Updated: May 22
Summer Stain Removal
Summer fun can be great, barbecues with great food, swimming pool parties, and hanging out at the beach. However, summer fun can also ruin clothing, towels, sheets, etc. Don’t stop having fun just because you are worried you will ruin your white tee-shirt. Here are the most common summer stains and tips for removing them and keeping your clothing and other items looking good. Ketchup -- Ketchup is required for a good barbecue experience, but that red sauce can drip and leave a very ugly stain on your shirt or shorts. Scrape off what you can and blot with a wet cloth. Prior to tossing the item in the wash, use a bit of detergent mixed with cold water and blot the stain until it begins to disappear. Then toss into the wash as normal. Mustard – A necessity for a good Chicago hot dog, everyone knows this. However, mustard can leave behind a lasting memory of that dog if it drips onto your clothing. Mix a few drops of white vinegar with a half teaspoon of dish soap and a half cup of water, apply the solution to the mustard stain and let it soak. Rinse with hot water and wash as usual. Beer – Summer barbecues and parties are a blast but can get a bit rowdy. If the beer starts to fly or you overfilled your mug, no worries, getting beer stains out of clothes is possible. Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid hand soap with 2 cups of warm water. Sponge the mixture onto the stain a bit at a time and blot. Repeat until the stain disappears. Chocolate Ice Cream – A giant cone of chocolate ice cream is refreshing in the summer heat. But anyone with kids knows melting chocolate ice cream can be a disaster. If your kid ends up wearing more of the ice cream than eating it, you can salvage those clothes. Run cold water through the item from the back of the fabric, this helps to “push” the stain out. Place a bit of hand soap on the stain and rub, rinse with cold water and wash as usual. Grass Stains – Rolling around in the grass in the summer is mandatory if you are a kid. Grass stains and kids go hand-in-hand. No worries easily remove grass stains with a simple homemade solution. Mix one-part white vinegar to two parts water. Grab a toothbrush and work this liquid into the stain. Wash with an enzyme-based laundry detergent (most laundry detergents are enzyme-based.) This will help breakdown the proteins and lift the stain from the item. Sweat– If you have ever worn a white tee-shirt in the summer you know those nasty yellow spots begin to form in the armpit areas of the shirt. But, there is no need to toss the shirt, easily remove those sweat stains with a simple solution. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quarter cup of warm water to make a paste. Generously apply this paste to the stained area and rub the shirt together to ensure it soaks into the shirt. Then let the item sit (with the paste still applied) for 30 minutes to an hour and then toss into the wash and launder as normal.3 Sun Tan Oil – If you spend any time in the sun and use sun tan lotion or oil you know those spots on clothes or towels tend to be permanent. Don’t skip the lotion! Easily remove these spots for good. Prior to washing, sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, talcum powder, etc. onto the spot (dry, no water) and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Spray with a prewash stain remover and launder using the hottest setting that is safest for the fabric. Mud – Those muddy feet in the sheets can cause stains. Don’t worry about running barefoot outside though. If you find your sheets, socks, shorts, etc. stained with dirt you can easily remove the spot. Soak the item in cool water with a half teaspoon of dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar for 30 minutes. Apply a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent directly to the area and wash in warm water. Summer is messy, hot, and fun. Don’t miss any of the action. Get in there and enjoy it!