How to Remove Ketchup Stains at Home

How to Remove Ketchup Stains at Home

Say goodbye to ketchup stains with our ultimate guide, offering easy solutions for clothes, carpets, and plastic items.

Don’t let a ketchup stain stop you from wearing your favorite shirt or using your favorite tablecloth. Discover easy, straightforward tips and tricks for removing ketchup stains from a variety of different surfaces.

Does Ketchup Stain?

Yes. Tomato-based stains are notorious for their stubborn nature, and ketchup is a prime offender. The key lies in swift action – the longer you wait, the deeper the stain sets. Prevention is better than cure, they say, but when prevention fails, it's time for some stain-busting prowess.

Steps to Remove Ketchup Stains


What You’ll Need:


  1. Blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove excess ketchup.
  2. Run cold water through the back of the stain to force it out.
  3. Apply stain remover on the affected area and let sit for up to 15 minutes.
  4. Wash the item in the washing machine according to its care instructions.
  5. Let it air dry.

Pro Tips: For white clothes: Add a touch of white vinegar to the rinse water. For colored garments: Avoid using hot water to prevent color bleeding.

Carpet and Upholstery

What You’ll Need:

  • Clean cloth
  • Cold water
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar


  1. Blot Excess Ketchup: Use a clean cloth to blot away as much ketchup as possible.
  2. Cold Water Rinse: Rinse the affected area with cold water.
  3. Dish Soap Application: Apply a mixture of dish soap and water to the stain, gently scrubbing.
  4. Vinegar Solution: For stubborn stains, mix white vinegar with water and blot the stain.

Pro Tips: Pat, don't rub, to prevent the stain from spreading. Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Plastic Containers and Utensils

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soft sponge


  1. Scrape Off Residue: Use a soft sponge or cloth to remove excess ketchup.
  2. Baking Soda Paste: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste and apply it to the stained area.
  3. Gentle Scrubbing: Gently scrub the plastic surface, focusing on the stained parts.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the container or utensil thoroughly to remove the paste.

Pro Tips: Ensure the plastic item is dishwasher-safe before proceeding. Don't use abrasive materials that may scratch the plastic.


What’s the best way to remove ketchup stains?

Swift action is your ally. Blot, rinse, and treat the stain promptly. The key is to prevent the ketchup from setting in.

Are ketchup stains permanent?

Not necessarily. With the right treatment and a dash of patience, ketchup stains can often be banished.

How to remove old and dried out ketchup stains?

Old stains require a bit more effort. Pre-treat with a stain remover, then follow the regular stain removal steps outlined above.

Is it easier to remove stains via handwash or washing machine?

Both methods can work, but handwashing allows for more precise control. Always check garment care labels for guidance.

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