Whether you're planning on having a picnic on the common, going for a hike in the country or holding a drinks party in your garden, making the most of your summer in the great outdoors is a must. However, doing so can involve spillages and stains - to leave you red shirted and red faced.
Cleaning operations manager at Handy.com Yvonne Manomano gives us her advice for tackling the most likely stains to experience over the next few months.
Please be advised to always read the care labels on your clothes before trying any of the below.
“Now that summer is finally here, many of us will start indulging in delicious berries, especially during Wimbledon season. While the berries themselves are delicious, their juice can leave near-permanent stains, so the first thing you should do once you spot the stain is treat it.
"First, stretch the fabric as tightly as it will go, and pour water over it, to remove the majority of the stain. Once this is done, leave the material to soak in a mixture of water and white vinegar for at least an hour, then rinse out – the stain should be gone, but if not, repeat until it disappears.”
“While red wine stains are unsightly, you don’t need to panic, as there are ways of removing them from your clothes. The first thing you need to do is to get rid of as much excess liquid as you can by dabbing at the stain with a cloth – but make sure not to rub, as that will get the stain further into the fabric.
"Once this is done, you can try pouring some salt, white wine or baking soda on the stain, and that should really make a difference. If the stain persists, pre-treat the item with detergent and launder as normal.”
“While summer is the perfect time for flowers, it is inevitable that at some point, some pollen will make it onto your clothes. This can lead to tricky stains, especially with flowers like lilies, which leave behind unsightly yellow marks.
"The first thing you need to know about pollen stains is never to rub them, instead think of them as spilled powder and vigorously shake the material to remove the excess dust. If a small amount of pollen still sticks to the fabric, use some sticky tape to lift the pollen off the fabric and launder as normal.”
“In the summer months, there is nothing better than enjoying picnics and games in the grass, which can unfortunately leave us with unsightly stains when we get home.
"As soon as you notice the grass stain, you should soak the clothing in some cold water; it is essential that the water isn’t hot, as that will only set the stain further. Once you’ve soaked the clothing for an hour or so, just rub some detergent on the stain and launder as normal and that should do the trick. Alternatively, you can try spraying the stain with hairspray, as the alcohol contained in it will lift the stain, making it easier to wash.”
“While with most stains, it is recommended that you treat them immediately, you should leave a mud stain to sit and dry. The reason behind this is that treating wet mud will only make the stain larger, whereas dry mud is much easier to get rid of.
"Once the stain is completely dry, scrape off as much of the mud as you can, a blunt knife or an old toothbrush will make this process easier. Once the excess is removed, pre-treat the stain with detergent and launder as normal. If you find the stain is set deeply into the fabric, pre-treat with hand sanitizer instead of detergent, and that will remove the stain.”
“As the weather gets better and better, many of us will cover ourselves in sunscreen and head outside to enjoy the weather and sunbathe. However, even if you are very careful, sunblock can drip onto your clothes and stain the clothing.
"If your sunblock leaves a dark, oily stain, pre-treat it with detergent and leave to sit for an hour, then launder as normal. If the stain isn’t the typically oily variety, but instead a yellowy-orange colour (making it an equivalent of a rust stain), you should treat it with lemon and salt, leaving the mixture on the clothes overnight, before laundering.”
Got any top tips of your own for getting rid of unwanted stains? Let us know in the Comments box below.