COVID-19 Notice >>

Confronting Summertime Food Stains

August 19, 2017

Your picture of paradise may include cheeseburgers, soda, ice cream, pizza, and other summertime favorites, but that picture undoubtedly doesn’t include spots on your shorts and shirts.  For a care-free stainless summer, bring stained items to us.

First Things First

Read the care instructions. Know whether your shirt is washable or dry-cleanable.  Bring dry-cleanable garments to us.

Inside Stain Removal

Stain removal involves science, art, and timing. The sooner we get a stained garment, the more likely we can remove the stain. We combine understanding of the characteristics of stains with knowledge of fabrics and use the fewest treatments possible for efficient stain removal. Use these tips from our stain-fighting arsenal help you confront the stains of summer.

Types of Stains

Stains can be divided into three main categories: tannin stains, oil /grease stains, and protein-based stains.  Some of your favorite summer foods combine these types.


Tannin stains include wine and beer, fruit juices, tomato sauce, and chocolate.

Treatment: Gently blot off excess liquid. Wash with mild detergent in warm water.

Oil or Grease

Oil or grease-based stains include cooking oils, salad dressing, and meat.

Treatment: Blot excess grease. Dab with water. Apply a commercial pre-treatment. Launder.


Protein-based stains include milk, cheese, and eggs.

Treatment:  Dab excess fluid with a dry sponge. Rinse with cold water.  Use a detergent that contains enzymes.

people eating pizza out of pizza boxes with soda drinks

Treating Favorite Foods

How do those types apply to your favorite foods?

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, & Steaks

Meats are the classic grease stain.

French Fries

Treat as a grease stain. Wash in hottest water possible.


Pizza stains can contain tannin, grease, and protein.  Use a mild detergent.

Ice Cream & Popsicles

Besides protein, some ice cream flavors like chocolate and coffee contain tannin.

Alcoholic Beverages

Treat beer and wine stains as tannin.

Utopia Cleaners wishes you a happy summer! Don’t let food stains bother you! Leave the cleaning to Utopia Cleaners. Schedule a free laundry drop off or visit our dry cleaners in South EndFinancial District Newton, Arlington or Woburn.