Remove Salsa Stains From Clothing

Tomato salsa, close-up
Schnare & Stief / Getty Images

I have to buy salsa in bulk at my house, and everyone has a different favorite. Because salsa is consumed with eighty-five percent of our meals, it inevitably finds its way onto our clothes. Find out how I remove salsa stains in a few easy steps.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 15-20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Remove as much of the excess salsa as possible from the fabric. This includes any chunks of vegetables, seeds, and sauce that can be removed. I use a spoon or the back of a butter knife. This won't damage your clothing but will allow all the excess to come off.
  1. Run cold water through the back of the stain as quickly as possible. This will force the stain back out through the fabric. Don't run it through the front of the salsa stain, which will only make more work for yourself.
  2. Rub a liquid detergent into the stained portion of the fabric. Work the detergent into the stained fabric gently in a circular motion beginning on the outside of the salsa stained are.
  3. If the garment is white, or colorfast, you can choose to apply a mild bleaching agent. Choose between hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or lemon juice applied with a sponge. Remember that these will bleach out colors and patterns.
  4. Repeat with detergent followed by mild bleaching agent until the stain no longer appears.Hold the stain up to the light to make sure all of the salsa is fully gone.
  5. Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Let the stain remover sit on the fabric for 3-5 minutes while you wait.
  1. Wash normally with laundry detergent. Before drying, check the stain again. Stains that are dried will usually become permanent.
  2. If the salsa stain remains, rub detergent in. Next, soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Rinse well.
  3. If the salsa stain is still stubborn, apply stain remover stick, gel, or spray and launder according to directions. I usually do this step regardless of whether I can see any salsa remaining or not just to be sure I get all traces of the salsa stain out.


    1. If your stain is a combination stain, treat the oily part first with some mild dish detergent before proceeding with the directions above. This might happen if salsa along with taco meat, or another oily substance are both parts of your stain.

    What You Need:

    • Spoon or butter knife
    • Cold water
    • Liquid laundry detergent
    • (optional for white/colorfast clothing) white vinegar
    • (optional for white/colorfast clothing) hydrogen peroxide
    • (optional for white clothing) lemon juice
    • Stain remover
    • (optional for oily stains) mild dish soap