How to Get a Ketchup Stain Out


When it comes to fries, burgers and numerous other foods, ketchup is a compatible accompaniment. For carpets, clothes and other surfaces, ketchup is anything but, leaving a bright red stain in its wake. If you spill ketchup it can seem like a large-scale problem as this bright red tomato condiment leaves unmistakable evidence behind. With a little quick thinking, you can effectively get ketchup stains out.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Plastic utensil
  • Bleach-free liquid laundry detergent
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Dry towel
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • White vinegar

Ketchup Stains on Carpet and Upholstery

  • Blot up as much of the ketchup as possible with a paper towel. Do not scrub the area as this will only spread the stain. If the stain is older, scrape away dried ketchup with a plastic utensil.

  • Dampen a cloth or sponge with cold water and blot the area.

  • Mix 2 tbsp. of liquid bleach-free laundry detergent with warm water.

  • Sponge the soapy water onto the area to clean it and lift the stain.

  • Sponge cool water onto the area to help rinse away residual soap.

  • Blot the area with a dry towel to absorb excess moisture so the area can dry quickly.

  • Vacuum over the area when it is dry to fluff it back up. Use the brush attachment for upholstery.

Ketchup Stains on Clothing and Fabric

  • Rinse the area under cold running water to remove as much ketchup as possible. Scrape areas gently where ketchup has dried and hardened with a plastic utensil to loosen it.

  • Apply a bleach-free laundry detergent to the stain, covering it completely.

  • Allow the area to soak for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Visually inspect it to see if the stain is still there.

  • Sponge white vinegar onto residual stain to eliminate it.

  • Launder the fabric per the manufacturer's instructions with a bleach-free liquid laundry detergent.

  • Inspect the fabric once it's done washing. If you can still see ketchup stains, treat the stain again before putting it in the dryer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sponge ammonia onto stubborn carpet and upholstery ketchup stains if detergent alone won't eliminate them.
  • Avoid using products with bleach as it can cause fading and harmful fumes when mixed with vinegar or ammonia.

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  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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