Spilled Ketchup? Remove Tomato-based Stains in a Blink of an Eye

Spilled Ketchup? Remove Tomato-based Stains

Isn’t it annoying when you’re having a great time savoring your tomato soup and end up spilling it all over your favorite white shirt? Thanks to your little one’s surprise hug.

I might have made an understatement by calling it merely ‘annoying’. It’s a nightmare.

Clumsy – that’s me. Believe me, clumsiness doesn’t go well with a person who loves tomatoes so much. Tomato stains are notorious as hell but are the simplest to take out.

The tangy tomato tastes amazing, but when there’s spilled ketchup on white shirt, or tomato soup for that matter, it’s a spoiled day.

To anybody who’s on this page looking for a quick solution to how to get ketchup out of clothes and restore your white cotton to its beautiful self – you’re safe.

Yes, I know that getting tomato stains out of any stuff is quite a daunting task. Nevertheless, if you know just what to do, the stain will wash away like magic!

Even Before You Begin

Rule # 0 – Combat a ketchup stain or spaghetti sauce stain when it’s fresh. 

Here’s everything that you’ll need to prep up:

  • A commercial cleaner or stain remover
  • A liquid detergent
  • Sponge
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Butter knife or a sharp spoon (whichever is easily accessible)
  • Mild dish soap (optional)
  • Sodium perborate bleach (optional)
  • Ammonia
  • A lot of patience

Note: Most of these ‘tools’ would be already available in your kitchen.

Tomato sauces, ketchups, or tomato soup don’t just pick your white shirt, they can get spilled over anything. It could be your carpet or furniture, or even upholstery. I am going to put my experience into action and tell you everything you need to know to get those ridiculous stains out. Let’s begin with clothes.

How to remove tomato salsa from clothes?

If the stain is fresh, then scraping it off won’t be a problem. Use a butter knife to remove excess stain. Once you remove the bulk, run your cloth from its off side through cold water. Make sure to use only cold water, hot water would settle the stain in further.

Apply a commercial cleaner to the stain, following the instructions written on it. Finally, wash the cloth with laundry detergent. 

Tip: Still suspecting that the stain will leave its mark on your cloth? Air dry it for a couple of minutes.

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What if it’s a Barbecue or spaghetti sauce?

If what you’ve spilt is not plain ketchup, it’s a hot-n-spicy barbecue or spaghetti sauce, then it needs special attention. Here’s a step-by-step solution: 

  • Use a sponge pad with a commercial cleaner, and let it stand on the stain for a few minutes.
  • Once the pad has picked up the stain, clean it with the cleaner and let dry. Finally, sponge it with water.
  • Apply a few drops of ammonia and your liquid detergent. Wait for the detergent to dampen the fabric. Stay put for a couple of minutes.
  • Wash the fabric with water, ensuring complete removal of ammonia.
  • Prepare a solution of 1 quart of warm water and 1 tablespoon of sodium perborate bleach. Keep the rinsed fabric in the solution for about half an hour.
  • Rinse the fabric with water and wash it with a strong detergent and bleach safe.
  • Let it dry.

Remove Tomato Stains From Furniture

Are you a clean-freak like me? Having two kids playing ring-a-ring-a-roses all day doesn’t help with that. But I go the extra mile to keep my furniture clean.

And so, whenever my little one spill ketchup all over the table, I frown a little. But then take these measures to remove tomato sauce stains from my furniture:

  • Mix your dishwashing detergent with hot water. Dip a piece of cloth in the solution and apply to the stained area on your furniture.
  • Use another cloth, rinsed with water, to dampen the area.
  • Wipe dry the area immediately.
  • Use a polish or wax to return the luster of the furniture.

If you have upholstered furniture, the steps would change a bit. Take a glance at them.

  • First, use a sponge and dip it in cold water.
  • Spray a combination solvent on the stain. Agitate it a bit using a brush, or use your fingers.
  • Cover the stain with an absorbent pad. Keep rotating the pad until it picks up the entire stain.
  • Next, sponge the stain using cold water.
  • Repeat the process once again. The stain should come out completely.
  • If the stain still remains, sponge it with a solution of vinegar and water. Repeat the process twice, and allow it to dry.

