We’ve all been there before-running to the bathroom to get stains out of our clothes. One of the most common spilled items on clothing, particularly pants, is ketchup. While this is no insult to the popular food condiment, it has inconvenienced many people on lots of occasions.
But there’s an easy way to fix that. Use the directions below to remove ketchup stains from your pants. We’ll cover all the steps that you should take, along with a list of items to acquire before getting started.
Things that You’ll Need to Get Started
No cleanup can begin without having the proper items to get the job done. Here are the items that you should have around that’ll ensure you get good results.
- Cleaning Cloth – This is for you to wipe away to topmost area of the stain, and also good for repeat attempts (if you must start the cleaning process over again)
- Toothbrush – If you have an old toothbrush lying around that you don’t need anymore, it would be a great asset at spot scrubbing, particularly if there are smaller areas to be cleaned.
- Liquid Detergent – Any detergent will do, but mild dishwashing liquids work the best. The detergent will loosen up the oils in teh ketchup, which are a major factor in the way that it clings to fabric surfaces.
- Enzyme-Based Stain Remover – These are easy to find in most online retailers. This can be used at any time that you clean yet also serving as a last-resort option. If all other options fail to work at getting the ketchup out, try this.
- Oxygen-Based Bleach – Most brands consisting of oxygen-based bleach are referred to as “oxy” detergent (or something similar). They contain hydrogen peroxide and are less damaging than bleach. Even with white clothing, chlorine-based bleach can leave yellow-hued marks on garments that are stained. Always use oxygen cleaners before trying out harsher bleaches to remove tough stains.
- Mixing Cup(s) – This is for you to mix up detergent with warm water. If you have more than one, that’s even better. You’re going to be pouring the mixture over the stain. Drenching the pants underneath a faucet won’t be necessary.
- Hanging Area – Find a good place to hang up your clothing, preferably somewhere outside. If you don’t have a hanging location, then use a hanger and find a spot on your front porch, balcony, or backyard.
Directions for Cleaning
Step 1: Look at the Cleaning Directions Listed on the Label
Before you begin any cleaning, take a look at the label on the pants. IF you’re the type that removes your labels, then try guessing what it would say, if possible. Depending on the material, it might be better that you refrain from scrubbing (such as with a brush).
But no matter what the label says, don’t dry the pants in a drying machine when you’re done. Doing so could cause an almost permanent embedding into the clothing.
Step 2: Remove the Top Layer of the Ketchup with a Cleaning Cloth
Got a cleaning cloth at the ready? Take it and gently blot away the top layer of the ketchup. The important thing to consider as you blot is to avoid spreading the ketchup to parts of the pants that aren’t affected.
To do this, blot in a motion that moves the clot towards the center of the stain. Of course, this won’t be necessary if the stain is very small. In such a case, simply place the cloth directly on top of the stain and blot with a gentle but firm swiping motion.
Step 3: Mix Dishwashing Detergent with Water and Apply to Stain
Blot with a clean cloth simultaneously.
Here comes the “chemistry” part. After blotting with the cleaning cloth, grab the dishwashing detergent and one or two small cups. Fill each cup about halfway with warm water, then mix in about two large drops of detergent.
Take the pants and hold them over the sink, then slowly pour the solution over the areas that’s stained. As you’re doing this, be sure to use a cleaning cloth to rub out as much of the stained areas as you can. Consider turning the pants inside out during the cleaning, for better results.
Step 4: Gently Scrub with Toothbrush on Top and Underside of the Pants
If you wish, feel free to repeat the last step, only this time, with a toothbrush instead of a cleaning cloth. Slowly pour the warm water over the stain, then move the brush over the area in a circular motion.
Flip the pants over and do the same thing, scrubbing the underside of the clothing until there’s nothing left. If you take your time with this step, you’ll find that most of the stain will come out. Depending on the color and material, this might be the last thing that must be done.
Step 5: Allow the Pants/Spot to Dry
After the soaking and scrubbing, prepare the pants for drying. Ring them out as best you can, then hang them up in a location where they’ll dry quickly. Again, remember not to use a machine drying for this; it could make any lingering areas turn into a permanent stain. After the pants are drying, you’ll want to inspect the stain well by checking if there’s any ketchup left. If so, then repeat each of the steps listed again.
Step 6: Apply Enzyme-Based Spot Remover
Sometimes, no matter what you try, ketchup stains won’t go away. In this case, use an enzyme-based spot remover to pick up residue that’s difficult to get out. Since there are multiple brands that you could try for this, the direction for application could be different. Therefore, always follow the instructions provided on the label by the brand. Enzyme-based spot removers contain compounds that are recommended for clothing that’s bright in color.
That’s it! There’s no secret to getting ketchup out of clothes; most of the steps are easy enough for one to do in less than an hour. Sure, drying will take a bit longer but this shouldn’t be a burden if the stain is very small.
Here three common questions on pants stain removal:
How do you get ketchup out of white pants?
White pants can be a bit tricky to remove stains from. Don’t go for the bleach immediately; you would run the risk of turning the stain into a light yellowish color if you use too much. Soak the pants in warm water for several hours with a good detergent. Before or after you do this, use an enzyme stain remover on the perfection portion of the pants.
Change out the water after some time has passed. Check the area to see if there’s any ketchup left on the garment. If you notice any faint spots, soak again and redo the spot cleaning. Mix in a small amount of bleach that’s oxygen-based (containing hydrogen peroxide) after you’re done. After that, let the pants air dry.
Are ketchup stains permanent?
Ketchup stains are as permanent as most other condiments. It contains oil, which can be removed by soap, a common cleaner that’s known for wiping away grease and oil-based stains. If you make sure to avoid drying the clothing in a machine and don’t wait too long to begin the spot removal process, then the ketchup stain won’t be permanent.
What home remedy removes ketchup?
Having already mentioned the warm water and dishwashing detergent combination, another home remedy for removing stains is found in your first aid or medicine cabinet. Grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and mix with dish detergent, two parts of each. Blend them thoroughly.
Use a cleaning cloth to blot the upper reside away, then add the peroxide/detergent mixture. The oxygen content in the peroxide plus the anti-oil ingredients of detergents will get out most (or all) of the stain residue.
Video: How to Get Ketchup Stains Out of Clothes & Other Fabric
Did you follow all of the steps that were listed? Getting stains out of pants can be a frustrating problem if you’re not prepared. The purpose of the instructions is to make things easier for anyone that becomes the unwanted recipient of a ketchup stain.
So long as you use the items in the way that they’re detailed, getting gout every bit of the stain is guaranteed. Tell us if you enjoyed the article, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!