Camping out under the stars, away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life is a summer luxury!  A time to return to nature and renew the senses while building memories that will last a lifetime.  It starts with a tent, often includes a hike, a swim or a fishing rod, and typically ends around a campfire with family and friends.  But whether camping at the beach, deep in the backwoods or at a national park, don’t let everyday camping splatter get you down.  Armed with a few cleaning tips, the fight against stains is still possible even when you’re away from the comforts of home.

BLUEBERRIES

As with most stains, try to treat as soon as possible, before the sugar has had time to discolour the fabric, and before the juices have had a chance to dry into the fibres.  All you need to fight this stain is in your mess kit!  Using a freshly cut lemon, rub juice into the stain and then rinse with cool water.  Blot out moisture with a clean microfibre cloth and air dry.  This should do the trick, but if stain remains, vinegar is the next weapon in your arsenal.  Dilute vinegar with two parts water and soak garment for 30 minutes.  Rinse, blot and hang dry again.  Repeat if necessary.

PRO TIP: Instinctually, we turn to hot water to remove stains, but it’s not always the answer.  Cool water works best on blueberry stains. In fact, hot water may actually set the stain.

PINE SAP

If you’ve pitched your tent by a pine tree with a fantastic view, there’s no way to avoid sap ending up on your clothes at some point or other.  But worry not and keep the view!  A successful solution to remove pine sap from any fabric involves the use of everyday hand sanitizer.  Simply apply a bit of hand sanitizer to the affected area and rub it with your fingers.  If the sap has soaked into fibres, using a toothbrush to gently scrub the area may be more effective than just using your fingers.  Remember patience is a virtue! It may take a few minutes for the sanitizer to work its magic.  Once the item is clean, rinse with some soap and water. Repeat if necessary.

And, if sap gets stuck on your hands, just head back to your food supplies.  Peanut butter works great for removing sap from hands, hair and pets!  Just rub it in and rinse it out.

MARSHMALLOWS

No campfire is complete without a bag of marshmallows roasted to sweet perfection.  But it can quickly become a sugary mess in minutes.  Luckily, as quickly as that roasted marshmallow can smear across your favourite blouse, it can also be removed.  Carefully pour boiling water over the spot and watch it melt away.  If marshmallow has seeped in deep, soaking it in boiling water may be necessary, followed by a gentle scrub with a toothbrush to free up fibres.

 

 

Photo by Michael Guite