You can sprinkle it on your burgers. You dipped potatoes in it. And if you often eat fast food, you likely have a large selection of packages filled with this popular condiment.
Ketchup is a common and inexpensive food, but it turns out there are many uses for it beyond your dinner plate.
13 Creative Uses of Sauce
1. Remove the burnt food from the cookware
We have all been there. You wash the dishes after dinner and find you have stubborn food that just doesn’t seem to come out of your pots and pans. Try adding some ketchup on top of the burnt spots. Leave it covered overnight and the acid in the ketchup will help break up the problem areas so you can wash the dish easily in the morning.
2. Copper brilliance
If the copper utensils begin to look dirty, then there is no need to go out and buy a special metal polish for them. Simply cover the copper in the ketchup and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it clean and it should be returned to its original shine.
3. Get rid of rust from cast iron skillet
Cast iron pans are not the easiest to clean. They are prone to rust if you accidentally put them in the dishwasher or let them soak in soapy water and then let them air dry. Fortunately, you can easily reverse rusty buildup by covering your cookware in ketchup, letting it sit for 15 minutes and then scrubbing with a Brillo pad or wire brush. You may have to re-season the cast iron skillet, but the rust should wear off.
4. Remove insects stuck on car headlights
Insects often meet their fate when colliding with cars traveling on the highway. If you notice faults in your car’s headlights or front grill, get ketchup. Put a little spice on the headlights for 15 minutes, then scrub well with a cleaning brush and rinse well.
5. Shine car rims
Beautify your dirty looking car tires without having to pay for your car details. Spread a little ketchup on the edges and leave for 15 minutes. Wipe with a cloth and then rinse to reveal shiny, shiny edges.
6. Restore faded jewelry
Do you have old jewelry that has lost its luster? Rub a bit of ketchup, leave for 15 minutes, then rinse and wipe off. This should help the jewelry return to its former glory.
7. Copper or Silver Orange
If you have brass or silver fixtures or accessories at home that could use a good polish, but don’t have any — try ketchup! Apply a layer, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe it clean.
8. Restore rusted outdoor furniture
If you notice rust spots on your outdoor furniture after being out in the rain, a little ketchup can help. Put a little ketchup on the affected areas and leave it on for about half an hour before wiping it clean.
9. Use as a small ice pack
Do you know all the ketchup packets you get from your takeout orders? Put them in the freezer to make mini ice bags. If you have small children at home, this will be especially useful for smaller treats that don’t require a full-size ice pack. Also, since ketchup packs won’t freeze as hard as an ice cube, they’re great for areas that could use a looser ice pack.
10. Removing green dye from blonde hair
Putting ketchup in your hair was probably something your parents warned you not to do as a kid — but it can have one big benefit. If your hair is blonde and you notice it turning green after swimming in a chlorine pool, ketchup can actually help neutralize the discoloration. Sprinkle some into your hair, leave it on for half an hour (preferably wrapped in a shower cap), then rinse and shampoo as usual.
11. Create fake blood
You can upgrade your killer Halloween costume with fake blood made from staples instead of buying fake blood at a costume store. Simply mix equal parts ketchup and corn syrup (or another light-colored syrup) with a little cocoa powder for a deep blood red look. Add water if you want your fake blood to become more liquid. Now you have the addition of a bloody costume that you can wear on your face without worrying about accidentally getting some in your mouth.
12. Soothe insect bites
If you have an itchy bug bite, apply a little ketchup to the affected area. Ketchup is said to help soothe some of the irritation caused by mosquito bites or bee stings.
13. Use it in a facial scrub
You can make your own easy-to-use facial scrub using these extra packets of ketchup and sugar from restaurants. The acidity in ketchup helps exfoliate, and the antioxidants in tomatoes soothe inflammation. It is recommended to use artificial sweeteners in place of regular white sugar, because the finer granules are less abrasive. Test your DIY scrub on a small part of your skin before applying it to your entire face in case you have a reaction.
Bonus: Reuse the bottle
This hack doesn’t actually include ketchup. However, an empty squeezable ketchup bottle can be useful in different ways. Once the bottle is well cleaned, fill it with pancake mix to create perfect, mess-free pancake pancakes. Or fill with paint for kids’ craft projects.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.