Ketchup is found in many homes at the kitchen counter and is used mainly when eating chips, crisps, pasta, rice, noodles, mshikaki etc. However it can be used for other things besides adding flavour to meals. Its uses may come as a surprise to many but the ingredients make it a super sauce to have.
Here are some of the uses as reported by Dailymail:
Cleaning pans – Copper and stainless steel pans with an inner core of copper to increase heat conductivity are prone to tarnish. The problem arises when the copper combines with oxygen in the air to form brown copper oxide.
Ketchup contains acetic acid (a weak organic chemical that gives condiments their bitter taste) which combats tarnishing. ‘The acetic acid works to convert the copper oxide or brown tarnish into copper acetate and water,’ says Ben Valsler, digital editor of Chemistry World magazine. Because the copper acetate is soluble, it rinses away in the water. Your tarnish is gone.’
Making a face mask – Tomatoes contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can rehabilitate sun-damaged skin and, with the help of its vital vitamins A, C and K, protect it from further damage. Lycopene also helps boost the production of collagen, which is vital for keeping skin looking fresh and plump. Though fresh tomatoes have a healthy amount of lycopene, cooked tomatoes in any form contain a more concentrated amount.
‘Research proves that applying a product high in lycopene will protect your skin against sun damage,’ says Ben. ‘However, the benefits may be cancelled out by the vinegar in the ketchup, which will dry your skin. Use tomato puree or juice, which don’t contain vinegar
Getting rid of animal dropping – If your dog has a passion for rolling in droppings, you’ll know the noxious scent is hard to shift. But smearing your pet with ketchup could be the answer.
‘Compounds used for marking animal territory, such as fox poo, tend to be sticky so that they hang around and are difficult to shift,’ says Ben. ‘Ketchup can’t neutralise the smell. However, the vinegar in the ketchup helps to chemically break down the stickiness so it’s easier to remove any residual bits from the fur.’
Cleaning silver jewellery – Ketchup is very acidic – partly down to its high vinegar content and also because tomatoes contain several different acids.
‘The tarnish is silver sulphide, caused as the silver reacts over time with hydrogen sulphide in the air,’ says Ben. ‘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.’
Cleaning rust – Rust is caused when water and oxygen react with the iron and produce hydrated iron oxide. Acids are very good at removing 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.
Cooling nasty insect bites – Rubbing ketchup on an insect bite is said to neutralize the sting. ‘There are several reasons why this might work,’ says 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.’