Spaghetti Sauce Stain Removal Tips & Home Remedies

by Taylor

Here's a collection of spaghetti sauce stain removal tips and home remedies that you can use for tomato-based spots in your clothes, carpet, upholstery and more.

Everybody loves pasta sauce, especially kids.

Unfortunately, it is quite a messy thing to eat and there are often small spills and splatters as you twirl your spaghetti or other pasta on your fork.

In addition, disaster can often strike, causing the whole plate to fall to the floor (or in your lap), and tomato sauces can cause major bright stains quite quickly, and they set easily.

If you've got a tip to share, that you'd like to add to this page I'd love to hear it, and you can share your tips here. That's because there are always new ways to clean up these messes, and the more the merrier as far as tips, I think!

Otherwise, scroll down to see the tips already collected, and good luck with these spots!

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Spaghetti Sauce Stain Set In Dryer - Now What?

Aimee's Question:

I was folding clothes today and saw a shirt that should have been pre-treated. It's a spaghetti sauce stain, and I'm wondering if there's any way to get it out once it's been in the dryer? Thanks!

Taylor's answer:

Aimee, that is a tough question. As you know once any stain goes through the dryer it is much harder to remove, because the heat sets it. Unfortunately in this case the stain may be permanent.

However, your best bet is to try a long pre-soak in a solution of hot water and something like Oxiclean (or another oxygen bleach) or even powdered dishwasher detergent.

Unfortunately, these are not guaranteed to work, plus the methods (which I discuss more below) can be harsh on the clothing, so keep that in mind.

The powdered dishwasher detergent is very harsh on clothes, so you need to be very careful with that method. However, there are people who swear by this method in a pinch. In fact, I've collected several dishwashing detergent uses here, for cleaning and stain removal, for clothing and other surfaces. (Make sure if you try this method on colored clothing, to first try it in an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn't remove any color from the fabric.)

Some people have actually had good luck basically boiling the Oxiclean and water solution with the clothing in there, in a big pot on the stove. Again, the really hot water can really help loosen even set stains, but hot water can also be really harsh on the clothing.

If the shirt is white a soak in a solution of chlorine bleach and water may work. Use 1/4 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of cool water, for 5-10 minutes. Of course, chlorine bleach, over time, weakens fibers, so this method also has its draw backs.

I'd love to hear back from you to say if any of these methods worked for you!

So, does anyone else have a stain removal question they want to ask? If so, you can ask for stain removal help here.

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What I Did When Tomato Sauce Stains Went Through Dryer

by Ina

When I worked as a server in a restaurant I was always good about checking for stains on the front of my (white) uniforms and pretreating them daily, but sometimes I would forget to check the back of them.

I had several incidents where I had a tomato sauce or drink stain make it through the dryer.

I had good luck getting out even set in stains with the Whink pretreater and washing with the ERA OXI detergent.

For a stain set by the dryer I would apply the Whink and leave it on for 2 to 3 days before washing, but of course this was on a white garment.

Be sure to test for color fastness using this product to ensure you don't do more damage.

I still use these products when I encounter stains, though not as often as I did when I worked in the restaurant.

As you noted - Oxiclean is a very good product for presoaking stains, so that is also worth a try.

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I Would Try Shout Advanced Pretreater When Sauce Spots Go Through Dryer

by SR101 Reader

I would recommend the Shout Advanced spray pretreater.

It has worked on several stains for me that missed being pretreated and went through the dryer, e.g. ketchup on a shirt sleeve.

If the garment is not a bright color I would spray on the Shout and leave it on at least over night before washing again.

If the garment is a very bright color that will most likely "bleed" if left on too long, then I would still try it by leaving it on for about a half hour before laundering.

In either case I would also add a nonchlorine bleach to the wash along with a detergent containing enzymes, such as Wisk or Tide.

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How To Remove Tomato Stain On Carpet

E. Ramirez shared before and after pictures of the clean up of paste sauce on his carpet.

Hoover Steamvac Carpet Cleaner {Referral Links}

The first thing he did was act quickly -- tomato stains easily and quickly, so time is of the essence!

Then, he grabbed his home steam carpet cleaner, in this case a Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge (shown on the left), and within just a few minutes the spot was gone!

