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How to Get Tomato Sauce Out of Clothes

Tomato sauce is delicious, but the stains can be tough to remove. With the right products and technique, you can get tomato sauce stains out of both colored and white clothing. Read on to learn how.

More from Clorox experts

Tomato-based stains, whether it’s tomato sauce, pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce, are difficult to remove because they are often combination stains, which have both an oily and a colored component. To get the stain out, you have to treat one component at a time, starting with the oil.

One of the best things to use for pretreating the oily part of a combination stain is actually liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) because it’s formulated for greasy dishes. Look for a traditional dish detergent instead of one made with plant-based cleaning agents.

Next, work on the colored component of the stain by pretreating again with Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive before washing. This product is formulated with hydrogen peroxide, making it appropriate for all your colored laundry and white items with spandex. Of course for white bleach-safe laundry, just wash with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach after pretreating with the dish detergent.

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What you need

  • dishwashing liquid
    Liquid Dishwashing Detergent

Steps to get rid of tomato sauce stains

  1. 1

    Apply dish detergent to the stain

    Apply enough liquid dishwashing detergent to saturate the tomato stain. Gently massage it completely into the stain.

    dishwashing liquid
  2. 2

    Wait 5 minutes

    Allow a little time for the dish detergent to break up all of the oil.

  3. 3

    Rinse the stain

    Completely remove the dish detergent from your clothing by rinsing with warm water. This is important to keep the dish detergent out of the clothes washer.

    faucet with water
  4. 4

    Pretreat again

    For colors or white items with spandex, pretreat again, this time with Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive. Apply a little directly to the remaining stain and rub in. Let stand for 10 minutes before washing.

     Do not let the product dry out on the fabric.
  5. 5

    Machine wash

    For colors or white items with spandex, machine wash in the warmest water recommended on the care label using laundry detergent and a little more Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover and Laundry Additive.

    For white bleach-safe laundry, machine wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using a laundry detergent and ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.

    Always avoid bleaching wool, silk, leather, mohair and spandex.
  6. 6

    Air dry

    Air drying is important. Damp or wet fabric can hide residual oil that was missed when pretreating. To completely remove combination stains with an oily component, if needed repeat the process again, starting with dry fabric.