Summer is the time to lay in the grass and relax after a picnic filled with buttery corn on the cob, hamburgers with sweet barbecue sauce, and hot dogs smothered with ketchup. As you watch the kids’ popsicles drip onto their shirts, slide in the grass while playing with your furry friend, or accidentally slather sunscreen on your swimsuit at the beach, you may wonder, “How do I get rid of stains from my summer adventures?”
We’re here to help you with handy tips for cleaning those stubborn summer stains out of your clothes, so you can get outside and enjoy peace of mind that your clothes will be as good as new and free from stains.
Grass stains are some of the trickiest to remove from clothing. You can get grass stains when kneeling on the grass to play with your child or dog, skidding into home plate during a fun baseball game, or laying down on the warm grass to daydream. While these are fun things to do, getting grass stains out requires elbow grease and items you already have in your pantry.
First, understanding the chemical composition of grass will help you get the stains out efficiently. Grass is made up of protein and organic matter and can settle into fabric stubbornly.
A common method we’ve found for removing grass stains from clothing is to soak the piece in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar for about 15 minutes. Next, take a rag and gently dab the stain or rub the fabric together until the stain is gone. If you have a grass stain on a piece of white clothing, you can soak the fabric in a mixture of 1/4 cup of bleach, a 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 3/4 cup of water. Soak for about 30 minutes and gently rub the stain away.
For grass stains on denim, soak in the vinegar/water solution and then apply liquid laundry detergent to the stain, scrub the stain with a bristle brush, and let the detergent soak for about 15 minutes. Launder any piece of treated clothing in cold water and air dry to ensure the stain doesn’t set into the clothing.
Ketchup or Barbecue Sauce Stains
Summer is the perfect time for backyard barbecues with burgers, hot dogs, and ribs. And what goes perfectly with these tasty summer foods — ketchup and barbecue sauce. As you’re eating that perfectly prepared hot dog or burger topped with tangy ketchup or nibbling on a rib slathered in sweet barbecue sauce, you notice that a big glob of the sauce drips onto your favorite summer top, staining it a bright red.
Because tomatoes have tannins in them, they stain clothing pretty quickly and are often stubborn to remove. Barbecue sauce has oil in it, so you’ll need to use the second method listed below to remove the stain.
Before tossing the piece of clothing into the washing machine, you’ll want to treat it using one of the following two suggested methods. First, rinse the stain from the inside of the clothing with cold water. Next, mix equal parts salt and baking soda with a bit of water to form a paste. Rub the paste into the stain until the stain is gone.
Another effective way to remove ketchup stains is to put liquid laundry detergent onto the stain, rub it with an ice cube, and then soak the fabric in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Once you’ve removed the stain, launder the clothing as normal.
There’s nothing quite as special as spending time under the summer sun. Whether you’re playing a rousing game of sand volleyball, paddle boarding on a placid lake, or relaxing in a chaise lounge by the pool, you’ll want to have the appropriate level of sunscreen on for UV protection. However, the oils in sunscreen can penetrate clothing quickly, creating unsightly yellowish stains on your favorite T-shirt, swimsuit coverup, or sundress. In addition, most sunscreens have an ingredient called avobenzone which causes rust-colored stains, especially when laundered in hard water.
One key to removing sunscreen stains is timing. The longer the sunscreen stays on the fabric, the more challenging it is to remove. The first step to removing sunscreen stains is to treat the area with liquid laundry detergent or a prewash stain remover. Next, take a bristle brush and scrub the stain and then let the detergent sit on it for about 15 minutes. Wash the clothing in hot water in the washing machine and dry as normal. If you have hard water, hand-wash the garment in heated distilled water to ensure the stain doesn’t set in.
Don’t let summer stains on your clothes keep you from doing the many activities you and your family enjoy during this special season of the year. Summer stains are a breeze to clean if you use the above-mentioned tips and techniques.
If you’d like more information about green cleaning or having your home or furnishings brightened up and refreshed, feel free to contact us. We look forward to helping you with your cleaning solutions.