You can definitely try to spot clean your carpet if you need to clean up spaghetti sauce, but sometimes bringing out the big guns right away may be the easiest thing to do in the long run!

(If you're looking into one of these machines, make sure to check out the site's reviews of home carpet cleaners to make sure you get a good one for your needs and your budget!)

You can read more tips for removing spaghetti here, from clothes, upholstery and carpet.

Further, you can share your own tips for removing tomato sauce stains here, or read other tips already submitted.

Tips for removing tomato sauce stains

Finally, here are even more carpet stain removal tips you can check out, for all types of spots and marks.

{A to Z} carpet stain removal tips

Before and after photos courtesy of

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Comments for How To Remove Tomato Stain On Carpet

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How to remove spaghetti sauce from a "thermo reactive color changing" shirt?
by: Christina Jensen

Hi! I have a "color changing" tee shirt that was splattered with spaghetti sauce. The shirt is 100% cotton but specially made to change color when heat is applied. For example if you touch the blue shirt the heat from your hand will leave white hand print. Here is a description from the manufacturer:


After the sauce splatter stain stick was applied and then the shirt was washed with cold water. It was NOT run through the dryer. The stain remained. Vinegar was then applied and still the stain will not budge. The problem I'm having is when I try to rinse and rub the shirt with cold water it starts turning white which it shouldn't, being cold it should stay blue and the stains become more prominent. I think the THERMO-REACTIVE dye is hindering the normal process of removing the stain from a cotton shirt. Please help me with this challenge.

response re question about thermo reactive shirt
by: Taylor

I am unfamiliar with this type of dye, but I do know that it is removed very easily from the fabric, such as with common pretreaters such as the stain stick you used on it. That is a major downside to these types of dyes, because one stain and the shirt is basically ruined. I'm not sure there is much hope, but if any readers have any ideas I'd love to hear them!

Bolognese sauce stain from baby clothing?
by: Kemmy

Any tips on how to remove bolognese sauce type stains from baby clothing? Nothing seems to shift them!

response to Kemmy
by: Taylor

Thanks for your question Kemmy. I would suggest the same types of methods above or you can check out even more tips and ideas on my guide to removing spaghetti stains here. I don't think you need to use different methods for baby clothes than regular clothes, unless they have a warning on the label to treat them more delicately. Typically baby clothes are made tough because babies make sure a mess when they eat!

Dawn dish soap for greasy stains
by: Karen

Dawn dish soap takes out set in grease stains even after the item has made it through the dryer.

tomato juice on carpet
by: Kim

What is the best to remove tomato juice from white carpet?

Bolognaise sauce on Harris tweed couch
by: Mary

I have dropped a whole plate of spaghetti bolognaise onto a new Harris tweed couch. Help!

What will remove spaghetti sauce from a plush carpet?
by: Alene Bass

I spilled a plate of spaghetti on a plush new cotton carpet. What will remove spaghetti sauce from a plush carpet?

I have used an aerosol cleaner called Spot Shot. It has removed part of the stain but not all. It is still noticeable and is in a high traffic area. What do I do next? The directions say water next. My daughter suggests soda water. Urgent.

by: Anonymous

I placed a boys white shirt in the sun when my first attempt left a stain. All of it faded in a matter of time.

how do you remove on white apron?
by: Carey

How do you remove these sauce stains on a white apron?

response to Carey
by: Taylor

The same methods for sauce stain removal mentioned above should work well on your white apron. In fact, white aprons are some of the easiest things to actually remove stains from, because you can bleach them, and also they are typically made with materials and fabrics that can withstand even heavy duty stain removal methods. Therefore, you don't have to worry so much about whether your stain removal method will be too harsh on a white apron as you might on some other items. Hope this helps!

How to remove beefaroni stain from a fleece blanket?
by: vcwalden

I have a fleece blanket that has a large amount of spilled beefaroni on it. I have removed the actual product from the blanket (I used a spoon for the removal, being careful not to rub too much). I don't know how to remove the stain that remains. Any suggestions? The blanket is a tri-tone grey with a solid gray backing.

pizza sauce removal
by: Connie Burns

How to remove pizza sauce stain on white pants, not cotton?

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.