Stains of the season: Are you prepared for fall fabric care?
Signs of the new season are everywhere — from changing leaves on the trees to football games on the weekends and pumpkin spice popping up everywhere.
With all of autumn’s popular traditions, it can be a particularly messy time of year for your family’s fabrics.
If you want to fight back against some of this season’s common stains, try these tricks.
While temperatures still get high enough that children want to play outside, fall rains can make their outdoor adventures a muddy mess.
The key to successfully removing mud stains from clothing is letting the mud dry completely before you begin. Trying to wipe away wet mud will actually just force it deeper into the fabric. Once it’s dry, scrape away as much as you can with a dull knife or spoon. Rub some liquid laundry detergent directly into the stain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Use just a little bit of water and a toothbrush or small sponge to scrub the stain on both sides of the fabric. Wash normally, but separate from other clothes, and don’t dry until all traces of the strain have been removed.
No matter how much newspaper you lay down or precautions you take, carving your home’s spooky jack-o-lanterns is bound to get messy. To clean up, scrape as much of the orange innards off your clothing as possible and soak in cold water with liquid detergent for about 30 minutes before laundering as usual.
When goopy-but-delicious fall treats like caramel apples inevitably lead to sticky stains, scrape off as much as possible without rubbing any caramel further into your clothes. Combine half a teaspoon of liquid detergent, one tablespoon of vinegar and warm water and soak your stained fabric for at least 30 minutes. Once the stickiness is gone, blot with a dry cloth to remove any remaining signs of the stain before laundering as usual.
Your secret weapons in this Halloween’s war on chocolate stains? Lemon juice or vinegar. Pretreat your kids’ clothes — and after “inspecting” their candy stash — to help break down the stain and rinse with water. Wash as usual, but do not dry until the stain has been completely removed.