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How To Remove Tomato Stains From Plastic

How To Remove Tomato Stains From Plastic

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Stubborn red stains plaguing your containers or bags? Learn how to remove tomato stains from plastic the easy way…

how to remove tomato sauce stains pin

If you’ve been struggling with tomato sauce stains – this post is for you!

There are tons of cleaning hacks online, and some work in some instances, while others don’t work at all…

The fun part about my job is that i can try them out and share what works and what doesn’t.

In this post, I’ll be sharing the tomato stains on our reusable freezer bags.

I recently prepped a freezer meal that called for red marinara sauce (mini sweet peppers stuffed with Italian sausage and smothered in marinara sauce and then topped with mozzarella cheese – yum!).

While the meal was delicious, the mess that was left (stained) behind wasn’t very appealing.

I tried the viral cleaning hack of putting paper towels with hot dish soap inside my plastic freezer bags and shaking it.

But that didn’t seem to work for me…

Maybe that’s because I’m dealing with a bag vs. a plastic container – but I would assume it would work the same.

I asked for suggestions from my Instagram family, and one suggestion worked above any other…

*This post may contain affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own, as always.

How To Remove Tomato Stains From Plastic

The foolproof method I’ve found that works to remove stubborn red or tomato sauce stains is sunlight.

To give you some reference on what kind of tomato sauce ordeal we’re tackling, here are some before pictures of my reusable freezer bags.

reusable freezer bag with tomato sauce stain before

To remove tomato sauce stains from plastic, simply place the container or bag in sunlight for a few hours.

If you’re going to work, place it on your back porch or close by a window that gets direct sunlight before you leave for the day.

I would recommend placing it directly outside in an area where it won’t blow away easily and remain in the sun for as long as possible.

The deeper and darker the stain, the more sunlight it will need to remove the stain!

I placed mine on an old table on our back deck.

This was a good place to set it because the deck railing could catch the bag if the wind decided to carry it away from where I set it.

placing plastic bag in sunlight to remove tomato sauce stain

Here’s what my plastic bags looked like after about 6 hours in the sun…

plastic bag with tomato sauce stain removed after sunlight exposure

You can see it started to rain on my bag as I was taking the after picture.

Here is a comparison picture of another stained bag I have vs. the bag that sat in the sunlight…

How To Remove Tomato Stains From Plastic

As my other ‘before’ picture was taken in indoor light, I wanted to include this comparison picture in the same lighting.

You can see that the sunlight has a great bleaching effect on the tomato sauce stains – they’re completely gone!

Too bad sunlight doesn’t have an effect on the bag’s wrinkles, right? 😉

How Long Does Direct Sunlight Take To Remove Tomato Sauce Stains?

I haven’t timed or measured this factor, although I know there are certain factors that will affect this answer for each household such as:

  • what type of plastic is stained
  • how long the stain has been present
  • how deep and dark the stain is

What I can say from my experience, however, is that I always plan to leave our bags in the sun for the day. I would say it takes anywhere from 4-6 hours in direct sunlight for our stains to be removed.

Other Suggested Methods For Removing Tomato Sauce Stains

Another commonly suggested method for removing tomato sauce stains was rubbing a stick of butter on the stain.

While I did not have enough butter on hand at the time of this post to finish our planner dinner AND test out this removal method, several commenters suggested this method, so I wanted to include it for you.

Especially if you’re trying to remove tomato sauce stains in the wintertime or don’t have a lot of sunshine available.

I plan on featuring this method in the future to test if it really works.

What removal methods have you tried? What works for your tomato sauce stains? Have you tried natural sunlight? Let me know in the comments below.

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