The Best Way to Remove Ketchup Stains


Charity asked: What product removes ketchup better – Shout, peroxide or Dawn Dish Liquid?

Several factors affect the successful removal of ketchup stains. The age and size of the stain, as well as the type of fabric are all factors to consider. Here’s some things to consider when choosing which of these cleaning products would be best.


Shout is highly regarded as a commonly used stain treatment that is applied directly to the stain prior to washing (pre-treatment). It is safe for most fabrics and does not cause discoloration. It works well for many stains, including ketchup. It may require several applications and time to set on the stain for the optimum results. Make sure you don’t run the garment through the dryer until the stain is completely removed.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Peroxide works through stains, but is not safe to use on all fabrics. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach some fabrics or fade the color in others. While it will fade the stain, it is recommended that a test area be done first.

Dawn Dish Liquid

Dawn Dish Soap can cut through stains, but is often colored and the dyes can transfer to the fabric and cause another stain. Though it is great for many grease stains, Dawn is not the top recommendation for ketchup stains.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Regular laundry detergent has been found very effective in removing ketchup stains. Applying the laundry detergent directly to the stain and allowing it to set provides the best results.
  • For additional condiment removal methods, see the guide How to Remove Condiment Stains.


  1. My husband had the same problem. His was caused by caffeine – coffee, tea, soda pop and the like. If you smoke, it isn’t unusual for your body to sweat yellow. To remove the stains soak the linens in lemon juice and water before washing, then hang them in the sunshine to dry.

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