Summer is finally in full swing and with it comes some of our favorite things: picnics, kids playing sports, camping trips, grilling, gardening, sunshine, fireworks and more. But some of the best summer activities are also the messiest. Summer and the outdoor recreation and active pursuits it brings have high potential for producing tough stains.

Some of the season’s biggest culprits are:

  • Lotions and sprays. Everything from deodorants and anti-perspirants to suntan lotions and insect repellants has the ability to stain clothing, especially when combined with sweat from those active outdoor days. Be careful when applying lotions and sprays to keep them away from clothing and especially from delicate fabrics.
  • Picnics and parties. Whether it’s grease from the grill or the inevitable ketchup dripping from a hotdog or hamburger, outdoor eating tends to be messier than indoors – especially when you’re trying to balance that paper plate on your knee.
  • Dirt, mud and grass. ‘Tis the season for grass stains on knees, splattered mud from hiking or biking, or ground in dirt few days of camping or gardening. While some of these “nature” stains can be treated successfully at home, professional cleaning is your best chance against tougher or set-in stains.

When you’ve got a stain that puts your favorite summer garments at risk, your best bet is to bring that item to your neighborhood Klinke Cleaners as soon as possible. But here are a few tips of what to do – or NOT do – in the meantime to try to prevent the stain from setting:

  1. Scrape the excess spillage off the fabric and then blot. Avoid rubbing as this tends to spread the stain and/or push it deeper into the fabric.
  2. Check the care label for any special instructions or considerations. If you’re going to try to pre-treat a stain, make sure to test your treatment on a smaller patch of fabric in a less noticeable location first.
  3. Never put a stained item in the dryer as the heat is likely to cause the stain to set.

No matter the season or the stain, the biggest thing to remember is that the clock is ticking. Don’t toss a stained item in your laundry basket where you risk forgetting about it. Place it somewhere within view as a reminder to drop it at Klinke’s as soon as you have an opportunity. The cardinal rule of stain removal is the sooner it gets treated, the better the chance of complete removal. As we all know, the early bird gets the worm!

(c) Can Stock Photo / konradbak