5 Surprising Uses for Ketchup and Ketchup Bottles

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When it comes to fun facts, we love nothing more than learning surprising uses for everyday items we have around the house. We're talking hacks for things like dishwasher tablets, Listerine mouthwash, toothpaste, and now, ketchup and ketchup bottles. That's right — whether you love it or hate it, ketchup and its container can be used for non-culinary purposes.

To find out more about how ketchup and ketchup bottles can be used around the home, we asked various experts for their input.

Use #1: Refresh and clean metal objects.

"​I bet that not a lot of people would ever assume that ketchup can clean jewelry," Natalie Barrett, the cleaning supervisor at Nifty Cleaning Services, tells Hunker. "Simply place your dirty jewelry inside a cup filled with ketchup and let it sit for no more than 10 minutes." This works because the acid in the ketchup's tomatoes reacts with the oxidation of tarnished metals like copper and silver.

Barrett adds that in addition to your jewelry, ketchup can be used to clean copper cookware, stainless steel pots, and even garden tools. Just apply the ketchup, let it sit for as long as necessary (depending on how tarnished the item is), and then remove it to find a refreshed metal shine.

Use #2: Store other types of sauces and liquids.

Ketchup bottles are handy containers with an easy squeeze function, so why throw them away just because you've run out of ketchup? Afoma Umesi, an editor at cleaning and organizing website Oh So Spotless, tells Hunker that ketchup bottles can be reused as containers for other sauces, piping tubes, and as soap dispensers.

These bottles can even be used as plant watering containers and as pancake batter dispensers for when you want to make effortless, drip-free flapjacks. The options are truly endless.

Use #3: Kid’s Playtime Tools

"A surprising use of ketchup bottles is that they make great water play toys for kids. They love filling them up and squirting each other with them like water guns," Naomi Morris of Our Kiwi Homeschool tells Hunker. She adds that ketchup bottles can also be filled with paint for arts and crafts time.

Use #4: Loosening Stuck Food and Grease

In addition to refreshing cookware, ketchup can also help get rid of the stuck, burnt food and grease on your pans. According to Umesi, all you have to do is spread the ketchup on the pan, leave it overnight, and then wipe it off the next day for a spotless pot.

Use #5: Get rid of grimy substances.

"Interestingly, ketchup can come to the rescue when you're trying to eliminate nasty, sticky substances at home," explains Barrett. "Especially if you are a pet owner and regularly come home to a collection of sticky dirt and smells … The vinegar will remove any excess dirt and will break down any unpleasant leftovers."

Simply leave the ketchup on the unwanted spot, wait until you start to see the substance loosen, and then wipe it all away. It's like it never happened!

When Anna Gragert isn’t trying to create a groundbreaking third-person bio for herself, she's writing for places like Teen Vogue, Glamour, Bust, Nylon, and now, Hunker! Follow Anna on Twitter or Instagram for more.

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