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Does Ketchup Damage Car Paint? (Read This First!)

While being an owner of a car, it makes little difference if it is new or not. But, the paint of the car should be in good condition that is what that is most important to its owner.

That is why as vehicle owners we should be concerned about the things that can damage that precious coat of paint of our car.

Doing so will boost the morale of the owner as well as boost the resale value of the car in the future.

Since it is important to keep an eye on the things that damage the paint of our vehicle, we need to know what to do when we do encounter those situations.

Does ketchup damage car paint?

There is a plethora of things that might seem harmless on other surfaces but can be damaging for car paint. Normally the main ingredient in ketchup is tomato and tomatoes are acidic. So, if left alone in the sun on a car, the paint will get damaged with a stain.

Whether the car is old or brand new we subconsciously want it to be in pristine condition for as long as it’s possible.

But we all know that it’s not that easy to keep our vehicles looking like that for that long due to all the external forces and outside variables.

Cars can be tough but not all aspects of a car are indestructible or at least not damageable.

For example, the paint of a car is not as durable as we might think it to be. The paint of a car is quite sensitive and brittle when it comes in contact with the elements.

Normal household things and daily things we encounter and things we do not think twice of can seriously hurt the paint of our car. That’s only when and if it’s left untreated. Ketchup can be one of those things.

Tomato itself is an acidic material, then other ingredients in the ketchup like the vinegar are also acidic. Acidic ingredients combined make the ketchup a harmful agent to the paint of a car.

If it comes in contact with our car paint, we need to promptly clean it and not let it dry as it will leave a stain otherwise.

Not just ketchup there are certainly many things that can damage the paint of a car. Some of them can be repaired, some of them cannot be repaired. Therefore, we must be aware of them and take the necessary steps to avoid certain disasters.

Can tomato sauce damage car paint? Does ketchup stain car paint?

There are a lot of things that can damage the paint of a car. Things like shoe polish to bird droppings even can eat through car paint. Even things like the harmless silly string will make a stain that is going to be hard to remove.

In general, anything acidic that comes in contact with our car paint will leave behind a stain. Since they are acidic, they can eat through the paint job of the car if left alone. We know the main ingredient for ketchup is tomato.

Therefore, we can safely say that ketchup is going to have an acidic nature. This in turn will damage car paint. Furthermore, if the ketchup is not taken care of and cleaned as soon as possible it will leave a stain on the car paint.

What does ketchup do to car paint? Does ketchup eat car paint?

Ketchup is an acidic sauce that can cause problems for car owners if they don’t clean it right away.

It might seem harmless since it is a daily condiment, we use it all over the world, and knowing how it might damage the car paint is not normal. Below we will discuss briefly what ketchup does to car paint and does it eat paint or not.

Damages Paint:

Since tomato is acidic, they damage the paint of a car. However, this doesn’t happen in just minutes. But given enough time it will damage the paint.


Ketchup is notorious for leaving stains everywhere they happen to come in contact.

Things thought to be harmless when coming in contact leave stains on the car, and a prime example would be a tomato or its sauce. In other words, ketchup can leave stains on car paint if left alone and not cleaned.

Eats Paint:

The ingredients in ketchup are tomato, sugar, seasonings, and spices with vinegar. Tomato itself is an acidic ingredient, then there’s vinegar that is also acidic. It is also known that vinegar eats paint.

Therefore, we can safely say that ketchup eats car paint. There have been multiple reports by people that came across vandalism against their cars with ketchup and that ultimately ruined their car paint.

How do I get ketchup off my car?

Multiple DIY methods on the internet will tell you to buy multiple products and then proceed to get ketchup off your car.

However, the steps below we tell you are going to be your go-to solution for getting rid of ketchup from your car without the need to buy any products.

Take a cloth dipped in vinegar:

We need to take a piece of cloth and dip it with white vinegar.

Dab the cloth on the affected area:

After we dab the cloth in white vinegar, we need to dab the affected area of ketchup on the car.

Let it rest:

After we let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes. We need to apply some liquid detergent to that area.

Wipe off:

Finally, we gently wipe all the ketchup on the affected area until there is no trace of it left.

Final Thoughts

In general, anything that is acidic can be a harmful element for the paint of a car. Tomato for example is an acidic food item. It is the main ingredient in ketchup along with vinegar and other spices. Vinegar is also an acidic element. Therefore, we can say that ketchup can damage car paint.