Summer is officially here and that means barbecues, picnics, and campouts. It also means it’s summer stain season. Summer sauces, condiments, and beverages can permanently damage clothing if not treated properly. Many of these are best treated by professionals with stain removers specifically designed to address the chemical makeup of the stain. If you prefer home treatment, these quick tips may help.
Stain Removal Tips
Mustard – This is one of the most challenging summer stains. First, wipe off as much mustard as possible without rubbing. Soak the area with cold water immediately. You can pre-treat with a stain remover, but double check the clothing care tag. Wash the pre-treated garment in warm water as soon as you get home.
Watermelon – While watermelon is made mostly of water, the sugary juice can cause a stain when you least expect it. If the juice seeps deep into fabric fibers and the stain is not treated properly, it will reappear after several washings and be impossible to remove. First use a paper towel to soak up as much of the juice as possible. Then, dab with a wet towel.
Ketchup & BBQ Sauce – Put a paper towel or napkin over the stain and, from inside the garment, flush the stain with some cold water to get most of it on the napkin or paper towel. Depending on the fabric, you may wish to pre-treat the stain with liquid laundry detergent. If you do, let it sit for a few minutes. This may help break up the stain. Rinse well with more cold water and then wash.
Iced Tea – An iced tea stain doesn’t get into the fabric as quickly as hot tea. Take a clean ice cube and dab it on the stain. Pat the area with a dry paper towel or napkin.
Buttered Corn – Butter is an oil stain that must be addressed as soon as possible. Put some sugar on the stain and pat it with a napkin or paper towel to help absorb some of the grease. Let it sit and then gently brush off the sugar. If the garment is machine washable, pre-treat the stain with a liquid stain remover or detergent specifically developed to treat oil-based stains. After checking the clothing care label, wash in the hottest water possible.
Before trying any of these remedies, read the manufacturer’s label. When spotting a stain, be sure to use a white towel. If you stain any garments that are dry-clean only (such as silk or other delicate fabrics), consult with DELIA’S cleaning specialists before trying at-home care.