Summer is when Murphy's Law invariably comes into play: If something can spill, drip, ooze or run, it will spill, drip, ooze or run all over your favorite shirt or sundress.
Fortunately, once you know how to treat summer laundry stains, you can keep beloved clothes from ending up in the rag pile.
The 8 stain removal tips below can help you remove some of summer's most common culprits.
When pretreating, allow your stain-busting product to sit for a minute or two or up to a week, depending on the product.
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.
To remove chewing gum on clothes, 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.
If the deodorant stain is old or set on the clothing, use a prewash laundry product or saturate the area with white vinegar for stain removal.
Rinse, then launder using oxygen bleach in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.
Sponge with or soak iced coffee stains in cold water. Apply a pre-treating product or undiluted laundry detergent on the coffee stain.
Wash as usual and air dry; repeat if spot remains.
Pretreat the cosmetic stains on clothes by applying a prewash spot remover or a liquid laundry detergent to the stained area. Wash the garment in the water temperature recommended for the fabric.
To remove crayon stains on clothes, start by scraping off the surface crayon wax with a dull knife. Soak the stained garment in a product containing enzymes or oxygen bleach in the hottest water safe for the fabric for several minutes to half an hour. Then wash and dry as usual.
Pretreat or prewash chocolate stains on clothes in warm water with a laundry detergent (undiluted) that contains enzymes.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.
To remove juice stains on clothes, soak in cold water, and apply a pretreating product or undiluted laundry detergent. Then wash as usual. Air dry; do not place in the dryer until the blight is gone.
Presoak or prewash the grass stained clothes in your washing machine or a bucket using warm water and 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.
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:
Need a quick laundry 101 review? Check out How to Wash Clothes.