How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes Fast? [In 20 Minutes]

BBQ sauce stains on clothes

It’s officially barbecue season! Who doesn’t love a delicious grilled steak, barbecue ribs, and veggies? It’s a frustrating experience when barbecue sauce spills on our clothes while we’re savoring it. We have the perfect solution for you to remove those pesky stains.

Is it Difficult to Clean BBQ Sauce Stains?

When it comes to removing BBQ sauce stains, many people find it to be quite a challenge. The oily texture of the BBQ sauce and the various ingredients like tomatoes, spices, and color agents makes the stain stubborn and difficult to remove. However, with the proper techniques and products, it is possible to eliminate even the toughest BBQ sauce stains from clothes successfully.

How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes?

Before we start with the actual cleaning methods, you can take a few quick steps so the stain doesn’t set. The following steps aim to prevent BBQ sauce from setting in, making it easier to remove the stain when you clean it at home.

Quick-Action Steps to Prevent BBQ Stains From Setting

Step 1: Scrape and Blot the Stain

To remove sauce from the fabric, use a blunt knife or spoon to scrape the excess BBQ sauce. Be careful not to apply extra pressure while doing so. Otherwise, you might rip the fabric. Then, blot the excess with a paper towel or napkin. Avoid spreading the stain and clean in a blotting motion only.

scrape BBQ sauce from clothes with spoon

Step 2: Clean with Cold Water

Hold the stained area under cold running water. The cold water helps dilute and flush out the sauce from the fabric. Continue rinsing until you see the water running clean. 


This step will only remove 60% of the stain, but it will help us remove the remaining 40% stain easily while doing laundry.

When we do the laundry, we will address the remaining stain in the following steps. You can resume your party after removing the excess BBQ sauce from your clothes. 

wash BBQ sauce stains with cold water

Cleaning Overview

Working Time:  10-20 minutes
Total Time:  3-8 hours
Skills Required:  Intermediate
Estimated Cost:  USD 10-40

What Will You Need


  1. Liquid laundry detergent
  2. Stain remover
  3. Hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar


  1. Spray bottle
  2. Clean cloth
  3. Spoon or knife

How to Get Dried BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes?

If you didn’t clean the BBQ stain immediately and only noticed it while doing laundry, it’s crucial to begin by pre-cleaning the excess stain. You can skip this step if you have previously cleaned the stain.

Step 1: Pre-Treat the Stain 

Since the stain has dried off till now, you can use a blunt knife or spoon to scrape the excess product off. Be careful not to apply extra pressure while doing so. Otherwise, you might rip the fabric. 

scrape BBQ sauce from clothes with spoon

Step 2: Apply the Stain Remover on the Stain

Apply an adequate amount of stain remover on the stain. Using a clean cloth or a soft brush, gently rub or blot the stain remover on the stained area. Make sure not to rub vigorously, as it might damage fabric fibers. Let the product sit for 5 to 10 minutes. If this step doesn’t help you or if you don’t have a stain remover, follow the next step.

apply stain remover on BBQ sauce stain

Step 3: Treat with Liquid Laundry Detergent

If you pre-treated the stain, this step will help you remove all the stain. Pour half a tablespoon of laundry detergent on the stain and gently rub the detergent into the fabric. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to let the detergent penetrate the fabric. This will help to break down complex oils in the bbq sauce.

After that, run the stained fabric through cold water till all the detergent washes out completely. You can inspect the stain after this; if you see that the stain has completely washed off, you can air-dry the clothes; otherwise, follow the additional next step to remove the leftover stain.

apply laundry detergent on BBQ sauce stain

Step 4: Use a Mild Bleaching Agent

In cases with stubborn stains, we can try a mild bleaching agent to remove the leftover stain. You can either use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar for this step.

a. Hydrogen Peroxide
hydrogen peroxide on BBQ sauce stain
i. Patch Test on Small Area

Perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to make sure the hydrogen peroxide is not causing any discoloration. After applying hydrogen peroxide to a small area, give it 5-10 minutes. If everything looks okay, we can proceed with the further steps.

ii. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide on the Stain

Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and, using a clean cloth, spread it across the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes; this gives time to break down the oily BBQ stain.

iii. Rinse with Cold Water

Rinse the stain with cold water, removing the hydrogen peroxide solution and the stain. Ensure all the hydrogen peroxide solution is cleaned off; because not cleaning hydrogen peroxide properly might cause discoloration in clothes. Examine the stain carefully; if necessary, you can repeat the process.

iv. Launder the Garment

Clean the garment with your regular laundry detergent as you usually do according to the fabric’s wash care label.

b. White Vinegar
white vinegar on BBQ sauce stain
i. Dilute White Vinegar

It’s important to dilute the white vinegar to prevent any potential acidity from damaging the fabric. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to prepare a dilute solution.

ii. Spray the Vinegar Solution on the Stain

Gently spray the prepared vinegar solution on the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar breaks down complex oils in the BBQ sauce and makes it easy to clean the stain.

iii. Gently Blot or Rub

Using a clean cloth, gently blot or rub the stain in a circular motion. Be careful not to rub too vigorously, as it can damage the fabric. Continue till you see the stain lifting.

iv. Rinse with Cold Water

Rinse the stained area with cold water to remove vinegar and any bbq sauce residue. Check if the stain has been removed completely. If not, repeat the steps.

v. Launder the Garment

To clean the garment, follow the care instructions for the fabric and use your usual detergent.

Alternatives to Remove BBQ Sauce Stains From Clothes

Sometimes, the bbq sauce stains set deep into the fabric fibers and don’t come off easily. At such times you can follow the alternatives mentioned below.

1. Get Professional Help

You can check for a professional dry cleaner in your area specializing in stain removal. When you take your clothes to the dry cleaners, explain to them the methods you have already tried. This helps them to come up with the best solution for your stains.

2. Layering

If the stains are permanent and do not come off, layering your clothes strategically can help conceal the stain. For example, if you have stained a white shirt, layering it with a scarf is a good option.

3. Fabric Pens or Markers

Some fabric pens or markers are designed to cover up stains. They often come in various colors and are often used to cover up stains. You can choose a fabric pen closest to the color of your stained cloth and apply it over the stain.

  • Does BBQ sauce come out of white clothes?

    Cleaning BBQ sauce stains from white clothes can be challenging because of the color and ingredients. Removing BBQ sauce stains from white clothes is still possible if you act quickly.

  • Does bleach help in removing BBQ sauce?

    Bleach can effectively remove BBQ sauce stains from clothes, but you must dilute it before using it. Otherwise, it might cause discoloration.


Removing BBQ sauce stains from clothes can be challenging due to their oily nature, but removing them effectively with proper care and cleaning techniques is possible. A standard liquid detergent might do the trick if you have trouble eliminating BBQ sauce stains.

For those tougher stains, other options like white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a dedicated stain remover are worth exploring. These alternative methods can provide a more effective and thorough cleaning solution to help keep your fabrics looking their best.

Have you also gone to a BBQ party recently, and the smoke smell stuck to your favorite leather garment? If yes, read: How to get smoke smell out of leather?