How to remove tomato sauce stains from plastic

how to remove tomato sauce stains from plastic

Tomato sauce can leave behind red stains that are tough to remove and make it very unpresentable to re-use plastic containers. But not to worry, you can rescue your Tupperware and plastic containers from tomato stains using household cleansers like vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda.

The vinegar approach

Distilled white vinegar is a must-have in all households because of its numerous cleaning benefits. It also works well at cutting tomato sauce stains on plastic.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • A tablespoon dish soap


  1. Mix the distilled white vinegar and hot water together.
  2. Pour the solution inside the stained plastic container.
  3. Close the lid and give it an aggressive shake.
  4. Leave the vinegar solution inside the plastic container to soak for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Then proceed to wash the plastic using liquid dishwashing soap.
  6. Rinse with warm water.

Video: How to get rid of tomato sauce stains from plastic with vinegar

Using the baking soda method

Baking soda paste works very well for removing tomato sauce stains from plastic containers. Baking soda crystals are saturating, deodorizing and can even get rid of smells. Baking soda will leave your tupperware clean, stain-free and fresh.

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Gather the following:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of hot water


  1. Mix the baking soda and water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste generously inside the container.
  3. Gently scrub on the affected areas inside the plastic container using your fingers or a soft kitchen scourer.
  4. Avoid using hard scourers because they tend to scratch the plastic. Damaged plastic containers can allow germs and chemicals to reach stored foods.
  5. The baking soda paste will lift the stains as you continue to work on them. Don’t rinse it out yet.
  6. Fill the container to the top with hot water, cover it, and leave the paste solution for a few hours or even better, overnight.
  7. After a few hours, all you have to do is wash and rinse with dish soap and, all the stains will have come off.

Liquid dish soap gets the job done

Popping the plastic containers in the dishwasher will not remove the tomato sauce stains, you will need to handwash them using liquid dishwashing soap, as it’s best known for its degreasing properties. Liquid dish soap is good at cutting through the grease and cleaning everything off.

You’ll need:

  • 4 squirts of liquid dishwashing soap
  • 1 cup of hot water


  1. First, run hot water through the plastic container to remove excess oil from the tomato sauce.
  2. Put 4 tablespoons or 4 squirts of liquid dishwashing soap in the container.
  3. Pour a little hot water in and use a soft sponge or toothbrush to scrub the stains.
  4. Fill the container with hot water, cover it up and leave it overnight or for a few hours
  5. After a few hours, your plastic container will be nice and clean. You only need to rinse it out.
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Sugar and liquid dish soap combination

Sugar is abrasive and is excellent for getting rid of tomato sauce stains. Sugar mixed with liquid dishwashing soap is the solution that you need to keep your plastics looking nice and clean.

You’ll need:

  1. 1 cup of hot water
  2. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons of liquid dish soap

Follow this procedure:

  1. Pour sugar into the stained plastic container.
  2. Add four tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap to the plastic container as well.
  3. Pour your cup of hot water in, or however much you need to fill the container.
  4. Cover the plastic container with all the ingredients inside and leave for a few hours.
  5. After a few hours, all the stains will have loosened and, you will only need to handwash with a little extra liquid dishwashing soap.

Common questions about dealing with tomato sauce stains

Can I use bleaching detergents to remove tomato sauce stains from plastic?

Bleach is a no-go zone when cleaning plastic tupperware considering this is a substance where we pack food and eat from. If the bleach doesn’t rinse off well enough during the rinsing process, you could end up consuming bleach little by little which, is toxic to your health.

How can you prevent tomato sauce stains on plastic?

You can prevent tomato sauce stains by spraying cooking spray in the plastic container BEFORE you put food in it. You can also use baking paper as a base before putting food inside.

Then, to clean always use hot water and liquid dishwashing soap as the main ingredients.

Which is the best dish soap to use for cleaning plastic containers and removing tomato sauce stains?

Any brand of liquid dishwashing soap should work well because most of them contain similar ingredients. One tried and true tested dish soap brand is Dawn. Dawn works well at cutting through grease and eliminating stains. But generally, most brands should get the job done.

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Can lemon be used in place of distilled white vinegar to get rid of tomato sauce stains on plastic?

Yes, lemons work well as a substitute for vinegar. They are famous for their anti-grease and stain removal properties. All you have to do is :

  1. Cut the lemon in half.
  2. Use the lemon to scrub on the stained parts of the plastic and then squeeze out the remaining juice in your lemon into the container.
  3. Pour hot water inside to fill the plastic and leave to soak for a few hours.
  4. The lemon solution will cut through the grease and tomato stains, loosening them.
  5. Lastly, use a gentle kitchen scourer or sponge and liquid dish soap to finish the job.

Wrapping up

Tomato sauce leaves behind a red residue on plastic containers that won’t be removed by the dishwasher, so the best way to remove stains from plastic containers is through handwashing them, using regular household cleaning products like dish soap, vinegar or baking soda.

If you take care of your plastics well, they can serve you for many years and still look as clean as new. Next time you want to put leftover spaghetti and sauce into a plastic container but dread the stains, you’ll know what to do and won’t have to throw out your tupperward afterwards.

how to remove tomato sauce stains from plastic

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