How to Use Vinegar for Ketchup Stains

How to Use Vinegar for Ketchup StainsI’m assuming that my kids aren’t the only ones who like to use their shirt as a napkin and/or aren’t the neatest eaters on the planet.

This leads to some interesting and colorful stains on clothing. One of the most common seems to be ketchup stains. Sometime ago, when my oldest two were still little, I picked up this tip somewhere and it’s been a lifesaver over the years:

Apply vinegar to the stain!

Yes, plain white vinegar. 
As soon as possible, remove the excess (blot or scrape…don’t rub!). Rinse the area with cool water (I like to use the spray hose on my kitchen sink!) and then pour vinegar through it. Repeat the cool water rinse, blot, and then wash as usual.
If I’m short on time, I’ll rinse quickly with cool water, apply vinegar, and leave it until I can come back to it.




It really does work like a charm, and works on other tomato-based stains too (spaghetti sauce, anyone?). There have been a few stubborn stains that took two or three rinses and applications, but once usually does the trick. I’ve even used it several times on clothes that got overlooked and put in the laundry by sitters, etc. that I didn’t know about until after they’d been washed. In those cases it didn’t completely remove the stains, but did lighten them quite a bit.


Give it a try and see if it works for you!


Originally published August 2010.

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  1. Whew! Great info! My daughter's school uniform shirts are white!! Seriously?! Now I can get them clean! Thanks so much!Here from iFellowship!Have a great day!

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