You're happy that the sun's out. Your clothes may not be.

Angry SunIn New England, we spend so much of the year in dreary weather waiting for the sun to finally come out. But when it does, you've gotta be careful.

See, you know that the sun can change the color of your skin. And quite often that’s a nice change, though you know that too much sun can be painful and a risk to your long-term health. You also know that the sun can change the color of your hair, maybe lighten it up a bit or give you some sweet natural highlights. But of course, the sun changing the color of things is not always pretty - look at your old lawn furniture, or the paint job on an old car, or the faded signage on a storefront that hasn’t been renovated recently.

And then there’s your clothes. Here’s some advice from the National Cleaners Association:

  • You can protect your skin with sun blockers, your eyes with UV sunglasses, and your hair with a cap, but aside from walking the streets with a parasol, there is no such protection from the sun for your clothes.
  • The same sun that lightens your hair color, will also lighten the color in your clothes. As would be expected, the color loss will be more apparent in dark color garments.
  • Shirts are most susceptible, with prime areas being the shoulder area, the back, and if you tuck your shirt in, above the waistline.
  • Perspiration in combination with the sun will accelerate the process.
  • Prompt laundering or professional cleaning after each wearing is strongly recommended.

The one summer-y garment that you really have to watch out for is golf shirts. Those of us who like wearing darker or brighter colored shirts during the rest of the year often opt for lighter, whiter shirts during the summertime anyway, since we all know how dark colors trap heat. But you still may be given to wearing darker colors or pastels on the golf course, if you’re somebody who’s inclined to enjoy a good 9 or 18 holes. These shirts are highly prone to color fading if you wear them out in the sun a lot, and when you combine sun exposure with perspiration, they can even develop an odd orange discoloration.

It’s the struggle against color loss and discoloration that should lead you to a respectable dry cleaner like Battiston’s, even if your golf shirts are likely made out of cotton or other washable fabrics. We can’t always guarantee that color loss can be avoided, but working with a great quality professional cleaner is your best bet.