How to Remove Sushi, Soy Sauce, and Wasabi Stains

Sushi, soy sauce, and wasabi are delicious but can also leave stubborn stains if spilled on clothing, furniture, or carpets. Removing these types of stains takes a bit of knowledge and some handy stain-fighting products. With the right techniques, you can get out even set-in stains and restore your items to their original condition.

Identifying Stains

The first step is identifying what type of stain you are dealing with. Here is what to look for:

Sushi Stains

Sushi stains often contain traces of:

  • Raw fish, which can leave behind oils and proteins that penetrate fabric.
  • Rice vinegar, which is acidic and can set stains.
  • Seaweed, which can leave greenish or blackish discoloration.

Check for sticky residues or greasy areas from the fish. You may see grains of rice stuck to the material. Colors may range from translucent to green, black or brown.

Soy Sauce Stains

The main signs of a soy sauce stain are:

  • Dark brown or black discoloration
  • A thick, sticky texture (fresh stains)
  • A stiff, crusted area (set-in stains)

Soy sauce contains salts, so dried stains may appear whitish. Check for hardened darkened edges or spots.

Wasabi Stains

Wasabi is a green paste, so look for:

  • Light to dark green discoloration
  • Possible stiff or crusted texture
  • Spicy aroma

The intensity of the color depends on the concentration of the wasabi. More pasty types can leave thicker stains.

Once you’ve identified the type of stain, it’s time to grab your stain removal supplies.

Assembling Stain Removal Supplies

Having the right products on hand is key to stain removal success. Here are some must-have items for tackling sushi, soy sauce and wasabi stains:

  • Dish soap – Dishwashing liquid helps cut through oils and lift food residues. Choose a grease-fighting formula.
  • Baking soda – The abrasive and absorbing properties of baking soda help lift set-in stains.
  • White vinegar – The high acidity of white vinegar helps dissolve residues and bleach discoloration.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – This mild bleach alternative whitens dried or faded stains.
  • Enzyme cleaner – Enzyme cleaners specifically break down food-based stains.
  • Laundry pre-treatment – Pre-treat sprays help loosen stains on fabric before washing.
  • Stain removal wipes – Convenient wipes let you start attacking a stain quickly.
  • Old toothbrush – The bristles help work cleaners into the stain.
  • Spray bottle – This makes it easy to apply stain-fighting solutions.
  • Soft clothes and paper towels – Use these for blotting and dabbing stains.

With the right supplies gathered, it’s time to start the staining removal process.

Removing Fresh Stains

When you’re dealing with a fresh sushi, soy sauce or wasabi stain, timely treatment is key. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Blot Excess

  • For solid surfaces, use paper towels to blot and lift as much of the stain as possible.
  • For fabric, place an absorbent cloth underneath and dab the stain to draw it out, replacing cloths as needed.

Blotting prevents excess stain from setting in while you prepare other cleaning solutions.

Step 2: Flush with Water

  • For solid items, run the stain under cold water while rubbing with your fingers to dilute and flush it out.
  • For fabric, hold the back side under running water so the stain is flushed from the front.

Water helps rinse surface stain residues away.

Step 3: Apply Dish Soap

  • For solid surfaces, apply a few drops of dish soap directly onto the stain.
  • For fabric, mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of water in a spray bottle and lightly mist over the stain.

Dish soap helps detach oily food stains so they can be more easily lifted.

Step 4: Lightly Scrub

  • For solid surfaces, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the dish soap into the stain.
  • For fabric, place a stain removal wipe or damp cloth over the stain and pat to work in the soap solution.

Scrubbing helps bring up stain trapped in the fibers or material pores.

Step 5: Rinse Clean

  • For solid items, rinse the sudsy stain remnants away with clean water.
  • For fabric, place back under running water to flush away loosened stain.

A thorough rinse removes any leftover stain particulates and cleaning solution.

For light stains or small areas, this quick freshening up is often enough to completely remove the discoloration. If any faint staining remains, move on to tackle more set-in stains.

Removing Set-In Stains

For dried, set-in stains, a bit more muscle is required. Here are the steps for removing stubborn sushi, soy, and wasabi discoloration:

Step 1: Loosen with Heat

  • For solid items, boil some water and hold the stained area over the steam to loosen residue.
  • For fabric, place the item face down on an absorbent cloth and iron the back side of the stain.

Heat helps soften up any crusted particles so they can be lifted.

Step 2: Apply Stain Treatment

  • For solid surfaces, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water and gently spread onto the stain using an old toothbrush.
  • For fabric, apply a laundry pre-treatment spray or gel evenly over the stain.

Specialty stain removers help break the bonds of set-in staining.

Step 3: Let Dwell

Allow the stain treatment to sit for 5-10 minutes. This gives the active ingredients time to penetrate and loosen the discoloration.

