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How to tackle tricky ketchup stains and other summer mishaps

Here's how to tackle the messiest summer mishaps, whether they are stains, sunburns or mysterious odors.
/ Source: TODAY

Summer isn't complete with our favorite foods and drinks, but as much as we love ketchup with our fries and barbecue sauce on our burgers, they can make for some of the worst stains.

Lifestyle expert and TODAY contributor Elizabeth Mayhew stopped by TODAY Thursday to help us tackle the messiest summer mishaps, whether they be stains, sunburns or mysterious odors.


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Since chocolate is protein-based, Mayhew recommends fighting the stain with a cleanser that is enzyme-based.

Take a cleanser, like Wisk detergent, and add a tablespoon to two cups of cold water. Let the fabric soak in the solution and pat the area to work the chocolate out — never rub a stain! After a good 20 minutes, you can wash the item normally. Be sure to check the stain before moving it to the dryer or else the heat will lock the stain into the fabric for good.

Barbecue sauce

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No need to cry over spilled barbecue sauce!

First apply cold water and then apply some glyceryin, a solvent you can pick up at your local drugstore, onto the area of the stain. Then give the area a good rinse in cold water and spray an enzyme-based cleanser onto the fabric. Let it sit and then you’ll be good to wash the item as you normally would.


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Bright, sticky ketchup can be a nightmare to remove from clothes, but Mayhew has an easy fix. Rinse the fabric in cold water and then use a solvent, like a Tide to Go stick, on the stained area. If you’re dealing with white clothes, rinse again with hydrogen peroxide. The solution will act like a gentle bleach. After that, you can wash the piece of clothing normally.



A little bit of aloe is a well-known trick for sunburn relief, but you can bring the icy cool to the next level. Put some aloe in a ice cube tray, throw it in the freezer and get double the cooling factor!

DIY cool zone


If your air conditioner needs a little boost or if you just need one in general, this cooling hack is the perfect solution. All you’ll need is a fan, water, salt and some ice cubes. Fill a bowl with the ingredients and then just use a fan to blow from behind the ice-filled bowl. Now you have your very own DIY air conditioning unit!

Bugs be gone!


Keep pesky bugs away from your food with a little help from uncooked spaghetti. Poke two pieces of pasta into your cake, casserole or ham roast and create a protective food tent with Saran Wrap.

If it’s ants you’re dealing with, use cinnamon to keep them at bay. You can also add cinnamon oil to some water and use the mixture in a spray bottle for on-the-go repellent.

Stinky situation


Slip a dryer sheet over the vents of your air conditioner to freshen up any room. To tackle a stinky trash can, line the bottom with some scented cat litter or citrus rinds from oranges or lemons. Mayhew also suggests using coffee grounds, which do a great job of absorbing odors.

Now enjoy the summer without thinking twice about stink or stains!