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Cleaning with Sunshine: Use the Cleaning Power of the Sun!

During the summer, there are alternative ways of doing your laundry other than the usual washing machine. The purifying power of the sun will help you save money and the environment! Helpling, the leading online platform for home services, shows you how you can use sunlight and what to consider when you do – because even the sun has a dark side.

A clean mattress & a MITE-y grill…

All allergy sufferers are aware of the nightmare of millions of mites, bed bugs and other pests that can colonize your bed. Mites love the dark and moist environment of your mattress. However, these pests can’t stand sunlight, brightness and low humidity. Is it barbecue weather outside? Perfect! Stick your mattress directly in the sunlight!

Push those mites over the edge; strip off the sheets, brush off the mattress and vacuum it well. Afterwards, put the mattress directly under the sun, typically on a balcony or terrace. After leaving your mattress to roast in the sun for 3 hours, most of the mites along with their eggs won’t feel so much at home there. This procedure should leave the mattress mite free for a good while.

Caution: Latex mattresses should not be exposed to the sun – as the UV rays can damage the material and overheating may cause warping.

Sunlight as a Stain Remover

Yes, there was life before washing machines. Back then, the sun was one of the best ways to clean fabrics. People used a process known as grass bleaching, where clothes are laid out on grass in the sun after washing them. The sunlight and moisture helps remove stains.

When UV light strikes the wet fabric, hydrogen peroxide is formed. Today, this compound is mainly used to brighten hair but is also added to detergent. People hang wet laundry in the sun to oxidize it and allow the bleaching effects to occur. The intense sunlight strikes the color and dirt molecules, removing them. Bleaching with the sun is particularly effective on your whites, especially those made of cotton or linen. Lay your clothes out for a few hours where they can get plenty of sunlight. If you don’t see any results after a while you can always aid the process by splashing some lemon juice on.

Sunshine isn’t all good

You’ll probably want your laundry dried by sundown but take care! You might be tempted to stick your best shirt in intense sunlight, however, if your laundry dries too quickly in the sunlight, it can damage and discolor certain fabrics.

Remember not to leave your wet laundry under the glaring sun forever; just 2 hours may be enough. Once the washing is dry you should bring it in, otherwise your beloved clothes can get annoying white stripes from the washing line. Since some detergents contain optical brighteners, clothes can get yellow or green spots, simply because of too much sun!

Tip: Turn your clothes inside out to reduce the risk of any stripes.

Sun spots? More like sun streaks…  

People are often surprised by streaks left on windows despite having just been cleaned. Once the windows have dried, ugly smudges appear and you have to start from scratch. To prevent this from happening, be aware of a few key points when cleaning windows in direct sunlight.

The most important thing is to work quickly! The streaks are caused by the mixture of the suds or bubbles from detergent solution and dirt. If the liquid is not removed quickly, it dries and leaves streaks. Furthermore, don’t polish back and forth, it’s unnecessary and actually causes streaks rather than preventing them. It is best to use a window wiper to avoid streaks.

Courtesy of Helping a leading global online platform for on-demand home services
Photo credit: Panda Evans / Foter / CC BY-NC

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