How To Get Ketchup Out Of Carpet

Ketchup is one of the most cherished condiments but can also leave a nasty stain.

Getting ketchup on your clothes can be a process to get them cleaned, but at least you can throw it in the washing machine.

Unfortunately, you are not as lucky if someone spills ketchup on your carpet.

While you aren’t lucky, it does not mean that it is impossible to do.

Continue reading down below to learn how to get ketchup out of carpet.

What You’ll Need

Now that you have assembled all the necessary items to do the job, continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to remove ketchup from carpet.

1. Scrape Up Excess Ketchup From Carpet

Using the butter knife, carefully scrape up as much ketchup from the carpet as possible.

As soon as the ketchup is spilled, remove as much excess as possible.

Be careful not to smear more of the ketchup in other places on the carpet.

You also want to be sure you are gentle enough not to hurt the carpet’s fibers.

2. Soften Ketchup With Warm Water

If you cannot get to the ketchup as soon as it was spilled on the carpet, you will need to soften the ketchup stain to begin removing it.

Apply a small amount of warm water to the ketchup stain.

Doing this should help to ease the ketchup, making it easier to withdraw from the carpet fibers. 

3. Create The Cleaning Solution

You will then want to create the cleaning solution you will use on the ketchup spill.

Mix about ¼ teaspoon carpet shampoo or detergent with about a liter of cold water.

Avoid using hot water, as this will cause the ketchup stain to set on the carpet, making it impossible to remove later. 

4. Apply The Cleaning Solution On The Ketchup 

Quickly perform a spot test to ensure that the cleaning solution will not harm the color of your carpet.

If your test determines it is safe to use, apply the cleaning solution to the entire ketchup stain.

Be sure to do this in an inconspicuous spot if the solution alters your carpet’s color. 

5. Massage Cleaning Solution Into Ketchup Stain 

Carefully massage the cleaning solution into the ketchup stain.

Be sure not to harm the carpet’s fibers, but do not put the cleaning solution deep into the carpet.

You do not want the foam under your carpet to get wet or to push the ketchup stain further into the carpet.

You also want to be sure you are massaging from the outer part of the stain to avoid spreading the ketchup stain wider.

6. Rinse The Cleaning Solution From Carpet 

Now you will want to begin removing the cleaning solution from the carpet.

You do not want there to be any cleaning solution remaining as that will leave a different stain once it dries onto the carpet!

Dab and blot the stain using warm water, a sponge, or even a spray bottle filled with warm water.

Continue doing this until you remove all the cleaning solutions from the carpet.

7. Dry The Carpet

Once the cleaning solution is entirely out of the carpet, you can fully dry the carpet.

With a clean cloth, you can begin to absorb as much moisture with your hands.

Once you get as much moisture as possible, set more dry clean cloths on the stain, and place a piece of wax paper or a plastic bag over the towel.

Then, place a heavy object, such as a heavy book or weights.

Be sure to use the wax paper or plastic bag to ensure that the heavy object does not get wet and possibly transfer colors or stains onto the carpet. 

Check back on the spot in a few hours or overnight.

The cloth should have absorbed the remaining water.

If it was particularly wet, check more frequently and replace the cloth with a dry cloth to ensure you are not leaving very wet cloths over the damp carpet.

Video Instructions

  • Step 1 (:40) — Scrape Up Excess Ketchup From Carpet
  • Step 2 (2:10) – Soften Ketchup With Warm Water
  • Step 3 (2:14) – Create The Cleaning Solution
  • Step 4 (2:38) – Apply The Cleaning Solution On The Ketchup
  • Step 5 (2:43) – Massage Cleaning Solution Into Ketchup Stain
  • Step 6 (2:59) – Rinse The Cleaning Solution From Carpet
  • Step 7 (3:19) – Dry The Carpet


Are Ketchup Stains Permanent?

Ketchup stains can permanently stain different surfaces.

These stains are due to the tomato’s pigment lycopene.

This pigment repels water, so it can easily lead to stains on any surface.

Because of the lycopene, it is essential to act quickly and not use hot water.

Leaving the stain to sit will allow the ketchup to penetrate the fibers of your carpet better.

Using too warm of water will help the ketchup and tomato pigments to fasten themselves to the carpet fibers.

Using warm water makes ketchup stains challenging to remove but not always permanent if you act quickly and correctly. 

Can Old Ketchup Stains Be Removed?

Technically it is possible to remove old ketchup stains from the carpet, and it is just more difficult.

You may want to try to use heavy-duty stain remover laundry detergent to address older ketchup stains.

First, you want to soak the carpet with cold water to soften it, but do not use so much water that you are soaking the padding below the carpet.

Then you can apply the detergent directly without diluting it to the ketchup stain.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then using a sponge and some clean water; you can dab the area until the stain has been removed. 

Can Baking Soda Remove A Ketchup Stain?

You can use baking soda to remove a ketchup stain.

Create a mixture of equal parts salt and baking soda in a bowl.

Add warm, NOT HOT, water and form a paste.

Rub the baking soda and salt paste into the ketchup stain then launder your clothing as usual.