tomato stain on clothes

How to Get a Tomato Stain Out of Clothing and Carpets

Ketchup, pizza, spaghetti bolognese. Tomato is a staple in many of our favourite recipes, but the frequency with which we use it does mean that it’s likely to make its way onto clothes or the floor at some point.

What’s worse is when it lands right onto something white, whether that be a new t-shirt or a lovely white rug. It feels like the stain will never come out.

Fortunately, tomato stains can be removed as long as they are treated correctly and the right products are used. Read on to find out how to remove a tomato stain when it gets onto clothing or a carpet.


How to Get Tomato Stains out of Clothing

soaking Fresh Bolognese Sauce Stains in cold water

The first thing to do when you spill tomato on your clothing is to remove the excess tomato by blotting the area with a paper towel. Then rinse the stain in cold water from the inside out.

Once you’re able to treat the stain, follow these steps:

  1. Gently rub detergent into the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse the detergent from the item.
  3. Wash as normal, according to the care label.
  4. Be sure to air dry the item as the heat from a tumble dryer could cause the stain to set if it hasn’t completely disappeared.

Alternatively, if you have one on hand, you can use a stain remover in place of detergent. Just follow the instructions on the packaging.


How to Get Tomato Stains out of a Carpet

red carpet stain

There are three products you can use if you drop tomato on your carpet: vinegar, washing up liquid and laundry detergent.

The method is more or less the same, but be sure to follow these steps depending what you have on hand.


  1. Mop up the excess tomato using a spoon or if there is a lot of it.
  2. Blot the area with a paper towel, starting from the edge of the stain to avoid spreading it. Keep going until you aren’t picking up any more tomato.
  3. Apply undiluted vinegar directly to the stain.
  4. Leave it for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a clean, wet cloth to rinse the vinegar by blotting the stain.
  6. Let the carpet air dry.

Laundry detergent or washing up liquid

Alternatively, you can try using laundry detergent or washing up liquid instead of vinegar. Repeat the first step above, then follow these instructions:

  1. Mix two cups of water with a tablespoon of washing up liquid or a teaspoon of detergent.
  2. Dip a cloth or soft brush into the solution and gently rub into the stain.
  3. Leave it to sit for around 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the area with a clean, wet cloth.
  5. Let the carpet air dry.


What to Do if the Stain Has Dried

tomato stain on cloth

If the stain has already set, or didn’t come out on the first try, follow the steps in your chosen method again to see if this reduces the appearance of the stain.

If the stain really won’t budge, and you have a white carpet or shirt, you can try bleaching the stain to get rid of it. Be sure to do a patch test first and follow the instructions on the bottle.