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How To Use Ketchup To Clean Metal Surfaces (And Other Useful Cleaning Hacks)



Cleaning can be a real chore – because it is!

Cleaning can be a real chore – and well, it is!

With kids, our personal and professional lives, friends, and whatever else life brings us, it can sometimes seems like there’s never enough time in the day to clean our homes and make them more livable! And what’s worse is when you finally find the time to clean, you realize in the middle of it that you’re out of cleaner – which means you have to run to the store, leaving you with even less time to clean.

But just like how an experienced chef can tell you what to do when you realize you don’t have any eggs and need a substitute, we, as a professional house cleaning service, can do the same with your cleaning.

Here are 10 unique ways to make those substitutes for cleaning and save yourself a trip to the store.

1. Use old newspapers to clean glass


Before you recycle all those old newspapers, put some aside for the next time you clean your windows and mirrors. Using newspapers for your windows and mirrors will leave them clean and streak free They do a better job than cleaning clothes or paper towels which tend to leave fibers behind on the surface.

Simply apply the glass cleaner on your newspaper and clean away the mess! They’re also great for soaking up odors on the bottom of garbage cans!

2. Add lemons for extra freshness

clean metal surfaces - extra freshness lemon

The smell of a room is just as important as the cleanliness of the room. Lemons are great for adding that extra bit of freshness in just about all types of cleaning. You can use lemon for cleaning cloth furniture, adding natural aid to the dishes in the dishwasher, and to help in fighting through tough stains on appliances.

Simply add it to your cleansing solutions, water, or even directly on the surface of what you’re trying to clean and you will get a better result.

3. Use the microwave to kill bacteria

clean metal surfaces - microwave image

Sponges and cloths can get extremely dirty and full of bacteria even after relatively few uses. An easy way to disinfect them is to run them through the microwave for a minute or two depending on the strength of the microwave!

4. Apply ketchup (yes ketchup) to clean metal surfaces!

clean metal surfaces with ketchup image

Who knew that spilling ketchup on something would actually be a good thing.

Ketchup is a great way to clean the burnt-on black and brown layer on your brass and stainless steel pots and pans. It can be used to clean metal surfaces of appliances or even just utensils.

As curious as it may seem, it is an extremely effective method in cleaning due to the properties of the ingredients in ketchup. The acetic acid in the ketchup attacks the copper oxide (part of that black-brown layer) created during cooking.

To make it work: apply a layer of ketchup to the surface of the brass or stainless steel item you’re trying to clean and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then scrub with a little bit of elbow grease and the item will look like new!

**Note: Using ketchup to clean your clothes may not work as well.**

5. Rub off scuff marks with a tennis balls

tennis ball

Scuff your hardwood or laminate floor with your black shoes and can’t get the marks off no matter what you do?

Simply use a brand new tennis ball to rub the scuff marks off wood, vinyl, and even some tile surfaces.

A side benefit: you can even go play a game of tennis afterwards if it’s nice outside!

6. Cook or soak coffee grounds to freshen up the kitchen

clean metal surfaces - unwanted odour coffee

Coffee grounds (new or used) work great as a natural, eco-friendly way to mask odors in the kitchen or in most areas of your home.

To freshen up the fridge, simply put the grounds in a bowl and place them close to the middle of the fridge. Make sure to replace the grounds with a new bowl every 10 weeks or so for maximum freshness.

You can also boil coffee grounds to freshen up a kitchen after cooking strong smelling foods like fish or bacon, or if you’re like me, after you burn your dinner.

7. Baking soda for odor neutralization

baking soda

If you’re not a coffee drinker, baking soda is also a great method for eliminating odor in all parts of your home.

You can use baking soda to deodorize plastic food storage containers by soaking in warm water mixed with baking soda. You can mix baking soda with lemon and put the mixture in garbage disposals to get rid of any smells.

Sprinkling baking soda on cloth furniture and carpet for 24-48 hours is also highly effective in neutralizing smelly odors.

8. Drop ice cubes to clean the garbage disposal.

ice cubes

Ice cubes do a great job of fighting tough grease deposits as well as maintaining the overall freshness of garbage disposals.

Drop a handful of ice cubes in the garbage disposal, run cold water from the tap and turn the garbage disposal on until all the cubes are ground up. Repeat every four weeks or so for best results!

9. Mist hair spray to wipe marker off surfaces.

hair spray

If your child did what all kids do and made a mess on the walls of your house with coloured markers, you can breathe easy knowing that there is an easy fix.

Simply take the hair spray, mist the affected area (or areas), and wipe with a cloth – it should come off easily.

10. Salt for assorted cleaning purposes.


Believe it or not, salt is actually great for more than just seasoning.

Use it as an abrasive to easily remove grease from pans, clean stained cups, and to clean metal surfaces rust. Sprinkle some on the affected areas, and scrub with a cloth or abrasive pad.

Most types of salts will work well to clean household items!



  1. Ketchup’s high acidity makes it the ideal cleaning solution for copper and silver.

  2. I think I would still do everything necessary to kill the bacteria and then finish it off in the microwave. Great article.

  3. You have some great cleaning tips here. The ketchup one sounds really interesting, since it’s acidic. We have a lot of different metals that need polishing though, so we’ll probably hire a pro to come help us.

    • Scrubbi
      scrubbi Reply

      Thanks for reading Ridley!

  4. Nana Reply

    Ketchup really works on the copper clad pans! I am astonished!

    • Scrubbi
      Scrubbi Reply

      I never would’ve thought of using it. I was really surprised Ketchup worked and it makes me wonder what it does to your stomach. haha 🙂

  5. Laurie Magree Reply

    Great tips. I’m trying the Ketchup on some trophies over 50 years old. Probably not cleaned in 40 plus years. Sentimental value.

    • Scrubbi
      Scrubbi Reply

      Hi Laurie! I hope the ketchup trick works. Let us know how it goes.
      Thanks for reading!

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