How to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes: 6 Easy Ways

woman washing clothes
To remove bbq sauce from clothes, blot the stain carefully as soon as it happens to remove and lift as much of the sauce off the fabric as possible. Spray the stain with a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and water, or use dish soap and cold water to soak the garment before washing with a stain-removing detergent.

6 Ways to Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes

Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? But sometimes, getting spilled sauce out of your clothes can be challenging. Here are 6 hacks on how to remove barbecue sauce stains from your clothes:

Cold water soak and soap.

Soak in cold water as soon as possible after a stain occurs. If you can rinse off your clothes as soon as they get coated with BBQ sauce, you can use cold water to help eliminate the sticky residue.

Just be sure not to rub or scrub too hard—you don’t want to make the stain larger. After rinsing in cold water, gently wash the material with soap and rinse with cold water. Don’t use hot water or the stain may set.

Use a stain remover.

You can use a stain remover or pre-treatment product before washing if you’re worried about getting BBQ sauce out of your clothes. These products will help break down and remove stains so that they are less likely to set in and become permanent.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the stain remover and apply it to your garment as soon as possible after a stain has occurred.

Use dish soap directly on the stain.

If you have dish soap on hand, this is a great way to eliminate stains from BBQ sauce. Pour the dishwashing detergent directly on the stain (or on a clean cloth) and rub it in. Let the detergent sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water.

The dish soap will help break down the oils in the BBQ sauce and make it easier for you to wash out the stain.

Baking soda and water.

Baking soda has many uses around the house, including getting out stains from food items like BBQ sauce. To try this DIY method, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water. Then pat your stained area in this mixture before washing as usual in your washing machine.

Vinegar and lemon juice.

If the stain remains after all these steps, sprinkle it with lemon juice and vinegar, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash as usual and dry on low heat (or no heat at all) until completely dry.

Hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach.

Hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach are the best stain removers when everything else fails. You can use color-safe bleach (yes, there is such a thing) to ensure you don’t ruin your colored clothes.

How Do You Get BBQ Sauce Out of Clothes Without a Washing Machine?

If you don’t have a washing machine, you can still remove stains!

One method starts with making a DIY pretreatment solution. You can make the solution by mixing two parts of water with one part of white vinegar. Put this solution in a spray bottle, pretreat the garment by saturating it where the stain resides, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then use a damp cloth or towel to blot the stain until it comes out, repeating these steps until the stain is gone.

If that doesn’t work, you can try this method:

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water.
  2. Add some dish detergent.
  3. Soak the stained part of your garment for several hours.
  4. When you’re done soaking, rinse it well with cold water and hang it to let it air dry.

What Should You Do if You Spill BBQ Sauce on Your Clothes?

If the stain is fresh, blot it carefully with paper towels until all excess moisture has been removed from the fabric. Don’t rub; this will only cause more damage and worsen things!

If possible, avoid scrubbing the stain with a brush or other hard object because this can make the stain larger.

If you can, rinse the fabric under cold water on the back of the stain (so it comes out on the front) to remove most of the excess barbecue sauce from the front side of the fabric.

Then soak it in any of the DIY solutions mentioned in this article for at least 30 minutes before washing it in your washing machine.

How Do You Get BBQ Sauce Out of Polyester?

If you’re wearing polyester, don’t worry. The good news is that polyester isn’t very absorbent compared with materials like cotton.

If you spill BBQ sauce on your shirt or pants, try blotting it with paper towels. Use a pretreatment method before washing your garment. Remember to air dry clothes after cleaning the stain.

How Do You Get BBQ Sauce Out of Cotton?

Cotton is more absorbent, so stains are harder to get out of this material.

To get BBQ sauce out of cotton, try washing it in cold water with an enzyme detergent (like Tide), then allow the garment to air dry.

How Do You Get BBQ Sauce Out of Cloth Seats?

To remove BBQ sauce from car seats, you can try spraying with a solution of 2 parts water to one part vinegar and blotting the stain to get rid of it. Be careful you don’t get the seats too wet or saturated.

Consider using a commercial upholstery cleaner or having the seats professionally cleaned if the stain is particularly stubborn.

Best Detergents to Remove BBQ Sauce from Clothes

BBQ sauce is one of the most common food stains, and it can be a pain to get out. Luckily, a few products can get rid of that stubborn BBQ sauce stain in no time!

Here are my top picks:

Gain Flings

These little guys are a little more expensive than regular laundry detergent, but they work wonders removing tough stains like BBQ sauce from clothes. They smell good too!

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Liquid

This liquid laundry detergent is designed to remove everything from grass stains to juice, wine, and more. It works on all fabrics and is safe for use on colored clothes and whites. This product is available at most major retailers, including Walmart and Target.

Tide To Go Pen

Tide’s To Go Pen is another great option for removing BBQ sauce from clothing because it’s small enough to fit in your purse or pocketbook, so you can take it wherever you go!

It is essential to test any cleaning solution or stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure it does not cause any damage. Also, follow the care instructions for the garment to avoid damaging it while trying to remove the stain.

Best Products to Remove BBQ Sauce from Clothes

Many products or solutions can help you get stubborn stains out of your clothes, so you don’t have to throw out your favorite shirt or pants.

White Vinegar

This is one of the most common solutions when removing stains from clothes (or anything else). Just soak your stained clothing in white vinegar for about 30 minutes before washing it. The acid in white vinegar will break down the proteins in the sauce and help release them from the fabric so they can be washed away more quickly during your regular wash cycle.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural cleaner that works wonders on all kinds of stains, including coffee, ketchup, red wine, curry powder, and more! You can sprinkle some directly onto the stain or mix it with water before adding it to your wash cycle for the best results!

Odor-free Dish Soap

Dish soap will help break down any oil or grease in the BBQ sauce so you can wash it away more quickly. Be sure to use gentle dish soap to avoid damaging your clothing! Try going for one that is fragrance-free.


Alexandra is a passionate writer who loves everything related to food: from buying local produce and sourcing the best ingredients to finding the perfect spice mix and sauce to complement each dish. She loves getting together with friends near a campfire and grilling up some barbecue goodness while having quality conversations - no screens allowed.

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