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summer laundry stains
and how to remove them

Summer is when Murphy's Law invariably comes into play: If something can spill, drip, ooze, or run, it will do so all over your favorite shirt or sundress.

You'll need to be patient here. Zapping a drip, drop, or splat without zapping the fabric itself requires a gentle touch, and the patience to repeat treatment until the blight is lifted.

Fortunately, once you know how to treat these troublesome summer laundry stains - grass, chewing gum, iced coffee, chocolate, and sweat or deodorant - you can keep your beloved clothes from ending up in the rag pile.

These tips and techniques for removing summer laundry stains can help.

Pretreating is Key to Removing Summer Laundry Stains 

Pretreating stains before laundering the garment is key to removing many summer stains. 

When pretreating, allow your stain-busting product to sit for a minute or two or up to a week, to enable it to do its work.

Save time by keeping a stain stick or spray near the hamper, and dabbing or spritzing it on summer laundry stains.

Put them in the hamper and forget about them; then wash as usual following the label directions.

Get the whole family involved in the summer stain-busing effort this year.

Have them red-flag stains and spots by clipping a clothespin to a chocolate smudge or by tying grass-stained jeans in a loose knot before dumping them into the clothes hamper. 

Chewing Gum Stain Removal

To remove chewing gum stains, rub the gummy spot with ice to harden it. Scrape away as much of the gum as possible with a dull knife. 

Saturate what remains with a prewash spot remover such as undiluted laundry detergent; then rinse and launder as usual.

 Sweat and Deodorant Stain Removal

To remove sweat stains, use a prewash stain remover; if the stains are old, apply white vinegar.

Rinse, then launder using oxygen bleach in the hottest water that's safe to use with the fabric.

How to Remove Coffee Stains

Sponge with or soak iced coffee stains in cold water. Apply a pretreating product on the stain. Wash as usual and air dry; repeat if coffee stain remains.

Removing Cosmetics Stains

summer laundry stainsPretreat cosmetics stains with liquid laundry detergent.

Pretreat cosmetics stains with prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent.

Wash the garment in the water temperature recommended for the fabric.

How to Remove Crayon Stains from Clothes

To remove crayon stains on clothes, start by scraping off the surface crayon wax with a dull knife.

Soak the fabric in a product containing enzymes or oxygen bleach in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Launder using the hottest water it can withstand.

How to Remove Chocolate Stains

Pretreat or prewash chocolate stains on clothes in warm water with a laundry detergent (undiluted) that contains enzymes. Launder as usual.

Whink Wash Away Laundry Stain Remover is a good stain buster that is specially formulated to remove the most difficult stains and heavy soiling, including chocolate, grease, blood, grass, coffee and barbecue sauce. Launder as usual.

How to Remove Juice Stains

To remove a juice stain, soak in cold water, then apply a pretreating product or undiluted laundry detergent on the juice stain. Launder as label instructions recommend. Air-dry; do not place in dryer until the stain is completely gone.

Grass Stain Removal Tips

Presoak or prewash the grass-stained garment in a bucket or your washing machine (using the presoak setting) with a detergent containing enzymes.  

Launder as usual with chlorine bleach if it's safe for the fabric. If the cleaning instructions on the clothing item advise against it, use oxygen bleach instead.

Final Tips for Successful Stain Removal

When washing, be sure to follow the golden rules of safe washing: Zip zippers, snap snaps, fasten hooks and tie laces to prevent any unnecessary fabric damage. 

And be sure you know what each laundry water temperature is designed to do:

  • Cold water will protect most dark or bright-colored clothing from running and minimizes shrinkage. Use cold water for lightly soiled fabrics with blood, wine or coffee stains.
  • Warm water minimizes color fading and wrinkling. It is best for synthetic fibers, natural and synthetic blends and moderately soiled fabrics. 
  • Hot water should be used on sturdy fabrics with tough stains. Light and dark fabrics should be separated as hot water may cause garments to bleed.

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› 8 Tips for Removing Summer Stains