Everybody loves tomato ketchup, but none knows its alternative uses. Those are just a few of the 13 surprising uses we have for tomato ketchup: let's see them together!

1. As a cleaning agent

The acidity of tomato sauce makes it an excellent cleaner for your copper ware and silver.  It’s also affordable and all-natural. So instead of using nasty chemicals to shine your silverware, try using tomato sauce. Simply pour it into a dish, place your silver items in the sauce (making sure it’s completely submerged), and let it sit. After about 10 minutes, it’s ready for a rinse and a polish!

2. Make a marinade

Both ketchup and tomato sauce are often seen as a base in a meat marinade. This is because the acidic nature of tomatoes tenderizes the meat, breaking down tough fibers and enabling the meat to hold more moisture – in other words, it makes the meat tender and juicy! To make your own meat marinade, mix tomato ketchup with chopped shallots, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce, and marinate for up to eight hours.

3. Cook chicken

Use tomato ketchup for a no-fuss, flavorsome meal. The sweetness enhances caramelization, while the acidity breaks down meat fibers and makes it tender. For a quick weeknight dinner, add tomato ketchup, herbs, olive oil and crushed garlic to four chicken breasts and cook until the meat is crispy on the outside, but succulent on the inside.

4. Amp up flavor

Tomatoes naturally contain high amounts of glutamic acid, which provides the well-known umami – or ‘meaty’ taste to dishes. If you regularly make tomato-based dishes such as spaghetti bolognese or chilis, then try adding a bit of ketchup next time. Not only does it give the dish a boost of tomatoey flavor, but the sweetness of the ketchup cuts through any acidity that might be left over in your dish.

5. Make your own sweet and sour sauce

Sweet and sour sauce is a popular condiment with Chinese food. You can either use it to coat chicken or as a dipping sauce for crispy spring rolls. To make your own, place ¾ cup white sugar, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup, and 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the mixture is thickened.

6. Cast iron 

Cast iron pots and pans have gained a notorious reputation of being hard to clean, and developing rust. But it shouldn’t be this way! To remove rust from your beloved cast iron cookware, simply cover it in ketchup, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then scrub with a wire brush. The tomato ketchup is acidic, which will help to dissolve the rust. Remember to season your cast iron pot properly after cleaning!

7. Use as a skin scrub

Who knew tomato ketchup can be added to your beauty regime? Together with castor sugar, you can use it as a facial scrub. Castor sugar is finer than normal sugar, so it’s better suited for the sensitive skin on your face. The tomatoes in the ketchup makes it acidic, which helps to exfoliate, while the antioxidants help inflammation. Remember not to try this at home if you have sensitive skin!

8. As a hair fixer

It’s happened to many blondes before…you take a dip in the pool and end up with green hair. The green is caused by a reaction between the copper and chlorine in pool water, which then binds to the hair. It can happen to other hair colors too, but is more visible on blonde hair. To fix it, turn to ketchup! In the same way we use green-tinted concealer for facial redness, the ketchup works by neutralizing the green in your hair!

9. Use the bottle

Once all your ketchup is finished, repurpose the squeeze bottle for something else. It makes a great dispenser for pancake batter, and you can create cool designs that will entertain the kids. You can also search the internet for ways to create your own bird feeder with a ketchup bottle. Or simply use them to store your own homemade sauces in the refrigerator.

10. Make paint

Okay, so perhaps you’re not using the ketchup itself, but you are repurposing the ketchup bottles! The plastic squeeze bottles make an ideal dispenser for children’s paint projects.  To make your own child-safe paint, simply mix equal amounts of flour, salt, and water. Blend until smooth and add a few drops of food coloring. Decant the mixture into your squeeze bottle and give to the kids to enjoy!

11. Make the hurt go away

If you have a drawer somewhere in your kitchen filled to the brim with takeaway ketchup packets, you’re probably not the only one. These small extras have a way of piling up. We don’t use them, but we also feel too bad to throw them away. One way to use them, is to freeze them as mini-ice packs. They’re ideal if you have a small burn from an oil splatter, or if your child has a skinned knee.

12. Make your own fake blood

Want to impress your friends with a creepy outfit at the next costume party? Then use ketchup as fake blood! It’s less expensive than the fake blood you would buy at a costume store, is planet-friendly, and it won’t stain your clothes. Plus, if you get some in your mouth, it won’t taste too bad either! Make your own realistic-looking blood, by mixing ketchup with cocoa powder and golden syrup.

13. Wash Fido

It’s no secret that dogs love playing outside. But all that rolling in the dirt and poop makes them reek. To get rid of that stinky dog smell, give them a ketchup bath. Massage the tomato ketchup into your dog’s fur, wait for about half an hour, and wash as you would normally. Your dog will be fresh as ever – and ready to go outside again!