5 Ways To Make Your Summer Items Last
Midseason slump: The frame is starting to rust.
How to beat it: “Salt is one of the main causes of rust,” says John Carmona, the owner of the Rust Store, in Madison, Wisconsin, a business devoted to getting rid of the brown stuff. Before you fold up your chairs at the end of a beach day, “give them a quick rinse with fresh water to remove the salt,” says Carmona. At home, use a towel to wipe them down before storing. For preventive care, you can coat the frame base with car wax: The oil will repel salt and water.
Midseason slump: They’re turning dingy and yellow.
How to beat it: One to two wears is the max you can get out of white jeans before cleaning them. “Unless a garment is 100 percent cotton, avoid chlorine bleach, which can cause yellowing,” says Linda Cobb, the author of Talking Dirty Laundry (Pocket Books, $14, amazon.com). Instead, use an additive-free version, like Vaska Oxygen-bleach ($6 for 42 ounces, soap.com). Once jeans start to look dingy at the seams, add a half cup of White Brite ($7.50 for 30 ounces, acehardware.com) to the washer and presoak for five minutes.
Midseason slump: It’s grimy with baked-on grease.
How to beat it: Your grill will fare best if you wipe it down immediately after barbecuing. Otherwise grease begins to set in and cast-iron grates start to rust. To clean the grates after a big cookout: Remove from grill and scrub with a grill brush and soapy water, then rinse with a hose. Replace, then fire up the grill to dry. To prevent food buildup, coat all the metal parts with a light cooking oil before each barbecue. For a step-by-step guide, see How to Clean a Grill.
Midseason slump: The fabric is starting to sag and fade.
How to beat it: “Rotate your swim-suits,” says Ilene Sofferman of Canyon Beachwear, in New York City. “Spandex is a memory fabric and needs a day to recover its elasticity.” Look for a suit whose hang tag lists Xtra Life Lycra—it’s more resistant to stretching out than regular spandex. Rinse in cold water after each dip. Every 5 to 10 wears, machine-wash on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent, using a plastic lingerie case to protect the suit’s padding and underwire (try Berry Ball & Bag, $14, comforthouse.com). Air-dry out of direct sunlight.
Midseason slump: They’re stretched out.
How to beat it: Keep sunglasses in a case, not on top of your head (which stretches the frames), and don’t leave them in a hot car (which will warp both the frames and the lenses). You can get a free adjustment from Sunglass Hut (sunglasshut.com for locations), or try your local eyewear shop. Next time look for a pair with flexible-hinge frames (the sales associate can point you in the right direction), which are less likely to stretch. (Want to give a repair a go yourself? Get how-tos here.)