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How to remove ketchup stains from clothing, furniture and carpets

Okay, ketchup fans, here’s a fun fact for you: to get Heinz ketchup out of the bottle at maximum speed (.028 miles per hour), just tap the “sweet spot” on the neck of the bottle (where the “57” is). As you demonstrate that bit of knowledge to your friends, you might end up getting ketchup on yourself, the rug or even the couch. If you do, here are some stain-removing tips from cleaning pros.

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Surprising uses for cream of tartar

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Surprising uses for cream of tartar

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How to remove ketchup from clothing

Dmitri Kara, supervisor with Fantastic Cleaners in London turns to this method to remove ketchup stains:

  1. First, check the care label to make sure the fabric is washable.
  2. Remove as much ketchup as you can from the stain.
  3. Next, flush cold water through the underside of the stain as soon as possible.
  4. Rub a bit of liquid detergent (such as Tide or Persil) into the stained area. This will help attack the stain’s oil-base.
  5. Let this set for a few minutes, then soak the stain in warm water for about half an hour.
  6. Rinse the stained area completely.
  7. If the stain is still there, repeat the process.
  8. If the stain persists, apply an enzyme-based stain remover, testing first on an inconspicuous part of the garment.
  9. Give it 15 minutes to work.
  10. Machine wash or hand wash as usual.
  11. Repeat as needed.
  12. Important! Do not put the garment in a dryer, but rather let it dry in the fresh air. A dryer will set the stain.

Kara says you can also try lemon juice, vinegar, bleach (if the fabric is colorfast) or bleach alternative, following the same procedure. As always, test these products on an inconspicuous area first to ensure no damage to the garment.

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How to remove ketchup from upholstery

Lauren Haynes, cleaning expert with Star Domestic Cleaners, suggests that silk, antique and vintage upholstery should be professionally cleaned. Here's how to remove ketchup stains from other pieces of upholstery:

  1. Follow suggestions on the fabric care label.
  2. Remove the excess ketchup and blot with a clean white cloth.
  3. Mix two cups of cool water with a tablespoon of liquid dish washing detergent.
  4. Lightly apply the solution using a white cloth.
  5. Blot with a clean cloth until the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Repeat as needed until the spot is gone.
  7. Remove the remaining cleaning solution from the upholstery by blotting the area again with another cloth rinsed in cool water.
  8. Blot dry and you are done.

RELATED: How to remove oil and grease stains from clothing

How to remove ketchup from a carpet

Jack White, vice-president of Rainbow International, removes ketchup from carpet like this:

  1. If there are large amounts of ketchup or dried-on ketchup, remove it by scraping lightly with a spoon.
  2. Using a white cotton towel, blot to remove any residual ketchup.
  3. Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 1 cup of water. Apply to the stained area on the carpet using a clean white towel.
  4. Starting at the outer edge and working inward, work the solution into the spot with the towel.
  5. Rinse by dabbing with water, then blot until dry.
  6. If the stain remains, you can attempt to remove it with a 3 % hydrogen peroxide solution but first test it in an inconspicuous part of the carpet. Allow it to dry. If there is no color change, it is safe to use.

Rinse by dabbing with water and blot to dry.

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