Tips for tackling seven summer laundry challenges

Several shirts hang on a laundry line to dry in a yard. A wicker laundry basket sits on the grass underneath.

The hall of fame for summer laundry has plenty of competition: mud, pollen, barbecue sauce, popsicle juice, ice cream—you name it. Many of the things we love about summer are not kind to our clothing.

Fortunately, Amway stain expert Jim Pell, who has been researching laundry formulations and product performance for more than 20 years, has some practical advice for helping your clothes survive the summer season.

First laundry tip: Follow directions

The first piece of advice he always shares is to follow instructions on the fabric care label.

“I always, always, tell people to look at the care tag on the garment before they launder the item, for the temperature of water, drying instructions, bleachability, things like that,” Jim said. “That’s how you end up ruining an item of clothing: by not reading the care tag. They’re on there for a reason.”

Three young women walk on the beach wrapped in towels and carrying an inner tube, beach bag and other belongings. Sunscreen can stain clothing.

Can sunscreen stain clothing?

While sunscreen is a summer essential to protect your skin, Jim recommends being careful not to get any on your clothing. While it may not appear to stain, the damage happens during the wash.

Some sunscreens contain ingredients that pull iron or other soils out of your wash water, letting it bond with the fabric and leaving an orange stain that can be all but impossible to remove.

“I would hit it with pre-wash, like Amway Home™ Prewash Spray, and launder as normal with the warmest water recommended on the item,” Jim said. “Just be prepared that a new stain may appear on the item where the sunscreen was.”

How to remove sweat stains

Summer means heat, heat means sweat and sweat means stains. The worst part about sweat stains is not the sweat itself, but the body oils that come with it. Because of that, treating with a prewash spray or a detergent before putting it in the washing machine is key, Jim said.

Amway Home Prewash Spray is great for oily stains, including body oils, cooking oil and motor oil, he said.

How to remove ice cream stains

One of the great joys of summer is ice cream on a hot day—but that melting treat often leaves a mark on our clothes. That doesn’t mean you have to skip the frozen treats.

“Rinse the stain in water, pretreat with a prewash spray and launder it in the warmest water recommended,” Jim said. If the stain is still there, repeat those steps before drying.

“We recommend Amway Home™ SA8 Liquid Laundry Detergent because it has a special blend of enzymes to remove the protein and thickening ingredients in ice cream,” Jim said.

Enzymes are naturally derived, biodegradable molecules that work to break up specific stain groups. Once the stains have been broken up, they can easily be washed away.

Two young children eat red ice cream cones in their kitchen. Ice cream is a common summer stain.

How to remove popsicle stains

If you’re not having ice cream, you’re likely enjoying a popsicle. Dripless popsicles haven’t been invented yet, so here’s Jim’s advice on removing any stains that may result from the summer favorite. (You can use this same approach for stains from juice or fresh berries, too.)

Start with a good long soak. If the item is washable and bleachable, he recommends at least 30 minutes in a solution containing 1 teaspoon of Amway Home All Fabric Bleach and 64 ounces of the warmest water recommended on item’s care tag.

“Then, launder with detergent, like Amway Home SA8 Powder Laundry Detergent, and a little extra dose of all fabric bleach, again using the warmest water recommended on label.”

How to remove barbecue stains

The same ingredients that make those ribs or chicken so tasty at your summer barbecue are what make for challenging stains in the laundry room.

“Not only do you have the barbecue sauce itself, but you have the oil and grease from the food,” Jim said.

He recommends treating with a pre-wash spray and using your washer’s soak cycle with all fabric bleach and detergent.

“You’d want to use the warmest water recommended on the label, and let it soak for however long that soak cycle is, some of them are an hour,” he said.

As with all stubborn stains, repeat all steps as necessary before drying.

Yellow wildflowers are shown against a blue sky with clouds. Pollen is a common summer stain.

How to remove pollen stains

Not only does pollen wreak havoc with allergies, it can be almost as irritating when it gets on your clothing.

Because pollen is a dust, Jim warns against scrubbing it, which only drives the particles deeper into the clothing fibers. Instead, shake out as much as you can while it is dry. You also can try lifting the particulate out with a piece of tape.

“Then, if you still have some left, you’d want to use the pre-wash spray, and an all fabric bleach soak using the warmest water recommended on the label and then launder normally,” Jim said.

How to get smell out of clothes

While summer is full of pleasant aromas, some of the smells are less desirable—the unpacked beach bag from last weekend filled with damp towels and clothes for example. The answer is an all fabric bleach, Jim said.

“That same combination of oxygen, bleach and minerals in Amway Home™ All Fabric Bleach that powers out stains is very effective at eliminating odors,” he said. “And because it contains no chlorine, our all fabric bleach won’t fade bright or dark colors.

“It can be used on almost any items that can be safely laundered in non-delicate laundry detergent.”

Learn more

Armed with these tips, hopefully you can go out and enjoy summer without worry.

If you want to learn more about these and other laundry products Jim recommends, visit the websites for Amway US and Amway Canada.

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