How to Remove Tomato Juice and Tomato Sauce Stains

Keep flavor in the food, not your shirt.
Keep flavor in the food, not your shirt.
Magda Zurawska

Tomat­o juice and tomato sauce are essential ingredients in many dishes. Unfortunately, they also leave unsightly orange stains. Follow these tips to remove tomato stains from your household surfaces.

These stain removal techniques will help you make sure tomato juice and sauce remain at the table where they belong.

First, identify the affected material, then follow the tips on these pages to get rid of that ugly stain:

Non-washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from non-washable fabrics such as Acetate, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Rope, Triacetate and Wool:

  • Sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) the stain with cool water, then sponge the area with lemon juice or rub a slice of lemon over the stain (use with caution on wool).
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with water and blot as much liquid as possible.
  • Let dry.

If stain persists:

  • Apply a wet spotter and cover with an absorbent pad moistened with wet spotter.
  • Let stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist with wet spotter.
  • When no more stain is visible, flush thoroughly with water and allow to air dry.

Washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from washable fabrics such as Acrylic Fabric, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex:

  • Sponge stain with cool water immediately.
  • Then rub with a lemon slice or sponge lemon juice on the stain.
  • Flush with water, blotting as much liquid as possible.
  • Allow to dry.

If any trace of stain persists:

  • Presoak (the method of soaking a stained article in warm water before laundering it) in a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with water and launder as soon as possible.

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from household surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt, Bamboo, Brass, Bronze, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Copper, Enamel, Glass, Grout, Iron, Paint (flat or gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Porcelain Fixtures, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing and Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Wipe the stain with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Masonry Tile, Slate and Terrazzo:

  • Wipe up the excess spill and wash the stain with a solution of washing soda or detergent (not soap) and water.
  • Use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to scrub.
  • Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

Cork, Linoleum and Vinyl Tile

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Cork, Linoleum and Vinyl Tile:

  • Wipe up the excess spill and wash the area with a solution of washing soda or detergent (not soap) and water.
  • Scrub with a cloth or soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

If stain persists:

  • Wipe area with a cloth dampened in a solution of 1 tablespoon oxalic acid to 1 pint water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.
  • Repolish the surface if needed.

Caution: Oxalic acid is poisonous; use with care and wear rubber gloves.

Cotton and Linen

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Cotton and Linen:

  • Test fabric for colorfastness.
  • If color-fast, stretch the stained fabric over a bowl and fasten in place with a rubber band.
  • Pour boiling water through the fabric from a height of 2 or 3 feet. Avoid splatters. This procedure must be done immediately.

If stain persists:

  • Soak in a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1/2 teaspoon detergent for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with water.
  • Sponge area with rubbing alcohol and launder as soon as possible.

Leather and Suede

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Leather and Suede:

  • Wipe up any excess juice, then mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge.
  • Wipe with a clean dry cloth.
  • On leather only, follow with a leather cleaner or saddle soap to condition the leather.

Marble

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Marble:

  • After removing any excess liquid, wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

If any stain or discoloration remains:

  • Mix a poultice of water, powdered detergent, and bleach.
  • Apply a thick paste to the stain and cover with a damp cloth to retard evaporation.
  • Leave in place.
  • When stain has been removed, rinse thoroughly with water and dry.

Silver

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Silver:

  • Wash silver in hot sudsy water as soon as possible.
  • Rinse in hot water and dry immediately with a soft cloth to prevent tarnish.

Wood

Follow these steps to remove tomato juice and tomato sauce stains from Wood:

  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the tomato stain.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth moistened with clear water.
  • If any stain remains, rub the area with a cloth dampened with a solution of 1 tablespoon oxalic acid and 1 pint water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.
  • Wax or polish as soon as possible.

Caution: Oxalic acid is poisonous; use with care and wear rubber gloves