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‘Tis the season for bbq grease, grass stains and spilled sangria on your white jeans. We’ve pulled our tried-and-true tips and spoke to a top expert so that you’ll be ready when it’s time to come clean.

grass stains

If you dove for the birdie in a badminton match and saved the game but ruined your jeans, presoak for 30 minutes in warm water with a powder detergent that has enzymes to break down the stain, according to Mary Gagliardi, a.k.a Dr. Laundry, a laundry product scientist for The Clorox Company. The sooner you treat these, the easier they’ll come out.

ice cream

A dropped cone got you down? Treat the spot by rinsing with cool water so it doesn’t dry into your fabric. Soak in a cool water and detergent mix. Launder as usual with warm water.

cooking oil

Let someone else man the grill while you remove excess grease with a paper towel and absorb the stain by sprinkling on talcum powder. Treat with a stain remover before tossing into the washer. For stains on upholstery or carpets, apply the stain remover, let sit and wipe away with a small brush.


Sometimes those squeeze bottles are nothing but trouble. A regular cold water soak followed by a spin through the wash cycle should take care of this, but if the stain persists, follow it up with a soak in distilled white vinegar and another turn in the washer.


Good for you for slathering on the SPF, but it’s too bad you got some on your cover-up. Dr. Laundry suggests blotting away any excess sunblock with a paper towel or cloth delicately so as not to push the lotion deeper into the fabric. Pretreat with a liquid dish soap or detergent to solubilize the oils and let sit for several minutes..

red wine sangria

Pour club soda on the stain from front to back and blot. Another great defense against red wine on white fabrics during summer soirees is to keep a bleach gel pen on hand. If you don’t have one at the ready, launder on the hottest recommended water setting and don’t dry until the stain is completely out.


The turmeric in mustard creates yellow staining rather quickly, so before you take another bite of that burger, blot away the excess and rinse with cold water from the back of the stain. Dr. Laundry suggests a detergent and ½ cup bleach mix for whites and a stain remover spot-treatment for anything else before washing in warm water.


More outside time means more opportunities to get dirty. Soak and shake the sullied item in lukewarm water to try and remove any debris. Apply detergent directly to stains, let sit for up to 30 minutes and then launder as normal.

armpit stains

Don’t toss your favorite white tunic out because of yellowing under the arms. For a persistent pit stain, soak in warm water and then sprinkle salt directly on the spot. If that doesn’t lift the stain, wash with bleach.


Nothing is sweeter than a juicy strawberry on a warm summer day. That is, until the juices have dribbled onto your clothes. Blot and rinse with cold water. Stretch the item over a bowl or pot and pour boiling water over it from at least 12 inches away. You’ll watch any remnants of your fruit parfait magically disappear.

iced coffee

If you drink yours dark, soak in cold water and then use a pre-treatment using stain remover or detergent directly on the spot. An iced coffee with milk requires a bit more muscle to remove the protein involved. Add diluted dish soap to the stain, let sit and rinse in lukewarm water. Use an enzyme detergent if the spot persists.