How to Get Tomato Sauce Out of Clothes? (Step-by-Step Guide)

It’s unavoidable to have a lot of encounters with kitchen ingredients wherever you may be. For people who cook, spilling and splashing tomato sauce on their clothes every now and then is technically quite normal these days. And so, learning how to get tomato sauce out of clothes would be handy.

Get Tomato Sauce Out of Clothes

Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes in their unprocessed and natural selves are not much trouble in terms of stains. However, when they are processed to become tomato sauce, other elements of flavor and colorants are added. As a result, the tomatoes evolve into something different, and most of the time, it’s something that may cause more mess, for example, tomato sauce. What is tomato sauce made of?

Tomato sauce is also known as and coined as Neapolitan sauce. In Spanish, it is called salsa roja, and in Italian, salsa di pomodoro. These terms are all part of the family of sauces made primarily from tomatoes. As the name suggests, tomato sauce is made up of tomatoes and other elements.

These things consist of olive oil and some other stuff to enhance flavor, like onions, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper, which are most of the time optional and depend on the maker’s taste.

The simplest type of tomato sauce is just chopped tomatoes cooked down and simmered until the raw flavors are gone. Most of the time, and preferably, the chopped tomatoes are simmered with olive oil. People can season the sauce the way they desire with salt, pepper, etc.

This is quite an influential sauce, as tomato sauce has been the basis for many other sauces like salsas. It is popularly used in dishes such as pasta, which is quite a hit in many places. With its popularity, it’s only normal to encounter it more frequently during the week. When dealing with stains, there are two states: fresh stains and set-in stains.

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Fresh stains

Fresh stains are relatively easier to remove as the stain has not seeped deeper into the clothes. However, the stain can appear darker depending on the amount and also because the sauce was still freshly transferred.

Set-in stains

This can be more challenging as it requires extra effort as the stain may have seeped in deeper than ever and the sauce has set in. This means the fabric may have already been “comfortable” with the stain. It’s also possible for the stain to have spread to other locations too, as the fabric sucks it in.

Removing Fresh Tomato Sauce Stains

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Tomato sauce stains are very popular, especially during spaghetti parties and healthy tomato drinks. Children like to spill things, and so do adults sometimes. And so, it is not quite odd to have a few spilled clothes every now and then.

In treating these stains, there are things that are important to note. One of these things is the pungent smell of tomato sauce. If tomato sauce stains are left to sit for a long time, the pungent smell is bound to increase.

Removing fresh tomato sauce stains is not as hard as it looks. People may think it may be hard because of the bright red or orange color of the stain, especially when spilled and squirted on light-colored fabrics. Here’s what you need to prepare to get rid of fresh stains.

  • A spoon, blunt knife, or anything you can use to gently scoop some excess tomato sauce.
  • Dishwashing liquid detergent or liquid laundry detergent. (If getting rid of stains on colored fabric, make sure detergent does not include bleach)
  • Water (preferably cold).

Steps to removing fresh tomato sauce stains

  1. Grab a spoon or a blunt knife and gently scoop some sauce that is scoopable. Make sure to scoop gently so as to not push any more sauce into the fabric.
  2. Run or rinse with water, preferably cold. Run water over the back of the stain. Again, this will avoid having the stain seep even deeper.
  3. Apply liquid laundry detergent or liquid dish soap.
  4. Rub and work the detergent into the fabric in a circular motion. Do this step gently and do not be harsh with your clothes.
  5. Leave and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Time to rinse your clothes!

Removing “Set” Tomato Sauce Stains

remove tomato sauce stain

On the other hand, set-in stains are quite difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. You just need to note that you may have to exert a little bit more effort than you usually do and prepare the following things:

  • Liquid laundry detergent or liquid dishwashing detergent, (If you’re removing stains from a colored fabric, make sure the detergent doesn’t contain bleach.)
  • Ice cubes, or ice cubes
  • Vinegar
  • Get a clean cloth, preferably white, so you know if the stain transfers.

Steps in removing set-in tomato sauce stains

  1. Run cold water through the back part of the stain. Note that the reason for this is to push the stain out of the fabric and not further into it.
  2. Add ample amounts of detergent to the area.
  3. Leave it and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Get your ice cubes or any form of ice and rub them on the surface of the stained area. Do this for a minute or so.
  5. Take a clean white cloth and dab it on the stain. If some stain is transferred, make sure to dab with a different surface (clean side with no transferred stain) so the stain won’t be transferred back into your fabric.
  6. If there are still marks of stain, spray the surface with some vinegar.
  7. Blot again with a piece of clean white cloth.
  8. Wash as you normally would.
  9. Hang your clothes and let them dry.
  10. After drying, if you can still spot some stain marks, repeat the steps again.

More Methods for Getting Tomato Sauce Out of Clothes

how to get sauce stains out of clothes

Boiling Water Method

As the name of the method suggests, you are going to need boiling water and a heat-resistant bowl.


  1. Carefully place your cloth over the bowl and position the stain so that it is located at the center of the bowl. Stretch the shirt slightly, but not too much so that it does not strain your clothes.
  2. Boil water.
  3. Pour boiling water into and through the stained area.

Baking Soda and Salt Method

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Baking soda and salt have been known to be trusty friends when it comes to cooking. These components are also reliable when it comes to cleaning, specifically when it comes to removing tomato sauce stains!


  1. Make a solution using equal amounts of salt and baking soda with water. The consistency should be like paste, so make sure to pour the water carefully, in small amounts, until you have the desired consistency.
  2. Using your fingers, get some of your homemade paste and rub some on the stained area.
  3. Wash your clothes as you usually do.
  4. Observe the stain and do not dry until you are sure that the stain is completely removed.
  5. This way, if there is still a trace of stain, you can repeat the steps above.

Tips and FAQs

how to get tomato stain out of clothes

Why use liquid dishwashing detergent?

Dishwashing detergent as a whole helps and effectively removes grease and oil from plates. Tomato sauce contains oil, and so when it is spilled on your clothes, the oil particles are also present. Using dishwashing detergent helps break up the oil particles and gets rid of them along with the stain.

When removing tomato sauce stains from clothes with the help of a detergent, make sure to test out the detergent first. Put a small amount on a hidden part of the cloth and observe how the fabric reacts. If the fabric remains the same and you don’t see any negative reaction, you are good to go!

Is bleach useful? Can it remove tomato sauce stains?

Bleach has been popularly used in washing clothes as it has strong components that help in breaking down stains. However, bleach should only be used in white clothes and garments. Another thing to note is fabric sensitivity. Make sure to look at your clothes’ wash instructions and see if bleach is okay.

When you are removing tomato stains from colored clothes, make sure to use detergents without bleach in them. Bleach can cause white stains and other forms of discoloration on your colored clothes.

The magic of sunlight. Is it bleach?

Yes, sunlight is a natural bleaching agent! In fact, some minor stains can be taken care of by washing your clothes and drying them outside in the sun. Sometimes, all it takes for a minor stain to go away is sunlight exposure.

Is hydrogen peroxide okay?

When getting rid of stains on white clothes, you can dab the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Use a clean cloth when applying it. Let it set for a few minutes, then blot again with a dry and clean cloth. Repeat until the stain is removed, then wash as usual.


As long as people love and keep on cooking with tomato sauce in their recipes, there’s no telling when you might get splashes and spills on your clothes. And so, knowing how to get tomato sauce out of clothes should be an important part of your go-to cleaning and washing hacks.


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