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Video:How to Remove Tomato Sauce Stains

with Jonathon Stewart

Never let an oily, red tomato sauce stain spoil your enjoyment of a delicious gravy. Lose your marinara stains in a heartbeat with these simple tips.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Remove Tomato Sauce Stains

Hi! I'm Jonathon Stewart for About.com Home and Garden with today's 90 second quick tip. So what are the favorite foods in your house? Does the list include pizza, meatballs, spaghetti, lasagna, or other pasta? If it does, there's a pretty good chance you've already had to worry about the one bummer to these awesome meals: tomato sauce stains. But fear not, even the toughest, oiliest, marinara stains can be remedied with these simple laundry tips. Check it out.

Inside Tomato Sauce Stains

Think of your tomato sauce stain as a two-part beast: the oil, which is a common component in most red sauces and a nuisance all by itself, and the red pigment of the cooked tomatoes. If you can get to the stain right away, it's a good idea to flush cold water through the opposite side of the fabric from where you plopped your sauce. But if you don't discover the stain right away, or you're not in a position to deal with it until later, try these more aggressive tactics at home.

Remove Oil From the Stain

Start by covering the stain with a layer of talcum or baby powder, making sure it contains no extra perfumes or other ingredients, aside from the actual powder. Be careful not to rub the power into the fabric itself - just a top coating works fine. Set the garment aside for about an hour as the powder works its magic in absorbing the oil part of the stain. When the time's up, brush the powder off carefully, and boil yourself a kettle of water on the stove.

Check the Garment's Cleaning Instructions

Always be sure to check the cleaning labels on your clothes prior to attempting any treatment. If the fabric's color is likely to run, or if the label reads, "Dry Clean Only," it's probably in your best interest to turn a persistent stain over to the pros at this point. Always be sure to point out the stain to your cleaners, letting them know the specific type of mess you've gotten yourself into this time.

Pour Hot Water Over the Stain

Assuming your garment will not deteriorate in hot water, suspend your fabric over a colander or large bowl - with the stain directly in the center - and secure it with a rubber band. Once your water has made it to a boil, hold the kettle at least a foot over the stain, and pour the boiling water through the fabric. If the stain persists, boil up another kettle and repeat.

The heat from the boiling water and the pressure from it being poured a foot's distance should blast your stain to bits, without ever having to go near toxic bleach. Finally, launder as usual, but always be sure your stain is completely gone before throwing anything into the dryer... or what I like to call, the tomato stain perminator. Perminizer?

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