Can You Really Use Ketchup To Clean Your Patio Furniture?

Just like regularly cleaning your home, cleaning your patio and patio furniture is important to keep it in good condition and ensure you can use it for many years. There are plenty of things you can use to get your patio back in shape — including, potentially, ketchup. Yes, you read that right. Supposedly, ketchup could be the outdoor cleaning product you've been looking for. However, we're here to tell you that you should absolutely not start squirting a bottle of Heinz onto your patio — in fact, the popular food cupboard staple could cause major issues.

Speaking to Gardening Etc, Cass Heaphy, digital director for Paving Direct, explained, "Limestone, sandstone, and Portland cement concrete are all vulnerable to chemical erosion and corrosive damage from acids, so any acid-based liquid will likely corrode and damage the stone and concrete of the patio." Not only could it corrode the stone, but Heaphy shared that the acidic formulation of ketchup could possibly also cause staining and leave marks behind due to the acid damaging the surface layer of your patio.

Keep your patio furniture looking fresh

So, what should you use instead? Cass Heaphy additionally told Gardening Etc that it's best to stick to alkaline-based cleaning products to get your items nice and clean without running the risk of damaging them, though keep in mind that different materials will require different cleaning methods. It is recommended to reach for soap and water to clean furniture that's made from metal. If you want to get your plastic/resin furniture looking brand new again, try reaching for a power washer if the items are really dirty, or simple soap and water for a quick clean. Once again, avoid abrasive, acid-based cleaners.

Cleaning wood furniture is a little different. Either use soap or water (ensuring you don't saturate the item) or buy a wood-safe cleaning product and simply wipe with a soft cloth. To get rid of any stubborn stains, sanding is recommended, but don't sand too hard in case you scratch the item. Finally, use a sealant or stain to further protect the wood. It may sound like a fun and simple hack when you want to clean your patio right away, but you should avoid ketchup unless you want to run the risk of causing damage.