Tip: If you are getting ketchup stain out of a couch, or a cotton/ linen upholstery, then make sure to use 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar.

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Remove ketchup stains from plastic containers

Tomato sauce stains on plastic? Icky, right! Well, fret not. There’s a solution to everything.

Plastic is bound to get discolored after a while, but letting it stain out isn’t great. Here are some steps that can help you remove tomato sauce stains from plastic bowls, plastic tupperware, and more:

  • Mix white vinegar with water in equal parts, which will create a natural cleaning agent.
  • Soak the container or plasticware in the solution for a couple of minutes.
  • Wash the container and let it dry.

If you don’t have white vinegar available with you, you can use the baking soda. Mix baking soda with water, soak the container in it, and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Clean it with a soaked sponge, wash the container, and let it dry.

Remove Ketchup Out Of Carpet

Does ketchup stain carpets? Unfortunately, yes. And it’s notorious!. In fact, carpet is one of those things that can keep the stain permanently. So, it’s important to wipe it off immediately.

Here’s a few steps you can follow to remove ketchup stains from your carpet:

  • Mix a tablespoon of liquid dishwash detergent with two cups of cool water.
  • Use a white cloth to sponge the stain with the solution. Keep blotting, until the carpet absorbs the liquid.
  • Repeat the previous two steps until the stain disappears.

If this doesn’t work, you can use ammonia solution (1 tbsp ammonia + ½ cup water) to sponge the stain. Blot it till absorbed. Sponge with cold water and let it dry.

Remove Tomato Stains From Shoes

As good as the pasta sauce tastes, it doesn’t look good on your loafers or canvas sneakers.

Even a drop of spaghetti or pasta sauce can spoil your shoes forever. But the good part is that the materials you need for washing it away are all there in your pantry. You’ll need a towel, newspaper, white vinegar, liquid laundry soap, toothbrush, and oxygen bleach powder.

Here’s a few steps that you can follow to remove stains from shoes:

  • As soon as you see the sauce spilled on your shoe, immediately remove the excess sauce using a paper towel. Do it with a light hand.
  • Rinse a cloth with water and liquid laundry soap.
  • Blot the stain with the cloth, starting from the corners of the affected area and work your way towards the center.
  • Dab the stain with the cloth until the stain disappears.
  • Next, mix 2 tbsp of Oxygen bleach with a gallon of water. Make sure to mix the powdered oxygen bleach to avoid whitening of your shoes.
  • Soak the shoes in the solution for 5-10 minutes. After that, scrub the stained area with a toothbrush.
  • Rinse your shoes with cold water and let them dry on a clean towel. Once dried, stuff some newspaper inside to allow them to retain their shape.
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If you have spilled ketchup on leather shoes, then you better choose white vinegar to clean the stain. You’ll also need a leather conditioner to rub over the cleaned area. Let it stay for 10 minutes or so. Dab the leather with a dry cloth, and it’s done.

Stains on other materials like walls, ceilings, decks, patios, and more

There’s no place in the house where your little ones can’t spill a sauce. I remember, one of the colleagues got their kid to office one day and we fondly served him pasta. He played with it, rather than eating it. The result: we had our walls of the conference room drenched in pasta sauce.

Well, things like these can happen and we should be ready to combat them. I’ll be telling exactly what we did to clean the walls.

So, for these exterior surfaces, you must scrape away or sponge the affected surface immediately. Tomato-based products can permanently stain your wallpaper, so you might have to replace it. But to save it, use a damp sponge to clean it. Stroke it gently and pat dry. You can also use a commercial wallpaper cleaner. That may help better.

Thanks to our pantry guy, the walls were taken care of urgently. We were saved from changing the wallpapers!

Same way, you can use soda or detergent mixed with warm water to scrub the decks or patios to remove stains.

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