How To Get Ketchup Out of Carpet in 8 Ways
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
If you own a carpet, you know how intricate and complicated the weave is. Good sought-after maintenance is always necessary to keep such a design tidy at all times. No matter what you do, carpets seem to be the ultimate playground for spills, leading people to ask how to get ketchup out of a carpet.
People knock over all sorts of different items on the carpet surface and wonder how they are going to remove the residue, and then often do a bad job at it.
A common scenario, especially for kids, is the ketchup spill. These spills are likely to happen to anyone, and mostly if you have kids with the knack of running around with this condiment bottle or a plate of tater tots, etc.
To be honest, cleaning ketchup out of a carpet is not as easy as it sounds. Ketchup is a tough one and will try to stain the carpet as best it can, but there are some functional methods that you can apply to reduce the stains greatly if not altogether.
Let's dive into the most common procedure right away, and we will discuss other alternatives too. Remember, the sooner you can get to the spill, the better all of these solutions will work.
Removing Ketchup Stains from a Carpet Without a Vacuum
The reason ketchup stains is due to to lycopene, which is the red pigment that gives tomatoes their bright color. To make matters worse, lycopene is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. So our goal here is to break down this chemical using others so that, for one, our cleaners can actually get in there and do their work, and two, to remove the discoloration.
Before we talk about the different but more involved methods for removing ketchup stains from a carpet, let's try out the easiest, most common, and most workable method to remove all types of ketchup and its markings on a carpet. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Things You Need
- Cold & Warm Water
- Detergent & Pre-Spray
- Vacuum Cleaner
Step 2: Scoop the Ketchup
The first thing to do is to scrape off the ketchup that has been spilled. Use a spoon or knife to gently dig out the excess ketchup on the surface.
Step 3: Create a Cleaning Mix
Now you have to take 1 tbsp dishwashing liquid and 2 cups of water. Mix them well to come up with a solution. Use cool water in this scenario.
Step 4: Sponge the Affected Area
Take a white cloth and soak it in the solution you made previously. Now gently sponge the area of the spill. Don't try too hard to get rid of the stain just yet. Just saturate the area with the cleaning solution.
If you have trouble with the simple ingredients used above, try making a wet paste out of a product like OxiClean and let it work on the stain for as long as 30 minutes (or even longer if necessary). But please test this first on a piece of carpet that's hidden, like in the corner of a closet. You want to make sure it won't discolor the carpet further.
Step 5: Blot the Surface
Blotting is a crucial step in removing any stains. For ketchup removal, you will have to blot the discolored area to absorb the remains. If the residues are gone, you are done. If not, repeat this step until the stains are removed. Blotting is an essential step in how to remove ketchup from carpet in order to return it to its original color.
Step 6: Cold Water Rinse
When you blot like mentioned in step 5, it should already work for the majority of people. Once done, you need to rinse the area using cold water, making sure no detergent residues are left in the carpet. Once done, you can go through the procedure to make your carpet fluffy again if needed.
Using a Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Ketchup From the Carpet
As we said, ketchup marks on carpet are seriously tough to deal with, and they might need various treatments to remove them properly. If the problem is not solved by following the previous method, you can try out a tougher procedure to scoop out the ketchup and work to remove its stains. Find out below.
You’ll want to make sure you’re not sucking up tons of liquid if your style of vacuum is not equipped for such a task. A small amount is likely no big deal as it will stay in the hose, but you’ll need to assess it on your own and decide if it will be okay or not.
Step 1: Vacuum the Ketchup
The first thing to do is to use a vacuum to eliminate the surface ketchup. Using spoons and knives can further spread the stain marks in many cases. Sucking it directly up and away from the carpet is best using the hose (or wand) without any hand attachment. Don’t let the spinning brushes of the vacuum smear the ketchup around.
Step 2: Spray it With Pre-Spray Solution
Now get a laundry / carpet pre-spray solution and spray on the affected area and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to really saturate the discolored areas.
Step 3: Use Vacuum Again
Now that the solution has been sitting for 15 minutes use the vacuum cleaner again. Your goal is to suck up as much of the cleaning solution, which will have dissolved and diluted the ketchup to a large degree.
You may find that you’ll need to repeat steps 2 and 3 several times, and towards the end as the stain is largely gone that you’ll benefit from brushing the discolored part a bit to allow the solution to work into the fibers better.
Step 4: Rinse With Warm Water
After vacuuming the bulk of the diluted ketchup liquid, the marks should rinse out as you blot the area with warm water, and then you are all set. If you find you need to return to step 2 again, that’s totally okay.
