Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Survival Time...School is Out

Laundry tips: A summer stain survival guide

(ARA) - Warm weather means open windows, barbecues and time spent outdoors. It also means more hours in the laundry room trying to remove all the stains and grime left as remnants of a great summer day.

The key to success is knowing how to treat different types of stains, according to Kimberly Nies, home economist for LG Electronics USA. Certain stains may require pre-treatment in cold water, others hot. Some need bleach alternative, others need nothing but a rinse, she says.

From removing grass, mustard and grease stains to reducing  

summer allergens, Nies suggests some laundry tips for dealing with some of the worst stains that summer can throw at you - just be sure to always check the care label first:

1. Quick stain removal

A laundry trend that is growing quickly is the use of steam in clothes washers and dryers. Once you pretreat a stain, using steam is a great way to finish the job because steam particles are smaller, hotter and more active for a powerful cleaning, but they are also gentle on clothing.  For example, the most advanced steam washers, like those with TrueSteam technology from LG use real steam to deeply penetrate fabrics for great cleaning results.  As an added bonus, these washers are ENERGY STAR rated, so you know you're saving in energy usage, and supporting more beautiful summer days in the future.

2. Grease and oil

From grilling and eating delicious yet greasy burgers, to oiling your lawn mower or hedge clippers, drips and smears on summer clothing are bound to happen. For grease stains, soak in cold water. Rub fabric against itself to dislodge the stain. If stains are old, scrape off crusted material and soak in cold water with detergent. Launder in warm water with detergent. Don't use hot water to soak or wash items with protein stains such as blood, dairy products, baby food, or even mud as it may set these types of stains.  

3. Colorful liquids and sauces

Few things are more refreshing than sipping your favorite beverage on a hot day, but these drinks are often bright or deep in color. If you find yourself with a stain from a soft drink, fruit juice or wine, rinse first in cold water. This also applies to mustard and berry stains. For fresh stains, wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric with your favorite detergent. For older stains, use detergent with bleach or bleach alternative. Avoid using any type of bar soap on tannin stains, which include alcoholic beverages, coffee, berries, juice and soda - it makes them harder to remove.

4. Summer allergens

Warm weather spreads allergens that can leave your family with sniffles and sneezes. For these, be sure to look for washers, like several washer and dryers from LG, that are certified "asthma & allergy friendly" by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).  These models have special cycles equipped to effectively reduce common household allergens like dust mites and pet dander.

5. Waxy substances

Throwing a summer soiree? Stains from candle wax, chewing gum, crayon and lipstick are complex because they generally involve two components: oil/wax and dye/pigment. The best way to tackle these types of stains is to remove the oily portion first and then the dye portion. For stains that are waxy, scrape and treat with a dry-cleaning solution first, then rub with detergent and scrub the stain under hot water. For most other combination stains, rub detergent into stain, then wash in the hottest water possible for fabric with a detergent that has bleach or bleach alternative.  

6. Dry clean only

Getting stains on dry clean only items can be worrisome. Always check the care label first and if the item is dry clean only, blot the excess stain and take to the cleaners within 24 to 48 hours.

If you're still having trouble with summer stains, consider these additional strategies:

* If using a pretreating liquid, allow to sit on the stain for five minutes so the chemistry will have a chance to soak in.

* For deep-set stains and soils, presoak the entire garment in water with detergent for 30 minutes.

* For extra-dirty clothes, consider a prewash cycle.