We all know that the sun may damage our skin if we leave it exposed without protection.   But, did you know that the same thing can happen to your clothes and home d�©cor? This is especially true for items left out on the patio for the summer season. To protect our skin we use sunblock, but is there a way we can protect our clothing, draperies, furniture, and other home goods?

The answer is yes.

Household Sun Protection
  • Rules of Thumb:

Keep these in mind when selecting fabrics for home d�©cor or when placing furniture near windows. They are useful when shopping for summer clothing as well.

    • Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and blends with acrylic, polyester and nylon are less likely to fade.
    • High-end fabrics such as linen and silk tend to fade rapidly with exposure and wear.
    • Darker colors will fade more rapidly than light colors.
  • Clothing:
    • Store your clothing in a cool, darker place away from direct sunlight and heat.
    • When outside, put towels, jackets, and shoes in the shade when not in use.
    • Protect your clothes from sunblock stains by applying it before you dress and letting it dry completely.
  • Home D�©cor
    • Leather furniture will not only fade, but also dry out and crack when exposed to direct sunlight. Dry climates also contribute to cracking, and once leather dries out, it cannot be re-hydrated. Be sure to clean and treat furnishings with a leather cleaner every six months.
    • Even pillows, cushions, and bolsters designed for outdoor use will fade over time. Choose natural fibers and light colors to reduce obvious fading. Store them out of the sun when not in use.
    • Pay attention where the sunlight hits your bedding. If it is in direct light, close the draperies during the day to avoid fading. If this is not an option, use coverings made with natural or white fabrics.
    • Install blinds, sheers, or shades to protect draperies from fading. These may also keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
    • Lined draperies have a longer useful life than unlined draperies; the lining may succumb to the sun's effects before the face fabric. Often the lining can be removed or replaced, thereby extending the life of the drapery.
    • When the heating or cooling season is upon you, make sure your draperies are not in front of the air intake or discharge vents. You don't want your draperies acting as an air filter.

Proper care and routine cleaning of your clothes, draperies, and household goods will extend their life.