5 Summer Stain Busters

Barbecues, beach trips, and baseball games all make for summertime fun - and likely disaster for your clothing. Don't worry! Below, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's (GHRI) cleaning product experts share how to zap troubling summer stains, so you can spend time outside instead of being stuck in the laundry room.

1. Grass

Your best line of defense is an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent like Arm & Hammer, because the enzymes target protein-based stains. Rub a little of the detergent into the stain. Wash the items in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric and use chlorine bleach if the garment label says you can.

Related: Solve Any Cleaning Crisis

2. Sunscreen

It's inevitable that this summer staple is going to end up on your beach towel, bathing suit, or shorts. When that happens, remove as much of the excess sunscreen as you can by dousing the fabric with sand. Sand will cause the lotion to clump, making it easier to roll it off without pressing it into the fibers. After you get home, apply a pre-wash remover wash the stained items in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.

3. Iced Tea
The good news is that iced tea won't set into the fabric as quickly as hot tea. Simply take an ice cube and rub it over the stain. Then pat the area with dry paper napkins. When you get home, treat the stain with a laundry pre-treater or some liquid laundry detergent and wash as usual, adding a little bleach if appropriate for the fabric.

Related: Remove Underarm Stains

4. BBQ Sauce
Place a layer of paper towels over the stain. Working from the inside of the fabric, flush with cold water to transfer some of the barbecue sauce to the towel. Later, pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent to break up the stain. Let sit for several minutes, then rinse well. Sponge the stain with white vinegar and rinse again. Pre-treat again and wash.

5. Mustard

Nothing puts a damper on backyard barbecue fun like a big yellow spot on your bright summer whites. Stains from this condiment are particularly challenging to remove, but scraping most of the excess off will make the chore less daunting. Immediately after, flush the splatter with cold water. As soon as you can, apply a pre-wash stain remover and wash in warm to hot water.

Related: The Best Steam Washers & Dryers

Click here for more summer stain busters, including how to get out ice cream and beer stains.

What are your toughest summer laundry issues? Share in the comments!

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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.