How Does Ketchup Remove Rust?

Ketchup is a popular condiment for hotdogs and hamburgers, but did you know regular ketchup can be used to clean rust? Many people are surprised to learn that the ingredients in ketchup can remove rust and restore the metal to its former glory. Of the truth, how does ketchup remove rust?

Yes, beyond your backyard barbecue or breakfast table, ketchup can remove rust from metals and stains from clothing. The first step to removing a stain with ketchup is to test the treatment on a small inconspicuous area of the fabric.

Tomatoes, ketchup’s primary ingredient, contain many nutrients as oranges and other citrus fruits. For example, citric acid can eat through rust and help you remove it from metal surfaces. Below is an explanation of removing rust using one of your favorite condiments.

So, it is now surprising how Ketchup can cure metals and get rid of rust. If you are still skeptical, you can read further.

Why Remove Rust from Your Metal?

Rust is a chemical process that is characterized by the oxidization of iron or copper – depending on the type of metal involved in the process. It occurs when a metal is exposed to the elements of weather – oxygen, moisture, and heat – causing the formation of iron oxide, a brownish-red compound that is evident on the metal’s surface.

Why Remove Rust from your Metal

The prolonged presence of rust on a metal’s surface means it continues to degrade. Therefore, rust needs to be stopped before it renders a metal physically useless. Kitchenwares, such as pots, made from metals, need to be rid of rust, else, they will have holes in them, making them useless.

Also, jewelry made from metals is susceptible to rust, and their values can be adversely affected if the rust on them is not cleaned as soon as possible.

The reason for removing rust is to preserve the quality and value of any metallic material.

Can Ketchup Remove Rust?

Yes, ketchup can remove rust from metals. It is one of the cleaning agents you can find at home to help restore the physical quality of metals by removing the brownish-red substance that forms on their surfaces.

Ketchup can be used on metallic kitchen wares, jewelry, metallic furniture parts, and small rust spots on any metallic item, to remove the rust on them. It requires some patience, but it is an effective rust remover.

How Does Ketchup Removes Rust?

Ketchup is a common culinary sauce but it has a use as an unconventional cleaning agent due to the presence of some organic chemicals some of its ingredients contain. Ketchup removes rust from metals by dissolving the rust that has formed a crust on metals’ surfaces and making them easy to clean. To use ketchup as a rust remover, you only need to apply some o it to the metal’s surface and wipe it off with a piece of cloth.

How Does Ketchup Removes Rust

Its rust-removing property is a result of the organic acids, citric acid, and acetic acid, contained in the tomato sauce concentrate and vinegar used in the making of ketchup. Ketchup is made from red ripe tomato fruits, vinegar, and other ingredients. These major ingredients are high in organic acids; they dissolve the rust from the metal’s surface and make them easier to wipe off.

The citric and acetic acids in vinegar and tomatoes attack the rust on metal surfaces. They make the crust soft by dissolving the hardened rust, and they can be washed off easily afterward. Despite the efficacy of ketchup as a rust remover, it is best suited for rust spots that are minimal on metal surfaces. They work less on rust that is of large expanse on metal surfaces.

How to Use Ketchup to Remove Rust?

Since ketchup is a good rust remover, it is only normal that you’ll want to try it on your metal surfaces that have rust on them. Before you do so, here are some ketchup combinations that can help you achieve that.

Washing Soda and Ketchup

Washing soda, otherwise called detergents, are effective in cleaning kitchen wares. However, they are ineffective against rusts on metals. When you combine them with ketchup, they team up to produce excellent rust remover.

  • Put some ketchup in a bowl.
  • Add some detergent to the bowl and mix it with the ketchup.
  • Apply the mixture to the rusted area on the metal surface
  • Leave for 30 minutes
  • Wash with a sponge or wet cloth.
  • Let it air-dry and store appropriately.

Ketchup and Salt

Ketchup contains some acid and when combined with salt, there may seem to be no reaction. However, when they are combined on a metallic surface, especially one with rust, they cause the rust to soften, due to the normal acid-base reaction.

  • Mix ketchup and salt in a bowl
  • Apply the mixture to the rust spots on a metal’s surface
  • Leave for 20 minutes
  • Clean the ketchup off the metal’s surface with a damp cloth and watch the rust spots get cleaned off too.

Also. You can use ketchup as a standalone rust remover. Apply a generous amount of ketchup on the rust spot, leave it for 30 minutes and wipe it off with a damp cloth. The rust comes off easily.

Final Thought

Ketchup removes rust from metal surfaces, making it an excellent cleaning agent for metallic kitchen wares, jewelry, and other metallic items that may have rust spots on them. It cleans iron oxide off metal surfaces by dissolving the crusts with the aid of citric and acetic acids contained in the tomato concentrate and vinegar – two major ingredients in ketchup.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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