How to get ketchup out of clothes

Do you struggle to get ketchup out of your clothes? If so, you’re not alone. Ketchup can be one of the most difficult things to get out of clothes.

Ketchup is a viscous liquid made from tomato paste and water. When ingested or spilled, it can stain clothes and fabrics. Even if you remove it immediately after spilling, it may still cause residue and dye transfer.

One solution is to use a cleaner that specifically targets ketchup stains. Another option is to soak the stained item in cold water for several hours before laundering. Remember to avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, which could damage the fabric.

get ketchup out of clothes

Ketchup stains can be particularly challenging to remove due to their vibrant red color and tomato-based composition. However, with the right cleaning methods and a little patience, you can effectively eliminate these stains from your clothes. Below, we will outline four proven techniques for ketchup stain removal, each using common household items.

Method 1: Using Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. Gently scrape off excess ketchup with a spoon or dull butter knife.
  2. Mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste.
  3. Spread the paste over the stain and allow it to sit for up to twenty minutes.
  4. Rinse the paste off with cold water.
  5. Mix a mild detergent in cool water and add the stained clothing to this cleaning solution.
  6. Gently rub the solution through the stain and let it soak for 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse and machine wash normally or dry clean, depending on the care tag instructions.

Method 2: Using Liquid Laundry Detergent

  1. Remove excess ketchup stain by blotting the fresh stain with a paper towel or scraping dried ketchup with a fork, a dull knife, or a spoon.
  2. Turn the piece of garment inside out and rinse with cold water.
  3. Pour some liquid laundry detergent on the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Wash the garment in the washing machine according to the care tag instructions.

Method 3: Using Dish Detergent and Cold Water

  1. Remove excess ketchup with a dry cloth or napkin.
  2. Mix a half-tablespoon of mild dish detergent with 1 cup of cold water.
  3. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and blot the stain.
  4. Rinse the cloth with cold water and continue blotting until the stain is gone.
  5. Wash the garment in the washing machine according to the care tag instructions.

Method 4: Using Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. Remove excess ketchup with a spoon or dull butter knife.
  2. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap and a cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the garment with cold water.
  5. Wash the garment in the washing machine according to the care tag instructions.

It’s important to note that hydrogen peroxide can discolor some fabrics, so it’s best to test this method in an inconspicuous spot first. Additionally, always check the care tag instructions before washing the garment to avoid damaging the fabric.

Precautions and Considerations

When dealing with ketchup stains, it’s essential to act quickly. The longer the stain sits, the harder it becomes to remove. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Blot the stain instead of rubbing it, as rubbing can push the ketchup deeper into the fabric fibers.
  • Check the care instructions on the garment’s tag before attempting any stain removal method.
  • Conduct a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure the cleaning solution doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.
  • For delicate fabrics or valuable clothing items, it may be best to seek professional help for stain removal.

By following these precautions and choosing the appropriate method for your specific fabric, you can effectively remove ketchup stains from your clothes and preserve their quality.


Accidents happen, and ketchup stains are a common occurrence. However, with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can successfully eliminate ketchup stains from your clothes. Whether you choose to use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, liquid laundry detergent, dish detergent and cold water, or hydrogen peroxide, always consider the fabric type and follow the care instructions provided. Act promptly, and your clothes will be stain-free in no time.


  1. Can I use these methods for colored clothing? Yes, you can use these methods for colored clothing. However, it’s important to test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.
  2. Can I use these methods on delicate fabrics like silk or wool? While some of these methods may be suitable for delicate fabrics, it’s best to exercise caution. Test the cleaning solution on a small area first and consider seeking professional assistance for valuable or delicate clothing items.
  3. What if the ketchup stain is old or dried? For old or dried ketchup stains, you may need to pre-treat the stain by gently scraping off any dried residue and then following the instructions provided in the respective cleaning methods.
  4. Can I use bleach to remove ketchup stains? Bleach is generally not recommended for ketchup stains, as it can react with the tomato-based pigments and potentially worsen the stain. Stick to the methods outlined in this article for effective stain removal.
  5. Are there any alternative methods to remove ketchup stains? While the methods mentioned in this article are effective, there may be other household remedies or commercial stain removers available. However, exercise caution and always test them on a small area of the fabric before proceeding.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.