How to Remove Ketchup and Tomato Stains From Clothes And Carpet

Tomato sauce
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Whether the stain is ketchup, tomato sauce or a juicy fresh tomato, tomato stains are easy to remove if you follow some simple steps.

How To Remove Ketchup and Tomato Stains From Clothes

Tomatoes and tomato sauces are found in many different types of food from Mexican to Italian to classic American BLT sandwiches. And, ketchup is one of America's favorite condiments until it lands on your shirt or tablecloth.

Tomato stains are a tannin stain - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product.

Fresh tomato stains can usually be removed simply by washing the stained fabric using a good quality enzyme-based laundry detergent like Tide, Wisk or Persil in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

To be sure the stain is removed, work a bit of the liquid detergent or a stain remover like Shout or Resolve into the stain. Allow the detergent to sit on the stain for about ten minutes before washing. Never use natural bar soap or soap flakes to remove tomato stains because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Older tomato stains on fabric may need to be treated with bleach to remove the tannin's dye that remains in the fabric. Chlorine bleach can be used on white garments and linens following package directions. Use a color-safe bleach like OxiCleanCountry Save BleachPurex 2 Color Safe BleachTide OxiSeventh Generation Chlorine Free BleachAmway Legacy of Clean All Fabric BleachOXO BriteHonest Oxy BoostNellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener or Dropps 4 in 1 Booster Pacs for washable colored fabrics.

If the garment is labeled dry clean only, point out and identify the tomato stain to your professional cleaner. If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

How To Remove Ketchup and Tomato Stains From Carpet And Upholstery

As with any stains, quick treatment is best to remove tomato sauce and ketchup stains from carpet.

The longer the stain remains on the carpet, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Start by using a dull knife or the edge of a spoon to lift any solid matter from the fibers. Do not use a cloth or sponge because that can push the stain deeper into the fibers. Try not to make the stain any larger by rubbing.

Working from the outside edges of the stain toward the center, use a white paper towel or clean white cloth that has been dipped in water to blot the stain. Keep blotting until no more color is transferred from the stain.

Mix one teaspoon of heavy duty laundry detergent (Tide, Wisk or Persil) with two cups cool water. Using a clean cloth, work a bit of the solution into the stained area. Do not over-saturate the carpet. Allow the solution to work for ten minutes and then rinse by sponging away any residue with a clean cloth dipped in plain water.

Allow the carpet to air dry. If stain remains, mix a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water following package directions. Apply a bit of the solution to the stained area and allow to work for one hour. Rinse by sponging away solution with a clean white cloth dipped in plain water. Allow to air dry and vacuum to lift carpet fibers.

Follow the same steps for removing tomato stains from upholstery.

Be sure not to over-wet the fabric. Allow to air dry away from direct heat or sunlight to prevent shrinkage and fading.

If the upholstery fabric is silk or delicate, allow a professional cleaner to remove the stains.

A Little Laundry Extra For The Kids:

Q: What did the Mama Tomato say to her slow-moving Little Tomato?

A: Ketch-up!

For more good clean fun from laundry puns and riddles, find the giggles here.