If the problem persists after several passes at it, then mix 4 parts of warm water with 1 cup of ammonia and fill it in a spray bottle. Then spray the solution on the markings and scrub it using a toothbrush for 10 minutes.
Then vacuum the area for further cleansing. To remove the ammonia solution, rinse the carpet with warm water. Soak it out with a towel. And you are done, hopefully for real this time.
Ketchup Stain Removal With Other Cleaning Agents
The procedures for ketchup stain removal we mentioned above are two of the most ideal ways to deal with ketchup spatters. They will likely fight the reddish stains without any issues, reducing it to tolerable levels or removing it completely.
If you still want to try other useful ketchup stain treatments, give the following a try. You may find one of them more effective due to the composition of your carpet fibers.
Believe it or not, club soda can be a lifesaver if you don't have other necessary items close to you. Don't worry about the soda, thinking it's harmful, because it is not. It won't hamper the integrity of the carpet at all. When it comes to the question of how to get ketchup out of carpet, this can do the trick.
Pour some club soda over the stain mark and then let it sit for 10 minutes. This will allow the soda to work and extract the residues. Now use a clean white cloth and blot the surface to attract the remaining residues.
Club soda is not a staple cleaning agent, but it does work. Don't use any flavored items, as they can hamper the cleaning method altogether. Always opt for plain club soda.
Salt & Lemon Juice
Using salt, you can remove ketchup from the carpet. Salt works well to take out ketchup from the carpet fibers. Lemon, on the other hand, helps to lighten the reddish spot.
Start by squeezing a lemon or bottled variety and drizzle it over the spot you want to treat. Then use salt on the affected area. Make sure you cover every space. Let the topping sit overnight and absorb the ketchup before you rinse or vacuum the area.
Don't rely on this process completely. It is a good way to treat ketchup marks, but it might not be 100% effective in taking out the stains. Using this process in combination with other treatments can work wonders.
You are probably familiar with dish detergents. These solutions are used to tackle harsh residues on your dishes. So can you use dish detergent on the carpet to take out ketchup marks? Yes! Dish detergents are made with a composition that works to eliminate any food residues and marks, so they will also work on carpets.
Start by using 1 tbsp of non-bleach detergent and mix it up with 2-3 cups of warm water and fill it up in a spray bottle. Now spray on the tarnished area and let it sit for a few minutes. Get a clean white cloth to blot the surface and then when the marks are gone, use cold water, soak a cloth and wipe off any remaining residues.
When it comes to cleaning solutions, you probably heard about hydrogen peroxide. It is a product that works for bleaching purposes. It is very strong and not the easiest to deal with as it is extremely flammable. So you need to be cautious while using it.
Hydrogen peroxide is so powerful that it can take off the color of the carpet. So we advise you not to use this item on dark carpets. To utilize it, use three tbsp of warm water and one tbsp of hydrogen peroxide and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the affected area and let it work its magic.
Use a light cloth to blot the residue until it's gone. Keep in mind that you need to rinse the area again with cold water to ensure no hydrogen peroxide is left out.
When it's about treating stains, most people trust vinegar to tackle stain-related issues thanks to their acetic acid content of upwards to 4% to 7% acidity. Ketchup stains can also be taken off using white vinegar. White vinegar works efficiently to take out the ketchup from the inner fibers of the carpet and also eliminate any odors that are there.
Start by mixing 1 part of vinegar with 3 parts of warm water and fill it up in a bottle. The spray on the affected areas and let it work its magic. Give some time, and then use a dry cloth to blot the area until the stains are removed.
Applying a tbsp of non-bleach detergent to the vinegar solution can also be super effective.
Bottled Ready-Made Cleaners
You can purchase many different variants of cleaners from the market. For ketchup stains on a carpet, we would suggest enzyme carpet cleaners. They are effective solutions that tackle the harshest of residues from the surface.
There are ready-made products that offer carpet cleaning and promise to remove red marks. You can purchase one of those and give it a try. The best for cleaning up food-based stains are enzyme-based cleaners that contain enzymes that help break down the food stains (kind of like digesting).
That’s How to Get Ketchup Out of a Carpet
See, there are numerous ways you can experiment and fight off ketchup stains. Treatments like hydrogen peroxide, Lemon-Salt, and vinegar solution are useful ways to lighten the marks and remove the spots.
The best you can do is to use a vacuum cleaner and before that, use a laundry pre-spray solution or dishwashing solution to blot the surface. Keep in mind that whatever process you follow, you will have to rely on blotting the surface. It is the most functional way to absorb and erase red marks.
Following it up with a vacuum process will further add to the positives. It's time to get on with the cleaning and not worry about the irritating splotches. Good luck! We hope this article answers your question about how to get ketchup out of a carpet.