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Remove Ketchup and Catsup Stains

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Remove Ketchup and Catsup Stains Photo Credit: Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images
Ketchup, or catsup depending on where you live, goes with a lot of food. Where it shouldn't end up, is on your clothes. Find out how to say bye-bye to ketchup stains.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15-20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Remove as much of the excess ketchup as possible from the fabric. 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.

  2. 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 ketchup stain, which will only force it more deeply into your clothing.

  3. Rub a liquid detergent into the stained portion of the fabric. Work it into the fabric gently in a circular motion beginning on the outside of the ketchup stained area, and working in. This will minimize spreading of the stain.

  4. If the garment is white, or you have tested it for colorfastness, apply a mild bleaching agent. Possible agents include hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar applied with a sponge. You can also use lemon juice on white fabrics. Rinse well.

  5. 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 ketchup is fully gone. If you see any hint of brown or pink, repeat the previous steps.

  6. Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes while you wait.

  7. Wash normally with detergent. Before drying, double-check the stain. Stains that are dried will often be permanent.

  8. If it remains, rub detergent into the ketchup stain. Next, soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

  9. If the ketchup stain is still stubborn, apply stain remover stick, gel, or spray and launder according to directions. I usually do this step even if I can't see any lingering stain, just to be sure I get all traces of the ketchup stain out.

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
Related Video
How to Remove Ketchup Stains

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