If you’re a fan of fries, then ketchup is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when choosing a condiment to go with fried potatoes.
And, if someone asks you what else you can use ketchup for, you’ll likely say sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers as this sauce really makes food tastier.
However, this common table sauce has other uses that go far beyond its use as food condiment. After you read all the uses and benefits it offers, you’ll always keep a bottle in your fridge.
Tarnish is frequently an issue with pans made of copper or stainless steel with an inner copper part, which enhances heat conductivity. Copper is prone to oxidation so when it binds with oxygen, the result is brown copper oxide. And ketchup contains acetic acid (a weak organic chemical that gives condiments their bitter taste) which combats tarnishing. So, if you want to make your pan look like new, ketchup is the thing to use.
In the words of Ben Valsler, digital editor of Chemistry World magazine: ‘The acetic acid works to convert the copper oxide or brown tarnish into copper acetate and water. Because the copper acetate is soluble, it rinses away in the water. Your tarnish is gone.’
CLEANING SILVER JEWELLERY
The acidic properties of ketchup result from the high amounts of vinegar it contains as well as from the several different acids found in tomatoes.
According to Ben Vasler ‘The tarnish is silver sulphide, caused as the silver reacts over time with hydrogen sulphide in the air. Though the acids in ketchup won’t have much effect on the silver sulphide, a lot of silver is actually sterling, which means it contains copper. Ketchup is great at removing the copper oxide, making silver look less tarnished.‘
Simply soak a piece of silver jewelry or cutlery in a bowl of ketchup and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes. Be cautious not to leave it longer than that because the acids from the tomato can cause damage. Then brush the silver gently and remove the ketchup stains before rinsing them with warm water. Dry it and see the difference!
MAKING A FACE MASK
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can heal your skin after sunburn, as well as vital vitamins A, C and K, which protect it from further damage. This amazing ingredient is found in ketchup in even larger quantities than in fresh tomatoes because with cooking its content becomes even more concentrated.
Lycopene is also highly beneficial for the production of collagen, essential for healthy and young-looking skin. The only drawback is that ketchup contains acetic acid, which can further dry out your skin, thus it’s most suitable for people with mixed to oily skin.
Simply, massaging in a circular motion, apply one tablespoon of ketchup on your face. Leave it for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Your skin will be soft and silky to the touch, and your complexion radiant!
HEALING NASTY INSECT BITES
Ketchup can also be used for treating insect bites because it can successfully sooth skin irritation.
‘There are several reasons why this might work,’ according to Ben. ‘Ketchup has a high salt content. The salt may draw some water out of the bite, thereby reducing the inflammation. Vinegar is also an irritant, so while the application of ketchup might chemically irritate the skin, it would also reduce your urge to scratch.’
CONDITIONING YOUR LOCKS
During summer, hair becomes dry and sun-drenched and there’s a green tinge that appears after swimming which particularly affects blonds. The redness of tomatoes can drastically fight the green copper sulphate put in pools to kill algae, while vitamins A, C and K helps the hair become more elastic.
‘The acids in ketchup act on the hair cuticles to make them lie flat, so hair looks glossier,’ says Ben. ‘However, the acids could irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.’
For best results, apply a little ketchup on your hair before washing, but stay away from the scalp. While, ketchup improves your hair quality, it can irritate your scalp because it contains acetic acid, which can cause flaking.
Leave the ketchup to act for 5-7 minutes and then wash your hair normally (shampooing, one application of balm). Your hair will be light, airy, and fuller.
CLEANING RUST OFF GARDEN FURNITURE
Iron in susceptible to oxidation and this leads to rust, which appears when water and oxygen react with iron. Acids can successfully remove rust, which is a form of iron oxide.
‘The acetic acid in ketchup converts the iron oxide into iron acetate that you can just wash away, thus removing the rusty layer,’ says Ben.