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Dry Cleaning

How to Remove Ketchup Stains from Clothes

ketchup stains

Did you know that 97% of American homes have a bottle of ketchup in their kitchen? In the spring of 2015, there were 630,511 restaurants in the United States, and I’m going to guess that around 97% of them also had ketchup on hand. Why? Because kids like ketchup. If you have kids, then you have to deal with ketchup stains. If you work in a restaurant, then you too have to deal with ketchup stains. While ketchup isn’t too difficult to remove, it is a tomato-based product and those can sometimes be a bit tricky. Below are a series of steps you can use at home to try and remove this kid-related stain.

  1. If you aren’t at home, gently scrape off the excess and then leave it alone. Rubbing at a spill can push the ingredients further into the fabric’s fibers.
  2. Once you arrive at home, immediately flush the area with cold water, running it from the back of the garment to the front.
  3. Apply a laundry pretreatment spray and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Launder according to the care label’s directions.
  5. Before placing it in the dryer, check to make sure the stain has been removed. Heat from the dryer can cause the stain to permanently set into the fabric.
  6. If the stain didn’t come out, try applying some liquid laundry detergent and gently massage it onto the area. Let it set for 20 minutes before laundering the garment again.
  7. Make sure the stain has been removed before placing the item in the dryer.
  8. If it doesn’t come out, then quit and take it to a professional.

If it is a white cotton or a white cotton blend garment, you could try some chlorine bleach, and if it isn’t white, you could try a color-safe bleach product but check for colorfastness first. With both of those options, there is a danger of color loss or color change. So if you are concerned about damaging the garment, just drop if by one of our locations, point out the area, and let us know what products you used to try to remove the spill. Our trained staff will gladly take care of that spill for you.

For restaurant owners, managers, and staff, A Cleaner World’s Commercial Services Division offers restaurant aprons for direct sale or through our full service program that includes both cleaning and inventory management of aprons along with a number of restaurant-related supplies. If you’re in the restaurant industry and don’t have time to tackle ketchup stains, call Scottie Springer at 336-870-6299. He’ll be glad to set you up on a program where we pick up your dirty restaurant aprons or towels and leave you with clean replacements.


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