Aside from school letting out, nothing quite signifies summer like a Memorial Day cookout. Bathing suits and colorful towels make an appearance. The pool is clean. Barbecued chicken and veggie burgers sizzle on the grill. What could go wrong?
Well, summer cookout foods are not known for being bland in color. Popsicles, ice cream and watermelon can leave nasty stains, as can ketchup and mustard. Additionally, carrying items in and out for the cookout can result in spills. Finally, after you use the grill, you’re going to have to clean it.
But don’t let those thoughts dampen your plans to host an amazing summer kickoff! Learn how to prepare and tackle the inevitable messes that may arise.
Prepping for a Cookout
The key to not letting most messes ruin your day is proper preparation. If you have the supplies you need on hand, you’ll be able to tackle dropped food and spills with grace. Here are some professional pointers for cookout prep:
Place multiple trash cans around your cookout area.
Use plastic-lined tablecloths.
Slide cupcake liners under popsicles to catch melting juice.
Serve clear or light-colored punches and drinks that won’t stain clothes.
Set up a buffet-style table so guests can help themselves, rather than having to reach. (This can reduce your odds of having to clean spilled drinks.)
Make sure there are plenty of napkins around.
Have an emergency clean-up caddy stashed nearby containing the following:
Extra paper towels
A stain stick
Your go-to all-purpose cleaner