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How to remove common summer stains

How to remove common summer stains

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the drinks are cold. The only stain on the day is, well, quite literal. Whether it’s ketchup falling out of your burger, grass stains from a game of football or an unfortunate mishap with a glass of wine, summer offers plenty of opportunities to ruin those white jeans you summed up the courage to step out in. But don’t despair, they can be saved.

“First, check the care label,” says Will Lankston, from expert dry cleaner Jeeves of Belgravia. “Don’t tackle ‘dry clean only’ yourself. But, if it can be cleaned at home, act fast.” Speed is your ally against these four common summer stains.

Ketchup and mustard

“First, remove any excess sauce. Blot with cold water but pat, don’t scrub. If you scrub, you’ll make the issue worse because it pushes the stain further into the fabric. Rub stain remover on the mark and leave to soak in cold water for ten minutes. Never use hot water – it will set the stain, making it harder to remove.”


“Baking soda is the best thing for sweat stains. Combine the baking soda with a small amount of water and it will turn into a paste that you can rub directly on the mark. If it’s really bad, you can leave it for a couple of hours. Then wash as usual.”


“Alcohol is a tricky one, but water is the best option. Dab at it with cold water to dilute the alcohol or, if it’s particularly stubborn, you can use a little bit of Fairy liquid on the spill. It works to break down the alcohol. Then wash as normal.”


“Take fast action. Don’t rub at the stain, you’ll just push the mark further into the weave of the fabric, making it harder to remove. Try and blot it, or if the fabric can take it use a stain remover. Then put it on a cold wash. If it’s really tricky a biological detergent, instead of a non-bio, will give a stronger clean.”


Words: Nadia Balame-Price
Illustration: Eric Chow