Restore Shine To An Old Pot With This Common Refrigerator Staple

Let's face it; your cookware probably won't compete in a beauty contest anytime soon. Nevertheless, after using your favorite pot for a couple of years, you wouldn't be the first homeowner to become disheartened upon noticing that its once-shiny surface has become discolored and dull. Your first instinct may be to grab a chemical cleaning solution and a sponge. However, the quick fix to your problem may be inside your refrigerator. Of course, we're talking about ketchup. Sure, it's the perfect condiment for fries and burgers, but it has also gained a reputation as a famous pot-cleaning remedy.

Using ketchup to reveal the shiny finish your pots and pans once had is quite simple and effective. And not only that, but some TikTok users have gained thousands of views by revealing step-by-step tutorials showcasing how the popular condiment can be used to remove tarnish from copper pots. We'll explain what makes ketchup a powerful cleaning tool and how to restore dull cookware.

You probably already own everything you'll need

To successfully brighten your cookware, you'll only need a bottle of ketchup and a scrubber with an abrasive texture. However, ensure the scrubber is suitable for the pot you'll be cleaning (a scouring pad on a nonstick surface is a huge no-no). Those who rely on ketchup to give their pots and pans a fresh appearance do so because its main ingredients — tomato and vinegar — are acidic enough to break down the cloudiness (a result of oxidation) that mars the surfaces of various metals such as copper and stainless steel. Similarly, other homeowners employ a slightly different approach by using lemon juice and salt.

Ketchup's PH level is usually around 3.85. This measurement defines how acidic a substance is on a scale of 0 to 14. Ketchup has a lower acidity level than many cleaners, such as bleach or many types of soap. This may actually be a beneficial characteristic, as bleach is known to oxidize metal surfaces, meaning cleaning your cookware with it will likely cause more problems than solutions. If your cookware is badly tarnished, you might want to invest in rubber gloves since scrubbing off the resulting brown goo can quickly become gross.

Allow the ketchup to work its magic

To get started, it's advisable to place your cookware inside a sink to avoid creating a tomatoey mess on the countertop. Next, squirt out a few swirls of ketchup on the cloudy areas of your pot and attempt to spread it evenly with a spoon. Those hoping to brighten up their old pot can leave the condiment on for about 10 minutes. However, if you're hoping to remove tarnish, waiting at least 30 minutes is recommended.

When time is up, you should notice that some of the grime has lifted. Next, grab your choice of sponge and give your pot a good scrub. After you feel you've removed as much gunk as possible, rinse the ketchup off with warm water and wash your cookware with regular old dish soap. Once it has dried, the final results should reveal that the dull, smudged pot has transformed into a shiny and clean kitchen stalwart.