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How to Get Ketchup Stains Out of Clothes & Other Fabric

Ketchup goes great on burgers and fries, but it can leave a nasty stain in your clothing. Learn how to get it out.


  • Step 1: Remove ketchup Remove the spilled ketchup quickly and carefully by wiping it from the fabric with a napkin or towel.
  • TIP: Do not dab or blot the ketchup -- this will only spread it around and make the stain bigger
  • Step 2: Rinse under the faucet Remove the garment as soon as practical, turn it inside out, and run cold water through the back of the stain to force the ketchup out of the fabric.
  • Step 3: Apply detergent Apply liquid detergent to the stain and gently work it into the ketchup by rubbing the fabric together.
  • Step 4: Soak and rinse Leave the detergent on the stain and soak the garment in a bucket of warm water for 30 minutes. Then rinse the soap away.
  • TIP: Check your washing machine for a pre-soak setting.
  • Step 5: Use a bleaching agent Apply a mild bleaching agent, like hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, with a sponge if the garment is white or you have tested its color-fastness.
  • Step 6: Repeat Repeat detergent and bleaching agent applications if the stain persists.
  • Step 7: Apply a commercial stain remover Apply a commercial stain remover, allow the garment to sit for at least five minutes, and launder according to label directions. Make sure the stain is gone before putting the garment into a clothes dryer. Now go finish your burger and fries, stain-free!
  • FACT: Ketchup was first made of mushrooms or fish brine, herbs, and spices.

You Will Need

  • Napkin or towel
  • Cold running water
  • Liquid detergent
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Bleaching agent
  • Sponge
  • Commercial stain remover
  • Pre-soak setting (optional)

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