They splash it on your burger. You dip your fries in it. And if you eat fast food often, you probably have a number of packets of this popular condiment.
Ketchup is a common, inexpensive staple, but it turns out there are many uses beyond your plate.
13 creative ketchup uses
1. Remove burnt food from the cookware
We’ve all been through this. You wash the dishes after dinner and find that you have stubborn foods that just don’t seem to come out of your pots and pans. Try sprinkling some ketchup over the burned spots. Let it sit, covered, overnight and the acid in the ketchup should help break down the problem areas so you can easily wash the dish off in the morning.
2. Shine copper
If your copper cookware looks tarnished, you don’t need to purchase a special metal polish for it. Simply cover the copper with ketchup and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it clean and it should regain its original shine.
3. Remove rust from your cast iron pan
Cast iron pans aren’t the easiest to clean. They are prone to rust if you accidentally put them in the dishwasher or soak them in soapy water and then let them air dry. Fortunately, you can easily undo the rust by covering the cookware with ketchup, letting it sit for about 15 minutes, and then scrubbing with a Brillo pad or wire brush. You may need to re-season your cast iron pan, but the rust should be gone.
4. Remove bugs stuck on car headlights
Beetles often hit their demise when they collide with cars driving down the freeway. If you find insects clinging to your vehicle’s headlights or front grill, reach for ketchup. Apply some of the wort to your headlights for about 15 minutes, then scrub them off thoroughly with a brush and rinse them clean.
5. Car rims shine
Beautify dingy car rims without paying for your car’s detailing. Spread some ketchup on your edges and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wipe with a cloth, then rinse to reveal bright and shiny edges.
6. Restore tarnished jewelry
Do you have old jewelry that has lost its luster? Rub some ketchup over it, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and wipe clean. This should help return the jewelry to its former glory.
7. Buff brass or silver
If you have brass or silver fixtures or accessories at home that can do with a good shine but no polish – give ketchup a try! Apply a layer, let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe it clean.
8. Restore rusty patio furniture
If you notice rust stains on your patio furniture after the outdoor rain, a little ketchup can help. Splash some ketchup on the affected areas and let it sit for about half an hour before wiping it off.
9. Use as a mini ice pack
Are you familiar with all of those ketchup packets that you get from takeaway orders? Put them in the freezer to make miniature ice packs. If you have young children at home, these are especially handy for little ouchies who don’t need a large ice pack. Because the ketchup packets don’t freeze as hard as an ice cube, they’re also great for areas that could use a more pliable ice pack.
10. Remove green tint from blonde hair
Putting ketchup in your hair is likely something your parents warned you not to as a kid – but it can be a huge benefit. If you’ve got blonde hair and you’ve found it turned greenish after swimming in a chlorine bath, ketchup can actually help neutralize the change in color. Squirt something into your hair and leave it on for half an hour (ideally wrapped in a shower cap) and rinse and shampoo as usual.
11. Create fake blood
You can upgrade a killer Halloween costume with fake blood from pantry clips instead of buying fake blood from a costume store. Simply mix equal parts ketchup and corn syrup (or any other light-colored syrup) with some cocoa powder for a deep red, clotted blood look. Add water if you want your fake blood to become more fluid. Now you have a bloody costume accessory that you can apply to your face without worrying about accidentally getting something in your mouth.
12. Soothe insect bites
If you have an itchy bug bite, apply a dollop of ketchup to the affected area. Ketchup is said to help relieve irritation from mosquito bites or bee stings.
13. Use it in a face scrub
You can create an easy DIY facial scrub with these extra packets of ketchup and sugar from restaurants. The acid in ketchup helps with exfoliating, and the antioxidants in tomato help reduce inflammation. Using artificial sweetener instead of pure white sugar is recommended because the finer granules are less abrasive. In case you have a reaction, test your DIY scrub on a small part of your skin before applying it all over your face.
Bonus: reuse the bottle
This hack doesn’t actually include ketchup. However, an empty squeezable ketchup bottle can come in handy in a number of ways. Once the bottle is thoroughly cleaned, fill it with pancake mix to make perfect, messy flapjacks. Or fill it in with paint for kids’ craft projects.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com