Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

A Solution To Get Tomato Sauce Out Of Clothes

a solution to get tomato sauce out of clothes

Used widely across multiple cuisines and cultures, tomatoes really shine with their versatility, and unique flavour. That said, if you enjoy anything that is tomato-based, then you've probably had to deal with a spill or two at some point of time. 

Whether it's your favourite spaghetti sauce, or just a good ketchup for your fries, one little mishap can cause a stubborn stain on your clothing if it is not addressed quickly and carefully. The reason being - tomatoes contain tannins which is the acidic chemical that gives things their colour. On top of this, there is usually some form of oil that goes into making different types of tomato-based sauces, and we all know what that means! Collectively, the potential these things have to stain your clothing is truly problematic. 

Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that you can’t get tomato sauce out of clothes. In fact, we have more than enough means to get rid of both, oil as well as tannin based stains. In other words, tomato sauce doesn’t stand much of a chance here as long as you deal with the stain correctly.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

Before we dive into the process of removing tomato sauce from clothes, there are a couple of things one needs to pay attention to when cleaning any fabric.

Firstly, you should always stick to the wash care instructions on the tag of the garment. This is paramount as you could potentially do more damage than good if you stray from the recommended cleaning method.

Secondly, when attempting a new method of cleaning on any fabric, it must first be tested on an inconspicuous piece of the cloth to ensure the material can handle it. Though rare, things like colour fastness and shrinkage are still very real possibilities. 

If any of the stain removal methods listed below seem to alter the fabric in some way, do not proceed further. Instead, visit your nearest laundromat for professional assistance in removing the tomato sauce stain.

With all of that out of the way, let's get into our tried and tested methods to get tomato sauce out of clothing items.

How to Remove Tomato Sauce From Clothes

The following steps are incredibly simple to perform, and only require a few basic household items. Take a look below.

Step One: Remove Excess

First things first, get rid of the excess. When something spills onto your clothes, letting it sit for even a few minutes is probably the worst thing you could do for the fabric. 

Instead, you need to act quickly by carefully scooping off the extra sauce that has fallen onto the clothing. You can do this with a spoon or a blunt knife; just try to be gentle since you don’t want the stain spreading any further, or getting worked deeper into the fabric.

Step Two: Flush With Cold Water

Next, take the garment and run cold water through the stain. Do this by turning the garment inside out, place the back of the stained area under the faucet, and run cold water through the stain. This allows for any loose particles to get pushed out of the cloth, thereby ensuring that the stain cannot set deeper into the clothing, nor can it spread wider.

Step Three: Apply Laundry or Dishwashing Detergent

Once you have ensured that the tomato sauce stain cannot worsen, it is time to treat the red discolouration itself. Here, either laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid is a surefire way to get rid of the sauce stain. Obviously, laundry detergent is intended to remove stains from fabric in general, however, dishwashing soap is designed to address food based stains, especially oil, and therefore, either is advised. 

Simply take a small amount of detergent, whether laundry or dishwashing, and apply it directly across the stained area. You must then work the detergent into the stain, ensuring that you are getting a good lather going. The key is to work the stain from the outside inwards, using circular motions. This ensures the stain is lifted well, and doesn't spread onto the rest of the fabric. 

Step Four: Use An Alternative If Detergent Isn't Enough

In the event that your regular detergent or dishwashing soap isn't working as well as you expected it to, consider an alternative like enzyme-based stain remover. This product tackles biodegradable stains specifically which means that no matter how bad the stain is, if it's caused by natural food particles, the stain remover will break it down. The product is available in most supermarkets or online stores, so it's worth looking for a good brand to help you get going. 

To remove tomato sauce stains from clothes using an enzyme-based stain remover, follow the instructions provided on the bottle, and you can expect to see satisfactory results by the end of it.

WARNING: If the instructions on the bottle clash with the wash care instructions of the garment, you should refrain from using the product altogether. 

Step Five: Launder and Dry As Usual

Finally, with the pre-treatment of the tomato sauce stain complete, you can now continue to launder the clothing as you typically would. Once the regular wash is done, it's important to check the fabric for any residual amount of staining. 

If there is some discolouration left behind, avoid putting the clothes into the dryer as heat, especially dry heat, tends to set stains in further. On the other hand, if there is no sign of the original stain, you may proceed to dry the clothing any way you like. 


With the step-by-step method provided above, you should have no trouble getting tomato sauce out of clothes. In fact, most detergents today are capable of handling tomato sauce stains with a fair amount of ease, so you’re really spoiled for choice in this regard. Of course, a stubborn or older stain may require the use of an enzyme-based cleaner, or by contacting professional cleaners which is more than likely to do the trick!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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