How to Deal with Common Summertime Stains

The "dog days" of summer are here! Hopefully, you and your family have found time to enjoy some outdoor fun in the sun. Prepare yourself for outdoor adventures, yard work, and summer treats with the following tricks to deal with two of the most common summer-activity-related clothing mishaps: grass stains and sweat stains! 

How to Get Rid of Grass Stains 

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Grass stains are a mainstay of summers every year! Although lighter-colored clothing keeps the sun off and repels mosquitos, it is also obviously more likely to get seriously stained. Besides the most common areas (knees and bottoms), white shoes are another common cause of concern. Whether it was the result of an impromptu football game or some yard work, if you find the dreaded green stains, don't give up hope! 

  • Time is of the essence. Yes, it's true with most stains, and grass stains are no exception. Try to get working on stained clothing as soon as possible. If you have a pre-wash treatment available, dampen the fabric, apply it the solution, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If you're sensitive to chemicals or don't have a pre-treatment product at home, a 1:3 mix of vinegar to cold water should also do the trick. 
  • After allowing the stain to soak, submerge the garment and scrub with a small brush (an old toothbrush is perfect for this). 
  • If the stain is still firmly lodged, try scrubbing again with a paste of baking soda. The same methods above apply to white canvas shoes. 
  • Now launder the garment with like colors in warm (not hot water) using an enzyme-based detergent. The enzymes will help break down the colorful and oh-so-stubborn green chlorophyll and other natural plant components that make grass stains so hard to get rid of.
  • To remove grass stains from leather shoes, use the same 1:3 mix of vinegar to cold water and add a bit of liquid dish soap. Gently work the mixture into the stain with a brush. Use a hairdryer on low to ensure you don't leave a water stain on the leather. If it's stubborn, try again by dabbing the area with isopropyl alcohol using a cotton ball. However, you should first test this in an inconspicuous area to make sure you don't damage any dye or finish. 
  • Pay attention to the type of fabric you're treating! Football and soccer uniforms, as well as most workout gear, is usually made of a mix of cotton and synthetic fabrics for breathability, flexibility, and quicker drying. Even if the clothes are white, remember that using pre-treatment solutions or bleach could damage synthetic materials and shorten their lifespan. Plus, grass stains usually come out of synthetic fabrics more easily than cotton, wool, or silk. Read the labels on your clothing carefully. 
  • If you're going to use bleach in the laundry load, the same cautions as above apply. Read labels, and always remember to dilute bleach properly and follow the instructions on your washing machine!

How to Get Rid of Sweat Stains 

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Stubborn yellow stains in armpits or collars of shirts can be unsightly, to say the least. Especially if you have to wear a suit during the summer months, you probably have this problem. They are also infamously difficult to remove, but don't give up hope! Before you proceed with the DIY method below, be sure to carefully check the label. Especially if the fabric is silk, we recommend you leave it to the professionals (like us!). 

  • In a small bowl, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a small drop of dish soap.
  • Using a brush or rag, work the mixture into your shirt and let sit for 10 minutes. Then wash as usual.
  • Bonus tip: to help avoid stains in the future, make sure your deodorant is completely dry before getting dressed. 

If you've got enough running around to do this summer, let Red Hanger Cleaners help out. Besides being able to take care of tough stains on dry-clean-only garments, we can help with regular laundry, too. This month, we're offering wash-and-fold laundry services for just $14.99 a bag! Check out our specials page for the coupon and enjoy the extra time you'll save.