Step 4: Scrub

  • For solid surfaces, use a toothbrush to gently scrub the paste over the stain.
  • For fabric, place a clean rag over the treated stain and tamp the area.

Scrubbing agitates the loosened stain remnants so they can be rinsed away.

Step 5: Rinse

  • For solid items, wash off the scrubbed paste with clean water.
  • For fabric, run the back side under tap water to flush out the treatment and stain.

Rinsing removes both the staining and stain fighting ingredients.

Step 6: Repeat and Recheck

If any faint staining remains, repeat the process by treating, dwelling, scrubbing and rinsing until no discoloration shows. Persistence pays off!

Once the stain is no longer visible, you can move onto the next stage – whitening.

Whitening Lingering Discoloration

Even once you’ve removed all visible stain, there may still be faint discoloration or bleaching of the original color. Here’s how to whitening and brighten up the area:

Step 1: Apply Hydrogen Peroxide

  • For solid surfaces, dip a clean cloth in hydrogen peroxide and dab onto the discolored area.
  • For fabric, dilute 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water in a spray bottle and mist over the stain remnants.

Hydrogen peroxide naturally bleaches away dye discoloration.

Step 2: Sprinkle with Baking Soda

  • For solid items, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda directly over the peroxide-treated area.
  • For fabric, lay the item flat and sprinkle baking soda onto the faint stain.

The baking soda works with the peroxide to bubble away subtle discoloration.

Step 3: Let Stand

Allow the peroxide-baking soda combo to dwell for at least an hour. For tougher stains, leave overnight.

Sitting is key to allow full whitening reaction.

Step 4: Wipe Away

  • For solid surfaces, use a damp cloth to wipe away baking soda residue.
  • For fabric, shake off excess baking soda outdoors.

This reveals the whitened surface underneath.

Step 5: Rinse Clean

  • For solid items, rinse under running water to remove any leftover powder.
  • For fabric, rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.

A thorough rinse guarantees no powder or stain remnants linger.

With a potent peroxide-soda treatment, you can blast away even stubborn discoloration for a bright clean surface beneath.

Removing Stains from Specific Surfaces

The techniques may need some tweaking depending on the surface you are removing stains from. Here are tips for specific materials:

Clothing and Fabric

For cloth and fabrics:

  • Pretreat stains by applying stain remover stick, gel or spray before laundering. This boosts cleaning power.
  • Wash in the warmest recommended temperature for the fabric type with an added 1⁄2 cup baking soda or bleach alternative (like oxiclean).
  • Avoid drying until stains are fully removed to prevent setting them in. Air dry stained areas.
  • Use a stain-fighting laundry detergent containing enzymes and brighteners to help remove set-in discoloration.
  • For delicate fabrics, dilute hydrogen peroxide 1:4 with water and spray directly on stained area before washing.

Carpet and Rugs

When tackling carpet or rug stains:

  • Blot up liquids immediately before they seep down into the carpet fibers and pad.
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing forcefully which can grind in stains.
  • Use clean white cloths to press and lift the stain. Weight with books or cans to keep pressure on.
  • If needed, apply carpet cleaner and dab with sponge working from edges in. Rinse with water.
  • Mix enzyme carpet cleaner with hydrogen peroxide for extra discoloration fighting. Test first for color safety.
  • For older set stains, re-wet and extract with a carpet shampoo machine.

Upholstery and Furniture

On upholstered furniture or chairs:

  • Immediately blot with clean white towel to absorb excess liquid.
  • Use a spoon or dull knife to lift any semi-solids.
  • Mix a solution of 2 tablespoons enzyme cleaner per 1 cup warm water. Dip sponge into the solution and gently dab onto stain.
  • Avoid scrubbing or using too much pressure which can grind in stains or damage the fabric.
  • Place several layers of paper towels over treated stain. Put books or other heavy objects on top to apply pressure as it dries.
  • Mist hydrogen peroxide directly onto any remaining discolored areas before rinsing and drying.


For stains on mattress fabric:

  • First blot any wet spot with a clean white towel.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over the stain to draw out moisture and acids.
  • Use a soft brush attachment to vacuum up the baking soda once dry.
  • Mix an enzyme cleaner with hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Lightly mist onto the stain.
  • Let sit 30 minutes then blot dry. Repeat process if needed.
  • Rinse by lightly spraying with clean water and blotting dry.

Hard Surfaces

On non-porous surfaces like appliances, counters, tables or floors:

  • Immediately wipe up excess liquid or food pieces with a wet cloth.
  • Apply a few drops of dish soap and scrub with a soft brush or sponge rinse clean.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water. Use an old toothbrush to scrub it into any remaining stain.
  • Rinse then spray undiluted hydrogen peroxide onto any lingering discoloration.
  • Wipe clean with a soft cloth after 5 minutes. Reapply peroxide and scrub if needed.
  • Sanitize and polish surface once stain removed.

