Cleaning Tips

Cleaning Summer’s Worst Stains

cleaning summer's worst stains

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Spring cleaning has come and gone, but that doesn’t keep dirt and grime out of your life and home for very long. Summer brings its own set of concerns with the heat and humidity. If you are at all concerned about keeping your furniture and summer clothes in good condition, be aware of some of the worst offenders of summer time cleanliness. Remain cool with these cleaning hacks for all of summer's worst stains on the toughest-to-clean surfaces.

Sweat on Upholstery

While the air conditioning is kicking into gear for the summer, using fans and opening windows is the best way to attempt to avoid the downpour of sweat on those sweltering days. Unfortunately, it's much harder to control sweaty children running around and flopping on the furniture after a day of outdoor play. Sweat stains can find their way onto your upholstery, but with a few common household items, they'll be gone in no time:

  • Blot the stain with this mixture: 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent, 1 tablespoon of ammonia, and 2 cups of water.
  • Let the solution absorb and blot any excess.
  • Now blot the stain with this mixture: 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of water.
  • Sponge the area with cold water and blot dry.

Sunblock on Leather

While luxurious and beautiful in the winter, leather does not react well to the tests of summer. Quick to absorb liquid and easy to stain, it's one of the most difficult materials to clean and bring back to its original look. In the summer, sunblock is almost always on your skin, and lounging on an armchair just once means that sunblock is in the leather forever unless you clean it immediately with this remedy:

  • Blot the stain to remove excess sunblock on the surface.
  • Cover the area with corn starch (or talcum powder, unscented baby powder, baking soda).
  • Wait 24 hours.
  • Gently vacuum up the residue.

Water Rings on Wood

There's nothing like an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. While you're sitting and sipping, it's easy to forget to use a coaster to protect your wooden furniture. If your wood is well-treated, you shouldn't have to worry about water rings. But, if you've forgotten about your sweating glass on a vintage or distressed piece of wooden furniture, you're going to be left with an unpleasant white water ring. Luckily, removing water rings is possible with these tricks:

  • If the stain is fresh and still damp, blow a hair dryer on low heat over the stain. It will dry out the water without warping the wood.
  • If the stain is who-knows-how-old, the best thing you can do is to try massaging mayonnaise or any other oily, color-less substance into the ring.

Mildew on Walls

Regardless of the fact that mildew is not pleasant to look at, it is actually bad for your health. Be sure that little spot of mold or mildew isn't part of a larger issue of dampness in your home by calling in a professional to have a look. If the pro gives the okay, you can very easily remove these substances on your own:

  • Mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of warm water.
  • Scrub the affected surface with a brush dipped in the mixture.
  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes.
  • Wipe the area clean with a wet cloth.

Grass Stains on Clothing

Memorial Day was weeks ago and Labor Day is weeks away, meaning this is the prime time to get the most wears out of your white and light-colored clothing. However, with barbecues, baseball games, and other outdoor events, grass stains almost always find their way to white clothing, especially when kids are involved. Those pesky green streaks can be eliminated by doing this:

  • Dab a 50/50 alcohol and water solution into the back of the stain.
  • Soak white clothing in bleach; otherwise, soak the article of clothing in hot water and regular laundry detergent.
  • Wash and dry normally. Repeat until stain has disappeared.




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