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How to Get Spaghetti Sauce Out of Clothes

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
remove spaghetti sauce out of clothes

Everyone loves spaghetti with tomato sauce – that is, until a dollop of bright red sauce lands on your favorite light-colored shirt.  Spaghetti sauce is so good at staining our favorite garments that many people don’t even bother trying to clean the stain, assuming it’s a lost cause.  The reality is that removing a spaghetti sauce stain is quite doable, but people often make the mistake of using the wrong cleaning methods, to end up permanently setting the stain rather than removing it. 

Why is Spaghetti Sauce So Tough to Remove?

We can thank tomatoes for spaghetti sauce stains, and spaghetti sauce contains a uniquely concentrated amount of tomato, which is more pigmented than, say, raw tomato juice.  The same compounds that make tomatoes red are very good at binding to the fibers in our clothing, and the acidic nature of tomato can even wear down those fibers and cause permanent damage to them.  Any type of stain that binds to clothing’s fibers rather than sitting on the surface will be tougher to remove, and more likely to set permanently, but thankfully, there is a way to remove the stain entirely.

Easy Steps for Removing a Spaghetti Sauce Stain

As you may have guessed, the sooner you address the spaghetti sauce stain, the better the chance of eradicating it completely.  This means that instantly, when noticing you spilled some spaghetti sauce on your clothing, you should immediately remove the garment and start treating it – waiting too long means more of a chance of setting. 

Step #1: Start out by grabbing a spoon or a knife to gently scrape off excess sauce on the surface of the material, which hasn’t absorbed yet.  You may be lucky, and most of the sauce is still on top of the fibers rather than in them.

Step #2: Now, turn the fabric inside out and locate the stain.  Hold it under cold running water.  It’s important to turn it inside out, because you want to push water back out of the stain, rather than into it.  Pouring water onto the stain from the direction it spilled will only work the tomato deeper into the fabric. 

Step #3: Grab some liquid detergent or even Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap and rub it into the stain using your fingers.  Work it deep into the fibers of the material before grabbing a toothbrush and gently going around the stain in small circles, scrubbing from the outside of the stain inward.

Step #4: Now, fill a bowl up with cold water and white vinegar in equal parts.  Soak the garment in the solution for about 30 minutes.  The vinegar will help break up the tomato, lifting it out of the material.  After 30 minutes, check to see if the stain has faded considerably, which it should have.

Step #5: Put the garment in the washing machine and wash in warm – not hot – water, as you normally would using Grab Green’s 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods or  3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Powder.  If the clothing is very delicate, then use our Delicate Laundry Detergent Pods.

Step #6: Afterwards, check to see if the stain is gone before throwing it into the dryer.  The dryer will cook the tomato into the material, making the stain permanent, so you don’t want to put the clothing in the dryer if the stain is still there.  If it’s still there, repeat the steps above until it’s faded away completely.

Recap: Spaghetti sauce is one of the most obvious stains out there, but luckily, it’s possible to remove it.  Simply follow the method above and again, try to get to the stain as soon as possible to greatly reduce the chance of the stain setting permanently, and ruining your clothing.

Treating an Old Spaghetti Sauce Stain

Like we said, spaghetti sauce stains become more permanent the longer they sit.  So, if you’ve only noticed the stain after days have gone by, you may be out of luck, but you may also be surprised.  You can follow the same steps above to see if you can remove an older spaghetti sauce stain.

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