1. Home

Remove Tomato Sauce Stains


Remove Tomato Sauce Stains Photo Credit: Janis Christie/Getty Images
Whether it's spaghetti sauce from dinner, or a health drink at breakfast, tomato stains stink. Find out how to get rid of your red stained mess in a few easy steps.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15-20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Remove as much of the excess tomato sauce as possible from the fabric. I use a spoon or the back of a butter knife. This won't damage your clothing, but will allow all the excess to come off.

  2. Run cold water through the back of the stain as quickly as possible. This will force the stain back out through the fabric. Don't run it through the front of the tomato stain, which will only force it more deeply into your clothing.

  3. Rub a liquid detergent into the stained portion of the fabric. Work it into the fabric gently in a circular motion beginning on the outside of the stained area, and working in.

  4. If the garment is white, or you have tested it for colorfastness, apply a mild bleaching agent. Possible agents include hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar applied with a sponge. You can also use lemon juice on white fabrics. Rinse well.

  5. Repeat with detergent followed by mild bleaching agent until the stain no longer appears.Hold the stain up to the light to make sure it is fully gone.

  6. Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes while you wait.

  7. Wash normally with detergent. Before drying, double-check the stain. Stains that are dryed will often be permanent.

  8. If it remains, rub detergent into the tomato stain. Next, soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

  9. If the tomato stain is still stubborn, apply stain remover stick, gel, or spray and launder according to directions. I usually do this step even if I can't see any lingering stain, just to be sure I get all traces of tomato stain out.


  1. If your stain is a combinations stain, treat the oily part first with some mild dish detergent before proceeding with the directions above. A lot of spaghetti sauces that are made with meat will be oily.

What You Need

  • Spoon or butter knife
  • Cold water
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • (optional for white/colorfast clothing) white vinegar
  • (optional for white/colorfast clothing) hydrogen peroxide
  • (optional for white clothing) lemon juice
  • Stain remover
  • (optional for oily stains) mild dish soap
Related Video
How to Remove Tomato Sauce Stains
  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Housekeeping
  4. How to Do Laundry
  5. Stain Removal
  6. Tomato Sauce Stains, Removing Tomato Stains From Clothing

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.