How to Clean the Worst Summertime Stains

cleaning summertime stains
Summer is a joyous time filled with barbecues, relaxing in the garden or parks, ice cream, and sunscreen. However, beneath this carefree atmosphere lurks a plethora of summertime staples waiting to dampen your mood by staining your favourite summer clothes.

Worry not. After reading this guide, you will be armed with the knowledge on how to combat summertime stains so that you can look your best while enjoying the summer sun.

Yellow stains/sweat

The frustration of finding yellow stains on the armpits of your favourite white t-shirt is something which is experienced by millions of people. Many assume these stains are caused by sweat. On the surface, this makes sense since you sweat more in the summer, but these stains are actually caused by a reaction between your sweat and the aluminium in many antiperspirants.

Follow these steps to remove those golden pit stains.

  • Rinse the garment in lukewarm water, paying particular attention to the stained areas.
  • Soak the garment in warm water with either a liquid laundry detergent or a commercial stain remover for at least 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash the garment on a high heat setting.
  • These stains can be stubborn, so you may need to repeat these steps a few times to get the desired results.

Resist the temptation to drown the stains in bleach. This won’t remove them and, in some cases, can actually make the stains worse.

Outdoor grass stains and dirt

Grass stains can be a nightmare to remove, just ask any parent. Following the steps below will help you remove grass and dirt stains easily.

  • Remove as much of the loose dirt as possible by gently brushing the stained area.
  • Soak the garment for 15 minutes in warm water and liquid laundry detergent or a commercial stain remover.
  • Wash the garment as you usually would.
  • Repeat, if necessary.


Dirty BBQ’s, mustard, and ketchup

Cleaning your barbecue grill is not as arduous as it may seem. If you use it regularly, you should aim to clean it after 20 uses to ensure your culinary creations always taste amazing. If you don’t barbecue very often, you can get away with cleaning the grill once or twice a year. All you need to do to clean the grill is:

  • Fire up your barbecue and let the heat char the grill and any food attached to it.
  • Following this, give the grill a good scrub with a metal brush.
  • That’s it.

Mustard and ketchup are an entirely different animal. Their ability to leave long-lasting stains is outstanding, but that does not mean that there is no hope. Follow these steps and the stains will be unable to ruin your clothes or your enjoyment of the barbecue.


  • Remove as much of the ketchup as possible before rinsing.
  • Rinse the stain with warm water.
  • Pour liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain, making sure to cover it entirely.
  • Use an old toothbrush to work the detergent into the fibres of the garment.
  • Wash as you usually would.


  • Rinse the stain with cold water.
  • Pour liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add it to the next load of laundry and wash as usual.
  • If the mustard refuses to be removed, soak the garment in a mixture of warm water and liquid laundry detergent for 2-3 hours and then wash it again.

Sunscreen stains

Sunscreen may protect us from the harmful effects of the sun, but this protection comes at a price. Sunscreen can leave rusty stains on clothes after washing. This is caused by an ingredient (avobenzone) found in most brands of sunscreen reacting with the iron in the water. Unless you like rusty stains, follow these steps to get rid of them.

  • Soak the stained area with lemon juice or a commercial rust remover.
  • Cover the soaked stains with small mountains of salt and let it sit overnight.
  • Brush the salt off on the next day and wash the garment as you usually would.
  • Don’t use bleach on these stains as it will only make them worse.

Ice cream

Few things in life are more upsetting than dropping your delicious ice cream on yourself. Not only do you no longer have an ice cream, but now you also have a stain to deal with. Dark times indeed. Thankfully, the stains are easy to remove.

  • Remove any excess ice cream from the garment.
  • Rinse with cold water until the stain is diluted.
  • Soak the garment in warm water with some liquid laundry detergent for 20 minutes.
  • Wash the garment as you normally would.
  • If the stain persists, repeat this process until it’s gone.


Beloved by wasps and children alike, a cold soda is the perfect bubbly refreshment on hot days. But we all know that accidents happen and soda cans are quite easy to spill. The stains also tend to cause our brows to crease as we ponder how to remove it. See below to find out the easiest way to get rid of those soda stains.

  • Soak the garment in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Treat the stained area with a pre-wash stain remover.
  • Wash the garment as you usually would.

So there we have it, your guide to removing the worst summertime stains. With this knowledge, you are ready to confront summer and all it can throw at you with confidence.


Did we miss anything? Do you have any tips for removing common summertime stains? Let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on social media!

Header image source: Shutterstock / By thansak253700

Posted in Cleaning Guides

Last update: September 11, 2018
How helpful is this article?
UnhelpfulMostly unhelpfulPossibly helpfulMostly helpfulVery helpful
Fantastic Services Logo

Fantastic Services is your one-stop shop for 25+ professional home cleaning and maintenance services, provided within the UK. Using high-grade equipment that is inaccessible to everyday households, the dedicated service specialists will gladly go the extra mile to turn your home or office into something truly special.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top