How To Remove Tomato Sauce Stains

tomato sauce on white shirt
tomato sauce on white shirt - Emre Akkoyun/Getty Images

Who doesn't love a spaghetti dinner? Your clothes, that's who. As the white shirt wearers of the world can attest, tomato sauce stains aren't the kind of thing that a simple spin in the washing machine can take care of, no matter what detergent commercials might try to tell us. Tomato sauce stains are particularly hard to remove since they usually consist of multiple parts. Tomatoes cause stains because of the tannins that give the vegetable (which is technically a fruit) its red color, but many tomato sauce recipes call for oil or fat that can make for a grease stain, as well.

To tackle those tough tomato stains, first flush the garment with cold water. (Never hot! At this point, hot water will only serve to set the stain.) If you're in a restaurant and can't run into the bathroom and take your top off to hold under the faucet, you can use an ice cube from your water glass to rub over it and remove as much of the sauce as you can without pushing it deeper into the fibers. Once you are able, rub some liquid dish detergent into the stain. Liquid laundry soap can work in a pinch, but dish soap is great for de-greasing. Once this is done, you can finish off with distilled white vinegar if you've got it, or else squirt on some stain remover. At this point, wash the garment in whatever water temperature you'd normally use for that type and color of fabric.

Read more: The Most Useless Cooking Utensils, According To Chefs

How To Get Tomato Stains Out Of Carpet

pizza on blue carpet
pizza on blue carpet - Sergey Chumakov/Shutterstock

Shirts aren't the only thing endangered by tomato sauce, however. While spaghetti tends to be a sit-down, dining room meal, pizza is the kind of thing that's often eaten in living rooms in front of the TV. One little oops and splat! Carpet stains, here we come. Sure, bare wood floors will solve this problem, as will opting for tomato-colored carpeting, but assuming either you or your landlord are attached to that pastel rug, you'll need some floor-specific stain removal techniques in your arsenal, as well.

The first step in de-tomatoing a carpet involves scooping up any excess sauce with a spoon, dull knife, or hard piece of plastic. If the sauce isn't too goopy or you own a wet-dry vac, you could always vacuum it up, too. Once this is done, gently blot what remains of the stain with a cloth or paper towel, and then rinse it as best you can with cool water into which you've mixed some of our old pal, dish soap (about ¼ teaspoon per cup, and you may need several cups). Let the soap mixture sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse the stain again with plain water to remove all traces of soap and hopefully the remaining tomato. Allow the carpet to air dry, and assess the damage. If the stain remains, repeat the process, but this time add 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the soap and water mix.

Read the original article on Mashed.