Protect Your Clothes While Soaking Up the Sun

Hawaiian shirt

Sometimes even the most innocent-looking products can bring worry to your relaxation wardrobe. Ward off unnecessary stress with these quick tips.

Tropical Threads
Potential Problem: Major color changes can occur in Hawaiian-style shirts, turning khaki garments green, as shown above. Linen clothing may shrink, fade, or distort.

Clothing Care:  Don’t assume elegant tropical shirts must be dry cleaned. Shirts with “wash” labels may lose a component color through dry cleaning. Use a gentle cycle and warm water for linen, then dry on a rack or hanger to minimize shrinkage.  Extra ironing will be necessary.

Antiperspirant
Potential Problem: Build-up from deodorant and antiperspirant products can cause fiber damage and yellowing.  Blue and green on silk and wool are particularly prone.  Aluminum chloride can weaken fibers in cotton, linen, rayon, and some synthetic blends, leaving holes during cleaning.

Clothing Care: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Avoid overuse and allow antiperspirant/deodorant to dry before dressing. Soiled garments should be washed or dry cleaned as soon as possible.

Sunblock and Suntan Lotions
Potential Problem: Dyes and oils in suntan/sunblock lotions can stain clothing. This color loss or change may not appear until after you clean your clothes.

Clothing Care: Avoid many stains by following the directions on the bottle, allow the lotions to dry before dressing, and wash your hands before handling clothes.

Swimwear
Potential Problem: Chlorine in pools, spas, and hot tubs can damage spandex used in swimwear.

Clothing Care: Rinse your suit after wearing and follow the care label’s instructions.

Self-Tanning Lotions
Potential Problem: Self-tanners may discolor anything they touch!  Light tan, brown, or yellow staining on the cuffs, collar fold, and neckband, and upper button areas, are typical.

Clothing Care: Follow the instructions carefully, being sure to wash your hands immediately and allow your skin time to dry before dressing.  If the product gets on your clothes, wash them as soon as possible, as these stains can be difficult to remove.

Insect Repellents
Potential Problem: Repellents usually will not damage most fibers; however, some products contain alcohol and can cause color loss or color change on fabrics such as acetate and rayon.

Clothing Care: Read the label carefully, especially if applying directly to clothing.