The Ingredient You Can Use To Get A Pasta Sauce Stain Off Your Tablecloth

When sitting down to dinner, spills can be inevitable, and some spills are worse than others, especially when it comes to tablecloths. Pasta sauce not only ranks pretty high on the list of bad stains to have, but it's also a relatively common culprit. Yet lemon slices can be an effective way to help remove tomato sauce from your tablecloth.

Tomato-based sauce stains are some of the toughest stains to get out. Tomatoes contain bright-colored pigments which is what gives sauces their colors and also what makes them stain plastic food containers. However, tomato sauces also contain a lot of tannins. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds found in many plants that can be difficult to remove from fabric.

These tannins can also react with other chemicals in the sauce, like olive or vegetable oil, creating even more stubborn stains since oil not only sets into clothing but also repels water. As a result, tomato sauce stains are known as combination stains as they have several different layers and reasons for the origin of the stain.

How lemons help lift the stain

The reason that lemon slices can effectively remove pasta sauce stains from tablecloths all comes down to their acidity. The citric acid in lemon juice breaks down the pigments in the tomato sauce and lifts the stain from the fabric. Citric acid has a low pH level, making it a powerful stain remover. With its low pH, the acid tackles difficult stains and even works to help break down and disintegrate ingrained food residue.

When using lemon slices to remove pasta sauce stains from your tablecloth, act quickly. The sooner you address the stain, the easier it will be to remove. Avoid letting the stain dry, as it will set into the fabric and become more difficult to remove.

First, you'll want to blot up the excess sauce. Then, grab a clean paper towel or cloth to gently blot up as much of the excess pasta sauce as possible. In a pinch, a piece of bread works well to help absorb the stain. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can spread the stain further.

Add lemons or lemon juice to the stain

To begin, cut a lemon into thin slices and lay them directly on the pasta sauce stain. Let the lemon slices sit, allowing the citric acid in the lemon juice to start breaking down the stain. Let the lemon slices sit on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes. This will give the citric acid time to work its magic and lift the stain from the fabric. You can also use lemon juice. If possible, use fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice is more effective than bottled lemon juice, as it has a higher concentration of citric acid.

Then, rinse the tablecloth to remove the lemon juice and any remaining pasta sauce. Hot water works best at removing the stain completely. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process of applying lemon slices and rinsing until the stain is gone. Once the stain is removed, launder the tablecloth as usual. This will help to remove any lingering traces of the stain and freshen up the fabric.