With BBQ season upon us, Brits will be lifting the lid on their grill for the first time in nine months, grimacing at the mess they’ve left it in, buying a new one, and clicking their tongs into action. But with beer, burgers and burning charcoal comes inevitable spillages, mishaps, mistakes and stains.

All in the name of good fun, of course, until someone’s favourite top gets ruined. Time is of the essence – all stains will become harder to remove as they dry, and some of them will undergo chemical reactions which make them all but impossible to shift. So, if you’ve poured ketchup all over your white shirt or there are incriminating grass stains on your trouser knees, it’s best to know how to remove them in advance. 

To the rescue come cleaning and laundry experts Dr. Beckmann, who have identified the stains you’re most likely to encounter during the hot weather. What’s more, they’ve shared their top tips on dealing with them. With that in mind, here’s how to remove the top 10 summer stains, including ketchup, wine, grass and more.

SUN CREAM

Firstly we’re here to give you a virtual pat on the back for remembering to slather yourself in sun cream. However, there’s nothing worse than taking off your clothes after a fun (and safe) day in the sun to notice a greasy white or yellowish stain. Yep, suncream is one oily substance that can be a real pain to remove from. Your best bet is to use a task-specific stain remover which cuts through and lifts the oils in sun creams with ease, making the stain a distant memory.

Ideal tip: If you don’t have any stain remover to hand, try to break down the oil in the sun cream with some white white vinegar before you throw it in the wash.

KETCHUP

The most common BBQ stain going, to stop it staying, ketchup needs to be treated as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Here’s how to remove a ketchup stain: carefully clear any excess from the area, being sure not to spread the mark. Gently rub some washing-up liquid into the area, before rinsing with cold water.

WHITE WINE

A cold glass of white wine is an all but obligatory beverage at a BBQ.  If you have an unfortunate spillage, perhaps after a particularly enthusiastic toast, make sure you blot the alcohol with a cloth until the liquid is absorbed, then sponge with cold water. Treat the stain with a stain remover immediately.

FRUIT JUICE

As long as you keep it moist, you should be able to shift most fruit juice stains in the washing machine alone. Simply pop on a hot wash or soak in vinegar if the stain is a dark fruit.

GRASS

Wondering how to remove grass stains from your clothes? Well, you should always first clear any excess grass or dirt away from the area – taking care to avoid worsening any marks. Grass stains can be particularly hard to shift, so you’ll definitely benefit from pre-soaking the area with a mixture of one-part spirit vinegar to two parts warm water for around 30 minutes prior to washing.

CHOCOLATE

‘These are chocolate stains, honestly’. 

After the BBQ comes dessert and chocolate is an all time favourite finisher at this stage in the evening, any time of year. However, when combined with the hot weather this may get trodden into the carpet or spilt on your white t-shirt, and then melted in further; a recipe for disaster rather than deliciousness, we think. 

Don’t panic; this can be scrubbed right out! Scrape any excess chocolate off the stain, then blot the mark with a damp cloth. Finally, apply a stain remover to the stain and scrub repeatedly. 

FLOWERS

Summer means the flowers are blooming, but the pollen from these beautiful plants can leave a permanent stain on your clothes if not treated quickly. Blot the stained fabric with a damp cloth then prepare to wash the garment. Use a stain remover to help break apart the stain.

MUD

When the sun is out, the garden is calling (that’s not quite how the famous phrase goes, but we’re all for de-arming folk here). Playing sports can lead to slide-tackles, diving and falling over (and that’s just the adults) which creates an opportunity for mud to get on your clothes.

But here’s the key on how to remove mud stains from clothes: resist the temptation to wipe at the stain. Instead, let it dry and then scrape off the dried dirt, before washing the clothes as normal.

MEAT

Yep, we like our meat rare and dripping with juice, but such tastes lead to stains, with burgers, steaks and lamb kebabs a particular nightmare to remove. Barbequed meat produces an oily stain, so make sure to blot repeatedly to absorb as much oil as possible. Once you’ve finished soaking up the oil with a cloth, treat the stain with a stain remover and let it work its magic for 10-15 minutes. Only then should you wash. 

ICE LOLLY/CREAM

An ice lolly mixed with sweltering heat is a guaranteed spillage in the making. When the inevitable occurs, wash the spilled on area with a laundry detergent and water, then use a cloth to help tackle the stain. To finish off, rinse the surface thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

Dr. Beckmann spokesperson, Susan Fermor said: “Everyone loves the hot weather and a BBQ, but with excitement in the air things can turn messy very quickly! Follow our top tips to ensure your sticky, muddy barbeque stains are quickly forgotten about, so you can make the most of having fun in the sun!”