By Brian Clark Howard Posted Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:37am PDT
Whether you enjoy ketchup with fries or — like some Americans — a few fries with a boatload of ketchup, there’s no denying the ubiquity and popularity of the distinctive red condiment. Ketchup has been satirized, politicized (W Ketchup anyone?) and considered for reclassification as a vegetable. Many folks can’t even agree how it should be spelled (catsup or catchup perhaps?).
We’re guessing we’re not the only ones who squirrel away unused packets of ketchup in desks and cabinets after a quick meal on the go. (Or who have aging, half-empty bottles of the stuff crammed in the back of the fridge.) And since we hate to waste things here at The Daily Green, we got to thinking about ways to creatively reuse extra ketchup — we mean besides the obvious choices of making recession ketchup “pizza” or “spaghetti.” Shudder……
By the way, wonder what’s in ketchup? Typically tomato concentrate (duh), the ubiquitous corn syrup or another sweetener, vinegar, salt, spice and herb extracts (including celery), spice and garlic powder. Some brands also include allspice, cloves, cinnamon, onion and other vegetables.
While none of us should be eating too much salt or corn syrup, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the ingredients list is decidedly non-toxic, especially when you compare it to the chemical-laded conventional cleaning products and shampoos that it can replace. So check out these great alternative uses for ketchup, which will save you money and time:
Shine your copper
Whether you have copper-bottomed cooking pans, architectural detailing, or shiny knick-knacks, forget mucking about with costly and potentially toxic metal polish pastes. Why not use some of those old ketchup packets stashed away in your kitchen drawers?
Here’s a very simple recipe from Michael de Jong, TDG’s Zen Cleaner and author of the Clean series of simple living books:
Massage ketchup over the copper and watch it dissolve the tarnish away (thanks to the acid). In the event that you have stubborn spots, add a pinch of table salt while you polish.
Get those auto parts gleaming
According to The Cymbal Book by Hugo Pinksterboer, some folks have seen decent results getting their cars to shine by rubbing with ketchup. The book notes that the condiment does a good job cutting tarnish, but not so well in removing dirt. Sounds like you may need a multi-step process, with some soap and water as well.
Give it a try and let us know if it works for you.
Fight Skunk Odors
If you’ve lived in a rural or even suburban part of North America, chances are you may have had a run-in with a skunk one night or evening. Or perhaps your dog has. Although some experts have cautioned that the technique may not actually work well (beyond a masking sensation), many people still swear by tomato juice as a way to remove potent skunk odor. Michael de Jong points out that in the event you don’t have any tomato juice on hand you can try using plain ketchup instead.
Get back prettier hair from chlorine damage
According to de Jong, ketchup can also be used to correct limey-hair-highlights-gone-green, which can sometimes occur from exposure to chlorine found in swimming pools (another good reason to check out natural pools as a refreshing alternative).
How? Restore your normal hair color — or at least the one you paid dearly for — by applying full strength ketchup to your hair. Smoosh it in, let it linger for about 20 minutes and then wash it out thoroughly.
Unused ketchup packets pile up across America by the millions, as hurried diners and service staff often grab huge handfuls, only to end up using a few. Lisa posted over on Seacoast Online that she freezes leftover ketchup and soy sauce packets to use on her children’s “small booboos and bumps.” She claims, “The kids LOVE them.” Apparently even the mere appearance of the packets often makes their hurts go away.
Want to make your own ketchup? Check out this link for a unique cranberry ketchup recipe, or get zillions of other ketchup ideas from Delish.
Get more green cleaning recipes from Quick and Simple.
More from The Daily Green
7 Smart Uses for Vinegar
10 Surprising Uses for Vodka
10 Easy Green Cleaning Recipes
Extraordinary Homes Made From Shipping Containers
Amazing Sculptures Made from Cardboard
13 Cool Things Made From Recycled Bottles
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc
Photo credits: Istock, George Doyle/Getty Images, http://www.cockeyed.com, Stockxpert
Original artical can be found at : http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/43/five-surprising-uses-for-ketchup.html