Did you know that you can add sun protection to clothing that you already own?
SunGuard is a laundry additive from the company who gave us all access to our fabulous tie-dyed T-shirts in the 1960s (RIT dye, that is). SunGuard washes UPF 30* sun protection into your load of laundry (as long as the fabric is made of cotton, or contains mostly a cotton blend).
It’s pretty easy to use SunGuard: as your washer is filling with hot water, just add a packet of SunGuard to the water. You’ll want to stir it a bit, so that the SunGuard dissolves completely. Then add your clothes to the hot-water SunGuard solution. Make sure that the clothing soaks in the SunGuard for at least 15 minutes, and then proceed with the wash cycle as usual. (I have to “stop” my washer and let it sit in “pause” mode for the 15 minutes, but that’s no problem; it’s just a
quirk feature of my washing machine.)
According to the SunGuard package’s product info, the sun protection will last in your clothing through 20 launderings. I wondered about whether I’d have any skin sensitivity or irritations from using it. However, from personal experience I haven’t noted any problems or reactions to SunGuard (and my skin is super-sensitive to chemicals). So… so far, so good. Definitely consult your dermatologist if you have concerns about allergies.
*UPF in clothing, is a sun protection rating scale for fabrics that is similar to the SPF you’ll see on packages of sunscreens. As an example, a common white T-shirt has a UPF rating of about 5. And SunGuard is designed to give clothing a UPF of 30.