly. Save your shirt, make some money. That’s a win/win as far as I’m concerned. And more money = more mustard. So really it’s win/win/win.
Once home or when you have access to laundry facilities, you’ll need to hit this thing hard. Hard like a hammer. Rub the stain with dish detergent or laundry soap in a thick paste and rinse. Repeat.
Have your mail forwarded to the laundry sink.
When most of the yellow is mellow, spray spot with a stain remover solution (you know the ones, Shout, Whisk, whatever you have on hand or can procure quickly) and let sit as long as instructions allow. Make sure to check these; some say one hour, while others are safe to leave overnight.
Then, soak item in wash tub of water with two scoops of Oxygen-cleaning powder or 1/4 cup of bleach if article is all white. (Note: If you wore a white shirt to Oktoberfest? You deserve what you get.) Wash with detergent and additional powder or bleach on warmest, longest cycle fabric can safely tolerate. DO NOT DRY the clothing if stain has been stubborn and has not been removed. You could also try some bloggers solutions to mustard stains from Pinterest.
If after entire process the stain is still haunting you, you need to ask yourself some hard questions like:
1. Is repeating this process worth the time it’s shaving off my life? There is a whole world outside, friends. No condiment is worth that.
2. Was that 17th bratwurst worth the aggravation?
If the answer to either question was “no,” then for next year I’d suggest a shirt with a paisley print, preferably with a yellow, say mustardy color palette.
Have a question or conundrum you can’t solve and frustrated that Google doesn’t give the personal touch? Email Millicent at firstname.lastname@example.org for help!