With the right timing and technique, even the most stubborn dried-on stains can be conquered.

When to Call for Professional Help

In cases of very large, deep set stains, or ones on expensive furnishings, it may be wise to call in a professional cleaner rather than risking damage by over-scrubbing.

Examples include:

  • Stains on carpeting or upholstery more than 1-2 inches wide.
  • Discoloration deep in mattress or furniture cushioning.
  • Any stains remaining after multiple cleaning attempts.
  • Valuable antique or specialty textiles and furnishings.

Look for a cleaner experienced in stain removal and fabric restoration. They have access to commercial cleaning solutions and equipment like extraction machines that give them an advantage over home methods.

For costly items, it’s better to be safe than risk worsening staining or destroying the piece by over-scrubbing. Professionals can assess if the stain can be removed, or permanent discoloration or fabric damage has occurred.

Preventing Future Stains

Once you’ve conquered those pesky sushi, soy and wasabi stains, you’ll want to keep new ones from forming. Here are some tips for stain-proofing your belongings:

  • Keep surfaces sealed and protected. Reseal stone, grout, wood and other porous materials regularly.
  • Use tablecloths and placemats when serving foods that may drip or splatter. Choose ones that can be thrown in the wash to clean.
  • Avoid light fabrics and carpeting in eating areas, which show stains easily.
  • Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to set. Keep stain removal supplies handy for quick treatment.
  • Apply fabric protector spray to upholstery and rugs to make it easier to blot up stains.
  • Watch drinks around light-colored fabrics and carpet which attract staining. Use coasters religiously.
  • Keep a spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar and water solution handy for immediate treatment of fresh stains.

With vigilance and prevention, you can avoid stains in the first place and make cleanup much easier.


Dealing with sushi, soy sauce and wasabi stains can feel daunting. But armed with the right techniques and commercial cleaners, you can banish even the most stubborn set-in stains. Just remember to identify the type of stain, treat fresh stains quickly, use cleaning products targeted to the surface, and gently lift stains without grinding them in deeper. With time and persistence, you can erase all traces for a pristine surface. Vigilance in the kitchen and dining spaces can prevent these pesky stains from forming in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Sushi, Soy Sauce, and Wasabi Stains

Sushi, soy sauce, and wasabi can be challenging to remove once stained on clothing, upholstery, carpeting, or other surfaces. Here are answers to some common questions about getting out these tricky stains:

1. How do I get soy sauce stains out of clothing or fabric?

  • Blot up excess soy sauce immediately
  • Pre-treat the stain with a liquid laundry detergent or stick pre-wash
  • Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric with an enzyme-based detergent
  • For set stains, apply hydrogen peroxide before washing
  • Air dry the stain face-down to avoid setting it in
  • Repeat washing if needed, avoiding drying until stain is fully removed

2. What about wasabi stains on my clothes?

  • Pretreat wasabi stains with dish soap by rubbing it in gently
  • Wash in hot water with bleach safe for fabric
  • If stains persist, blot with hydrogen peroxide before washing again
  • Wash and dry inside-out to prevent stain setting
  • For delicate fabrics, dilute peroxide with equal parts water before use

3. How can I get soy sauce stains out of my upholstery or carpet?

  • Immediately blot excess soy sauce with a clean white cloth
  • Mix an enzyme carpet cleaner with warm water and dab onto the stain
  • Place paper towels over the stain and weigh them down
  • Once dry, sprinkle with baking soda and vacuum up after an hour
  • For stubborn stains, use an extractor machine to rinse and remove residues

4. What’s the best way to remove wasabi stains from carpeting?

  • Scrape off any excess wasabi gently using a dull knife
  • Dilute some enzyme cleaner in warm water and spray onto the stain
  • Blot gently working from the edges inward
  • Avoid heavy scrubbing which can set the stain
  • Rinse by spraying with clean water and blot thoroughly dry

5. How do I remove sushi stains from my furniture or walls?

  • Clean excess oil or bits first using a mild dish soap on a sponge
  • Mix baking soda and vinegar into a foamy paste and apply to the stain
  • Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before wiping away
  • Rinse then spray lightly with hydrogen peroxide if discoloration remains
  • Wipe with clean damp cloth after 5 minutes

6. What can I do about set-in stains on my mattress?

  • Use a spoon to scrape off any chunks or dried bits from the mattress
  • Create a solution of enzyme cleaner, vinegar, and water to spray over the stain
  • Let sit for an hour before blotting dry and applying hydrogen peroxide
  • Weight down the peroxide-treated area overnight before rinsing mattress
  • Sprinkle on baking soda to help absorb and whiten before vacuuming up

Asking the right questions helps you identify the best stain removal methods for your particular item and type of discoloration. With some experimenting, patience and persistence, even the most stubborn sushi, soy and wasabi stains can be banished.