‘Best solution’ to banish ‘stubborn tomato stains’ from clothing

Lynsey Crombie shows how to remove stains using household items

Tomato sauce stains can pack a punch on all fabrics. Tomatoes have tannins that easily stain fabrics, which can be can be made worse by stain-causing oils in the sauce. To help fix clothing that has been subjected to tomato sauce stains, one woman has taken to the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips Facebook page to ask for laundry advice.

Posting a picture of her stained jumper, Andrea Ryan wrote: “Splashed tinned tomato juice on my lemon sweatshirt.

“Tried shaving foam, then white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, been two days and then washed with Vanish in washing powder and still stained, any tips would be good.”

Within two hours of Andrea sharing her dilemma on the cleaning page, the post received nearly 100 comments.

The majority of group members suggested washing stained clothing as normal and drying them in the sunlight to remove the stains.

Sammantha Murray said: “Definitely get it out in the sunshine, that stuff is magic on stubborn tomato stains.”

Sue Elizabeth wrote: “Tomato based stains disappear when exposed to full sun, I don’t know why.”

Katy Keogh commented: “Hang on line whether it’s raining or not for a couple of days and they will disappear.”

Rebecca Palmer replied: “The sun is the best solution for tomato based stains. Wash as normal and peg out on a sunny day (if you’ve got one due in your area). It’s like magic.”

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Rosalyn Doroszczuk wrote: “I agree, put on the line for a few days – works every time.”

Samantha Mcfarlane said: “I find that putting it on a boil wash, then hanging on the line in the sun is great for taking out stains.”

Madeleine Yvonne Di Martino said: “I married into an Italian family, resulting in lots of tomato stains (love pasta sauce). Always goes if you leave freshly laundered fabric in the sun, even in the UK.”

Julie Merriman commented: “Wash and hang out in the sun, it’s great for removing stains.”

Judith Birkett instructed: “Wash again and dry outdoors in the sun. Don’t know why, but sunlight is great on tomato stains.”

Grace Osborne agreed: “Hang it out after washing in direct sunlight, it usually works for me.”

Tomato has an uncanny ability to avoid the mouth and napkin and settle cosily into clothing. 

But it’s actually quite easily removed – with the sun. UV rays break down tomato stains so simply launder clothes as usual and hang out in the sun – stain side facing out. 

It is the sun’s rays that are doing the bleaching so if the rays can’t get through, the item won’t get bleached.

By the time it’s dry, the stain should have faded away “like magic” – unless of course whatever else was mixed with the tomato decided it didn’t want to come out. 

If that happens, try soaking the item of clothing overnight and repeating the laundry process.

For those who don’t have a washing line, there are still some other ways to get those pesky stains out of clothes. 

Just lay it flat in front of direct sunlight in front of a window on a chair. Even if it’s indoors, it will still help as the sun’s UV rays will hit it and fade the stain away.

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