Did you know that some of the warm-weather essentials we use during the spring and summer months can damage our clothes? Here’s a list of common warm-weather products — including sun tan lotion, insect repellent and deodorant — that can damage clothes, followed by time-tested tips to help minimize damage to garments.
Deodorant & Antiperspirant
Build-up from deodorant and antiperspirant products can cause fiber damage and yellowing. Blue and green on silk and wool are particularly prone. Aluminum chloride can weaken fibers in cotton, linen, rayon and some synthetic blends — leaving holes during cleaning!
Clothing Care Tip: Wash or dry clean garments regularly, and as soon as possible. In other words, avoid dirty garments sitting in the closet for weeks or months before cleaning. In addition, follow the product instructions for application, and do not over apply. Allowing antiperspirant or deodorant to dry before dressing is also a great way to keep shirts safe.
Sunblock & Suntan Lotions
Dyes and oils in suntan and sunblock lotions can stain clothing. This color loss or change may not appear until after you clean your clothes.
Clothing Care Tip: Stains can be prevented by following the directions on the bottle, and allowing lotions to dry completely before getting dressed. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after applying lotion.
Chlorine in pools, spas and hot tubs can damage spandex used in swimwear.
Clothing Care Tip: Rinse your suit with cold water after each wearing, and be sure to follow the care label’s instructions. Typically, avoiding fabric softener and air-drying spandex suits also protects the fabric from damage.
Self-tanning lotions can discolor anything they touch. Typically, they’ll cause light beige, brown or yellow staining on the cuffs, collar fold, neckline and top button areas.
Clothing Care Tip: Follow product instructions carefully, and be sure to wash your hands immediately after applying the lotion. Allow skin to dry completely before getting dressed. If tanning lotion gets on clothes, wash ASAP, as these stains can be difficult to remove.
Insects bug us too! But we want to make sure we’re keeping our clothes protected, as well as our skin. Typically, insect repellents do not damage most fibers. However, some products contain alcohol, which can cause color loss or color change on fabrics such as acetate and rayon.
Clothing Care Tip: Read the product label carefully, especially if applying directly to clothing. Avoiding products with alcohol is an easy way to solve the problem. On a side note, you’ll also want to avoid repellents that contain DEET, which is toxic to people.
At Klinke Cleaners, we’re always looking for ways to extend the life of your clothes. We’re also dedicated to keeping you safe — which is why we never use toxic chemicals in our cleaning process.
If you’re having a problem removing a stain from a garment, feel free to drop by one of our convenient locations and we’ll work on getting it out for you.
We hope you’re enjoying the warm weather!