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How to Remove Summer Cookout Stains

It’s summertime and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather of the season. Whether it’s for Father’s Day, Canada Day, British Columbia Day or any of the many other holidays that are celebrated this time of the year, people throughout the country are ready to break out the grill and plan a cookout with family and friends.

However, with outdoor cookouts comes a variety of stains from food items. While stubborn food stains may seem impossible to get out, using a few of these tricks can make your clothes like-new. Before heading to your local Kitsilano dry cleaners, read below for sample stains and what remedies work to remove them.


One of the most common stains is ketchup. Whether it’s on a hot dog or hamburger, this delicious condiment has the ability to land anywhere. If you’re ready to remove this extra colour from your outfit, it can be done using a spoon, dish detergent, or either lemon juice, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

  • Remove unwanted ketchup with a spoon (napkins bury stains deeper in fabric)
  • Let cold water run from the back of the stain
  • Add a few drops of your dish soap on the stain and rub into the fabric
  • Rinse

If dish soap doesn’t work, swap it out for the other listed options, and repeat until the stain is gone.


This yellow condiment has a variety of uses from putting mustard on pretzels to burgers — but on a nice shirt or blouse shouldn’t be one of them. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a problem, though you may need to repeat multiple times before seeing the mustard stain completely disappear. Using a spoon, dish detergent, and glycerin:

  • Collect as much of the stain as possible with a spoon
  • Run cold water from behind the location of the stain
  • Add glycerin to the stain (vinegar or detergent can also be used)
  • Let stand for a few minutes, and rub fabric if stain persists


As a hot dog topping, relish is great, but it’s green and yellow colours can be a nightmare for your clothes. Removing it is easy, however, and it only takes a spoon and baking soda:

  • Scoop up relish stains with spoon
  • Run cold water from behind location of the stain
  • Combine one teaspoon baking soda and 2 teaspoons water to make a paste
  • Rub paste onto stain and let set for a few minutes
  • Rinse and repeat as needed


Mayonnaise is a versatile part of summer cooking, from a food topping to an ingredient in potato salad, egg salad and more. So what do you do when a dollop lands on your outfit? With the help of a spoon, dish soap and spot remover, it’s easy to erase the stain:

  • Gather unwanted mayo with spoon
  • Soak the stain with the spot remover or bleach alternative
  • Add dish soap to stain and rub into fabric
  • Rinse
  • Place the fabric into your washing machine and wash in the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric


Salsa is quickly becoming a popular snack to bring to parties, however it can be messy to eat. The good news is that removing it is relatively easy, with the help of a spoon, dish detergent, with either lemon juice, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide:

  • Collect excess salsa with a spoon
  • Drain back of fabric with cold water
  • Add dish detergent and let set for a few minutes, then rub fabric and rinse
  • Use other listed ingredients if soap is ineffective, and repeat until stain is gone

Kitsilano Dry Cleaners And Stain Removal

As you can see, there’s no reason to let a potential stain ruin your outdoor gatherings. Of course, if a stain persists and a stronger stain removal is needed, visit your local West Boulevard Cleaners. We have the equipment to handle the toughest stains, and we’re ready to help. For more information, call us at (604) 263-9131 or visit us online today.