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How To Get Ketchup Out Of Your Carpet & Fabric Upholstery

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Did you squeeze the ketchup bottle just a little too hard and spill some on your carpet or sofa?

You are not alone and help is at hand in the form of knowledge with our quick and easy how to guide in removing ketchup from your carpets, sofas and other types of fabric upholstery.

Our how-to guide concentrates on removing the ketchup stain with household products, but we also list a number of easier ways to remove the ketchup if you prefer a quick and easy approach.

Can All Ketchup Stains Be Removed From Carpets & Couches?

Even the oldest ketchup stain can be removed from your carpet and upholstery with the right approach. These stains are tough to remove due to their colouring and sticky substance but ketchup doesn't have to be a permanent stain on your carpet.

Steps for removing ketchup With household products

What you need

  • Cold water

  • Yellow sponge with a scrubber on the back

  • Washing detergent

  • Towel or thick microfiber cloth

  • Washing detergent

  • Spoon and kitchen cloth

1) Remove excess ketchup

Step 1

This first step should be done quickly but also carefully in a way that you won't ease the ketchup into your carpet or sofa.

Grab a spoon and some kitchen roll or toilet roll depending on what you have available, use your spoon to scrape up the heavy amount of ketchup.

Then grab your kitchen cloth and carefully dab the top layer of where your stain is. Make sure to only apply medium to low pressure here as you do not want to work the stain into the fibres anymore than it is already.

Dispose of the ketchup quickly and move onto your next step.

2) Apply cold water

Step 2

Applying cold water will prime the stain allowing it to set in one particular area, ready to be attacked.

You can either do this manually or with a spray bottle. Obviously the spray bottle is a much better way since you can target one area more easily without over soaking it.

As long as you are fast though, pouring water onto the stain from a glass is just as effective.

Once this is done gently rub a bit of washing detergent into the stain as well. This will wreak havoc on the oil based stain and can be done easily with a yellow dish washing sponge.

3) Warm water and washing detergent

Step 3

Now that you have primed the stain ready for removal, grab your warm water and washing detergent mixture which can be inside the sponge already.

Scrub the ketchup stain on the rough side of your yellow sponge

This will activate your mixture and bring the tomato ketchup stain up to the surface ready for removal.

You should see the warm water and washing detergent begin to turn a slightly different colour.

This is when you know that you can move onto the final step.

4) Dry with a kitchen cloth & repeat step 3 if required

Step 4

Now that the stain has been lifted from your carpet, you need to quickly remove it from the surface

The easiest way for an average homeowner to do this would be to simply get a kitchen cloth and start drying to area.

Apply medium pressure and carry on drying the stained area until all of the foam has been removed.

You should notice that the kitchen cloth used to dry has a lot of red colouring that has been transferred. Good job!

You might notice that not all of the ketchup is removed on the first go. Not to worry, your stain has probably just been on the carpet for longer or had time to dry.

Other stains that can be removed with this method include:

Quick Ways To Remove Ketchup From Carpet & Upholstery Couches

Use an enzyme-based cleaner with a carpet brush

If you want to remove the ketchup stain from your carpet or upholstery with a lot less hassle then consider purchasing a stain removal product which has enzyme cleaning properties.

Enzyme cleaner is an amazing product which works for all sorts of biological stains and smells such as fish odours and the smell of egg.

This will make light work of the ketchup stain and save you tons of time having to rinse and repeat step 3 over and over again.

Enzyme cleaners are great as natural deodorisers as well. Not only will it remove the stain with ease, but it will also get rid of any foul odour left behind which can happen if a stain has been left for a while.

White Vinegar For Ketchup Removal From Carpets & Upholstery

If you have any white vinegar in your home then you can use this as a quicker way to clean ketchup out of your carpet and upholstery couches. There is no need to saturate the ketchup stain, a little goes a long way here. Use our main method but just add a little vinegar to help lift the stain further.

Use a mixture of salt & baking soda for ketchup stain removal

Another great way of removing ketchup stains from carpets and couches is to use a mixture of salt and baking soda. Create a paste, or mix it in a spray bottle.

The formula:

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1-2 cups of warm water

Spray directly onto the ketchup stain and agitate with a soft bristled brush. Allow to sit for a few minutes then simply wipe away with a clean cloth.

Steam cleaners are ketchup killers!

Steam cleaning makes everything easier and more effective. This is certainly true when it comes to removing ketchup stains from carpets and upholstery.

Using one will activate the cleaning potential of your water and washing detergent and is particularly useful when used in conjunction with a stain removal product.

We highly recommend that anyone with a carpet and a busy home purchases a steam cleaner for household stains.

Can you use bleach to remove a ketchup stain from a carpet?

You can use oxygen bleach to remove ketchup stains from a carpet if you have any to hand. In fact, this is one of the most effective ways of removing stains like ketchup. Make sure it is definitely oxygen bleach, normal bleach will discolour your carpet beyond repair.

Does hand sanitizer remove ketchup stains?

Hand sanitiser is basically the same as using rubbing alcohol which is a great way to clean ketchup stains out of carpet and couches. We often fall back on alcohol-based cleaners for food stains and hand sanitiser is a great option for households since most of us own them already.

Magic erasers make light work of ketchup stains

If you have a magic sponge lying around then this is one of the best ways to get rid of ketchup stains from a carpet. You can use this with one of the cleaners mentioned previously in the blog post.

The best way is to use it with white vinegar for almost instant ketchup removal. Don't throw away your magic sponge afterwards either, simply wring it out and keep it, ready for the next inevitable stain.

Hire a professional

If you really don't have the time or if you have too many ketchup stains dotted around your home to be able to tackle them all then it might be time to hire a professional carpet cleaner.

This is of course the easiest and most effective way for you to remove any stain you find within your home, but it's also the most expensive option too.


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