How to Remove Tomato Stains From a Dishwasher

Tomatoes and, in particular, tomato sauces and tomato-based products, can easily stain the items that they touch, from plastic containers to rubber spatulas to even the dishwasher you use to clean those things. When your dishwasher becomes stained by tomato products, it can be cleaned in much the same way as other plastic products, after all, dishwashers are made of plastic. The main difference is the scale and the horizontal orientation. You can utilize the dishwasher's mechanics to get it clean if you add the right ingredients.

Pour 1/2 cup undiluted bleach into the bottom of your dishwasher.

Load the dishwasher as usual.

Run the dishwasher through the normal cycle.

If any of the stain still persists, fill the soap containers with powdered Tang. Run the dishwasher empty. As strange as it sounds, the acid in the Tang will remove the stains.

Things You Will Need

  • Undiluted bleach
  • Tang


  • Make sure to clean any vestiges of tomato-based products from utensils, pots or other containers before putting them into the dishwasher to prevent stains in the future, even if your dishwasher can handle tough cleaning jobs with presoaking or scrubbing.


  • Be careful with the undiluted bleach. Even one drop can irreversibly discolor clothing.

About the Author

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.