Red, White and Booze: Summer Drink Recipes (And How to Get Them Out of Your Clothes)

From Memorial Day to Labor Day (and everything in between), there are plenty of summer drinks that steal the show at picnics, barbecues and cookouts. Some of the most popular include sangria, shirley temples and margaritas.

As delicious and refreshing as these drinks are, what happens when they miss your lips and trickle onto your favorite shirt?

Don’t worry. We have you covered. Below are some of our favorite stain removal recipes for summer drinks.


Sangria is an awesome summer drink because it’s refreshing and fruity. However, since it’s made with red wine, dark berries and pomegranates, it’s a real stickler for fabric. If you happen to get sangria on your clothes, follow the steps below.

  • Dab the spot with paper towels to absorb as much as you can. Do NOT rub it!
  • Apply a liquid solution to begin working on the stain.
    • Salt can be spread liberally over a stain, left to sit overnight and then rinsed with cold water and detergent the next morning.
    • Club soda is another option that can be poured on a sangria stain and left to absorb.
    • Hot water can be used on fabrics that are sturdy and colorfast. Simply stretch the fabric and run it through very, very hot water.
    • Dish soap and hydrogen peroxide (1 part dish soap to 3 parts HP) works great, even on stains that have sat. Pour it on and wait; no scrubbing needed.

Shirley Temples

Shirley temples are super fun drinks thanks to their sweetness and nostalgia. The trouble is that shirley temples are very stainable thanks to both the grenadine and maraschino cherries. Here’s how to get your clothes looking brand new again.

  • Remove the stain right away. Syrup is sticky, and leaving it will make it much harder to remove. If you catch it early enough, water should remove most of the stain.
  • Add liquid detergent to the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse through with very hot water.
  • If the stain is stubborn (as red stains often are) mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and water. Soak the clothes overnight.


Few things in life are as wonderful as sitting off the beach, sipping on a margarita. Margaritas contain tequila, which is fairly easy to remove from fabric. However, many margaritas are made from mixers that are yellow, green or red that can stain your clothes.

Here’s how to handle a margarita stain.

  • Soak the fabric in cool water for 30 minutes.
  • Pretreat the stain with laundry stain remover.
  • Wash your clothes in the hottest water that is safe for the fabric, and use either color-safe bleach or regular bleach, depending on the type of fabric.

One final piece of advice is to NOT dry your clothes until the stain is removed. It may take several pre-soaks and washes to remove the stain, but you can continue making progress as long as you haven’t set the stain.