How to Remove Tomato Based Stains From Clothing

Written by holland ember
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How to Remove Tomato Based Stains From Clothing
Tomato-based stains are difficult to remove. (ketchup image by dinostock from

Tomato-based stains can be difficult to remove. Often, a tomato stain is really from a combination of substances such as tomato sauce, which contains both fat or oil and the red colouring of the tomato. The trick to removing a tomato-based stain from clothing is treating the stain as both an oil and a dye stain.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Washing powder
  • Borax
  • Oxygen bleach

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  1. 1

    Rub liquid washing powder on the stain to pretreat it. Allow the detergent to stand one minute before laundering.

  2. 2

    Fill the washing machine with hot water.

  3. 3

    Pour in ½ cup borax for a full laundry load or 1 tbsp per gallon of water for smaller loads.

  4. 4

    Pour in oxygen bleach. Follow the directions on the product label regarding the amount.

  5. 5

    Add washing powder. Follow the directions on the product label regarding the amount.

  6. 6

    Wash the garment, following the manufacturer's suggestions for the wash cycle.

Tips and warnings

  • If the stain contains a protein, launder in cold water because hot water will set the stain.
  • Treat the stain as quickly as possible.
  • Borax and Oxygen bleach are usually found in the washing powder aisle of grocery stores.
  • Read the fabric care tag on the clothing item and follow all warnings.
  • Heat sets stains. If your stain has been through the dryer, the stain may be impossible to remove.
  • Do not use dishwasher detergent on your clothes because the chemical make-up is not designed for the delicate nature of clothing.

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