Summer stains, although a nightmare to remove, are often a sign that the season was enjoyed to its fullest.
Though eventually, you will have to start thinking about getting rid of those stains. It generally helps if you act fast and know what you're doing. Here's how to deal with the most common stains during warmer weather.
Fruit and berries can leave particularly stubborn stains on light-colored summer clothing, as can grass and mud.
If you've stained a white piece of clothing, the best approach is to add a little oxygen bleach – a chlorine-free solution for brightening light laundry – to the detergent.
If the textiles are sensitive or colourful, get out some salt or a stain remover spray and put it right on the stain. It's best to pre-treat the stain with one of these and let it soak in before washing.
You can also use a solid detergent containing bleach for both light and color washes. This will also help if mud or grasses caused the stain. If the splashes or stains are very fresh, they are best dabbed off carefully with some kitchen roll. The sooner the stain is treated, the better.
It's virtually impossible to rub sunscreen on your skin without getting a streak on your clothes. But leave it to set into a light-colored top, and this lotion will soon turn into an ugly, yellow stain that won't come out in the wash.
In fact, the higher the sun protection factor, the worse the stain will be, as the UV filters are mostly to blame.
If you notice a stain, you can't always just throw your clothes into the washing machine, as this might only intensify the stain.
You should first make sure you're not using a bleach detergent, which is usually the powder variety. Instead, a liquid detergent is better suited in this case.
If the stain has had time to set in, try rubbing some bi-carb soda into it, then brush that off and rinse with some liquid detergent before putting it in with the rest of your clothes.
Nobody can fault you for breaking into a sweat on a scorching-hot day. But showing up to work on a cool day with yellow sweat stains under your arms means something is wrong with your laundry technique.
Normally most kinds of sweat stains shouldn't be too hard to remove from a T-shirt, blouse or shirt with a normal cleaning cycle in the washing machine. But if you still see sweat marks on a clean top, then here's what you need to do.
First, try washing any sweat-drenched clothes with a bleach-containing powder detergent or a universal detergent, if the label says that’s ok.
"If the sweat stain is still visible after washing, it may be a stubborn deodorant stain," says Bernd Glassl a laundry pro from the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW).
If that's the case, just clean the stain again, only this time with a special stain remover for sweat and deodorant stains, which you should be able to find in a chemist.
Alternatively, you can try adding a few drops of a citric acid-based bathroom cleaning product, such as those used against limescale on tiles or sensitive fittings, he says.
The best method is to pre-treat the stain by applying this cleaning agent – leave it to soak in for about 10 minutes, then rinse it out and put the item back in the washing machine.
If the under-arm on the top turns yellow after prolonged storage in the cupboard, it's possible that too little detergent was used during the last wash.
Before washing again, it can help here to pre-treat the stain by, for example, applying liquid detergent directly to the stain or using a pre-wash spray.
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