How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains

Removing mayonnaise stains can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, you can get even set-in stains out of fabric, carpet, and upholstery. Here are the most effective methods for tackling mayonnaise stains to restore your materials to their original condition.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap – For pre-treating the stain
  • Baking soda – To help absorb and lift the stain
  • White vinegar – To help break down oils and grease
  • Hydrogen peroxide – To help lift and bleach the stain
  • Laundry detergent – For washing machine-safe fabrics
  • Carpet or upholstery cleaner – For dense materials
  • Soft clean cloths – For blotting and wiping
  • Stain remover brush – For working product into fibers
  • Garment steamer – For heat-sensitive fabrics
  • Old toothbrush – For scrubbing stains on seams or tight weaves

How to Remove Mayonnaise Stains from Washable Fabrics

  1. Pre-treat the stain. As soon as you notice a mayonnaise stain, blot up any excess with a clean cloth. Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to begin breaking down the oils.
  2. Make a baking soda paste. In a small bowl, mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Spread this over the stain and let it sit for another 15 minutes. The baking soda will help draw out more of the oils.
  3. Scrub with an old toothbrush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the baking soda paste into the fabric. This will help loosen the stain from the fibers. Rinse the fabric under running water.
  4. Soak in vinegar. Fill a basin or sink with equal parts warm water and white vinegar. Submerge the fabric and soak for at least 30 minutes up to a few hours for tougher stains. The vinegar will further help break down grease and oils.
  5. Wash as usual. After soaking, wash the fabric in the washing machine using your regular laundry detergent. For heavy stains, use the hottest water safe for the fabric. Adding borax can also help boost stain-fighting power. Air dry the fabric in sunlight if possible.

Removing Mayonnaise Stains from Carpet

  1. Blot excess. Immediately blot up as much of the mayonnaise as possible from the surface of the carpet using clean rags or paper towels. Try not to smear the stain around.
  2. Apply carpet cleaner. Spray carpet stain remover or upholstery cleaner directly onto the stained area according to product directions. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Blot and scrub. Place clean rags over the stain and apply pressure or use a carpet brush to work the cleaner into the carpet fibers. Continually blot with new sections of the rag to absorb loosening stain residue.
  4. Rinse with water. Once the stain looks lifted, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. Blot with towels to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  5. Absorb moisture. Cover the damp spot with more rags or paper towels, weigh them down with a heavy object, and allow to fully dry. The towels will help draw out any remaining moisture.
  6. Vacuum. Once completely dry, run the vacuum over the area to lift any remaining residue and restore the carpet pile.

Removing Mayonnaise Stains from Upholstery

  1. Scrape off excess. Use a dull butter knife or spoon to gently scrape off any thick globs of mayonnaise from the upholstery. Try not to spread the stain further.
  2. Sprinkle with baking soda. Cover the stain liberally in baking soda. For tougher stains, make a paste with just a small amount of water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the baking soda to absorb the grease.
  3. Vacuum. Use the vacuum wand attachment to thoroughly suck up the baking soda along with any loosened stain residue.
  4. Clean with upholstery solution. Spray upholstery cleaner over the remaining stain according to product instructions. For heavy stains, use an upholstery attachment brush to work the solution into the fibers.
  5. Blot dry. Place clean absorbent towels over the stain and press firmly to blot up the moisture. Replace towels as needed until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Use vinegar. For any lingering stain, dab white vinegar directly onto the area using a clean cloth. The acetic acid will help further break down greasy residue. Blot dry once again before the fabric dries.

Tips for Avoiding Mayonnaise Stains

  • Store open mayo bottles and packets upright and tightly sealed to prevent leaks.
  • Check pockets and bags for stray mayo packets before washing.
  • Clean up spills immediately as fresh stains are easiest to remove.
  • Pre-treat stains as soon as possible and don’t let them set unattended for long.
  • Test stain removers on an inconspicuous area first to check for colorfastness.
  • Wash mayo-stained clothes in the warmest water recommended for the fabric.
  • For tough carpet stains, repeat steps 2-4 until the stain is fully removed.
  • Avoid excessive heat, abrasion, or vigorous rubbing when removing stains to prevent damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best stain remover for dried-in mayo stains?

For tougher, set-in stains, make a hydrogen peroxide paste by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a spreadable paste. Let this sit on the fabric for up to an hour before proceeding with washing. The peroxide helps lift and bleach stubborn stains.

How do you get mayo stains out of upholstery or car seats?

Use an upholstery attachment brush to work a pet-safe upholstery cleaner into the fibers. Then blot with clean towels to draw out the grease. For tougher stains, make a baking soda paste, let sit, and vacuum up. Repeat as needed.

Will washing machine heat set in mayo stains?

Yes, washing with hot water before pre-treating can set in oily stains like mayonnaise by essentially “cooking” them into the fabric. Always try to pre-treat the stain first before using the washing machine.

How do you get dried mayo stains out of clothes that are dry clean only?

Try spot cleaning with a small amount of dry cleaning fluid applied directly to the stain. Gently blot and flush the area with more fluid to draw out the oils. Then bring to a professional cleaner for a full cleaning. Avoid vigorous scrubbing as it may damage more delicate fabrics.

What temperature should you wash mayo-stained clothes in?

For machine washable fabrics, always use the hottest water recommended for the material. Heat helps dissolve and release oily stains. Check clothing tags carefully beforehand and pretreat stains first.

Is mayonnaise hard to get out of white clothes?

Mayonnaise can leave behind a stubborn yellowish stain on lighter fabrics like whites. Using a hydrogen peroxide solution helps lift both grease and discoloration. For fabrics that can handle it, try drying in direct sunlight for extra stain-fighting power.


Mayonnaise stains don’t have to be permanent. With the right staining techniques and products, you can successfully remove mayo stains from delicate fabrics, heavy upholstery, and carpeting. The keys are acting quickly, pre-treating with stain fighters like dish soap and baking soda, and using hot water, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide to break down and lift out those stubborn oils. With some elbow grease and the right methods, you can keep your materials looking their best.