Have you hosted a dinner a party and somebody dropped their spaghetti and it spilled all over the carpet and their clothes? You were probably puzzled about how to get tomato stains out of clothing. Most tomato sauces, marinara and other recipes of that kind will mostly have tomatoes and oil. These two ingredients can give you a headache when trying to get rid of the stain. However, this article will help you a great deal in cleaning out such stains as well as offering tips on removing stains from different fabrics. 

How to Get Tomato Stains Out of Clothing


Remove Excess Tomato Sauce

Use the back of a butter knife or a spoon to scoop out any excess sauce on the fabric.


Flash with Cold Water

On the patch left by the sauce, run cold water from the back of the stain. This should be done as soon as possible to make sure the stain doesn’t push through the fabric. Avoid running the water from the front side of the fabric as it will make the sauce move deeper into the fabric.


Use a Liquid Detergent

On the stained area, rub liquid detergent in a gentle and circular motion. Start from the outer part of the stain moving inwards.


Use a Mild Bleaching Agent

If you have tested the fabric for colorfastness, or it’s white, you can use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Apply using a sponge. For white garments, you can use lemon juice. Once you are done, rinse thoroughly.


Repeat Step 3 and 4

Apply detergent again followed by the bleaching agent. Do this over and over until the stain is completely invisible when held in light.


Use Stain Removers

The stain remover can either be a spray, gel or stick. Let it rest on the garment for not less than 5 minutes. Thereafter, wash it normally as per the garment requirements. Before drying the garment, ensure that the stain is gone completely. 


Repeat Step 6

For a stubborn stain, repeat step 6 all-over again. You can also redo it if you want to be 100% sure that the stain has completely come off.



On a white garment, you can dab the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Pour some on a clean piece of cloth and let it rest on the stain for a while then use a clean cloth to dry the peroxide by blotting. Do this over and over till the stain is completely removed. Then wash the garment as usual.

Rinse out one cleaning solution thoroughly before you try out the next one. The chemicals in one cleaning solution might react with the ones in a different solution.

More Ways to Get Tomato Stains Out of Clothing


Use Boiling Water

what you need:

•    Boiling water

•    A bowl that’s heat resistant

Steps to removing the stains:

1. Place the garment above the bowl such that the stain is at its centre.

2. Boil the water.

3. Focusing in the stain, pour the boiling water through it.

4. As the water flows, the fabric it will get rid of the stain in the process.


Baking Soda and Salt

what you need:

•    Salt 

•    Baking soda

Steps to removing the stains:

1. Combine equal amounts of the salt and baking soda with some water - just enough to form a paste.

2. Use the paste to rub on the stain using your fingers.

3. Wash the cloth as usual.

4. Until you are sure that the stain has completely come off, do not dry the garment with a dryer.

5. If the stain is still there, repeat the procedure.


Detergent and Lemon

This method is best for: Polyester, Acrylic Fabric, Nylon, and Spandex

what you need:

•    Stain remover

•    Lemon juice

Steps to removing the stain:

1. Use cold water to sponge the stain. Start from the centre, working outwards.

2. Apply lemon juice to the stain, or if you have a piece of lemon, you can use it to rub the stain. If your garment is white, you can use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to lemon juice.

3. Apply stain remover and then use water to flush the stain with water.

4. Let the fabric dry. If the stain has not come off, then soak it in a mixture of:

•    1 quart warm water

•    ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent

•    1 tablespoon white vinegar

5. Rinse thoroughly with water.

6. Launder as usual.


For Set Tomato Stains

what you need:

•    Dishwasher detergent (make sure it does not have any bleaching agents if you are dealing with a coloured cloth)

•    Ice cube

•    Vinegar 

Steps to removing the stain:

1. Use water to wet the stained portion.

2. Apply the detergent and rub gently on the stain. (Ensure you have tested the detergent on a small hidden section of the cloth to see if it will damage it).

3. Use the ice cube to rub over the stained area.

4. If there is stain residual, use the vinegar to dampen a piece of clean cloth and blot the stain with it.

5. Once the stain is off, wash as usual.

What About Tomato Stains on Upholstery and Carpet?


1. Mix 2 cups of water with one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent.

2. Use a clean white cloth to sponge the stain using the solution you prepared (detergent solution).

3. Blot the stain until the solution is absorbed.

4. Redo steps 2 and 3 until the stain is completely gone.

5. sponge again with cold water then blot with a dry cloth to dry.


1. Mix 2 cups of water with one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent.

2. Use a clean white cloth to sponge the stained area using the detergent solution.

3. Blot the area until the solution is absorbed.

4. Redo steps 2 and 3 until the stain is no longer visible, or it is not being absorbed into the cloth anymore.

5. If the stain is still there, mix ½ a cup of water with one tablespoon of ammonia. 

(Note: if you combine ammonia with bleach that has chlorine contentment, the fumes produced might be dangerous).

6. Use the ammonia solution to sponge the stain.

7. Blot the area until the solution is absorbed.

8. Use clean water to sponge then blot to dry.

Notes on Removing Stains on Different Fabrics



Since cotton is a durable fabric, you can go about several methods of stain removal without getting worried that you might damage the garment.



  • There are several types of synthetic fabrics most of which are durable. You shouldn’t be worried when you apply extra pressure when working on a stain.

  • Synthetic fabrics are not damaged by normal detergents that contain enzymes. However, bleaching solutions might be a bad idea.

  • When using a stain removal solution, first check to see if it is okay to use on synthetic fabric.



  • Wool is mostly delicate and can be damaged by most of the commercial stain removers. Before using any stain remover, first read all the instructions on the label.

  • Use a detergent specifically meant for wool. When drying, don’t hang the garment. Instead, dry it flat so that you do not distort the shape.

  • If you find it necessary, let the garment be handled by a professional.



  • Use an appropriate detergent for silk fabrics and soak the whole garment. This is important to avoid water patches after it dries.

  • If your silk garment gets a tough stain, it is best to take it to the dry cleaners because of its delicate nature.

  • Make sure you check the cleaning requirements of your cloth. If it is meant for dry cleaning, let the cleaners handle it. Just inform them the cloth has a stain and what it is.
  • Start cleaning as soon as the fabric gets the stain. If you cannot start cleaning there and then, it is still possible to clean it but the earlier, the better.
  • Before trying out a new cleaning solution, test it on the garment to see if it will damage the fabric in any way. This should be, preferably, done in a small hidden part of the cloth.

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