A Year in Homemaking: Fighting Laundry Stains {Week 40}

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Hello ladies, I was asked to write a small article on laundry tips and boy did I get excited!

Laundry is my favorite task (it is therapeutic for me) for many reasons, but for the purposes of this article, we will stick to stains. If you know me well, you know I love the challenge of a stain. In fact, many people have brought me their laundry to put my skills to the test. I have my “go to” products as stain fighters but I decided to research a few others as well. My conclusion was to stick to what I know works well.

So are we all ready to learn how to become a one wardrobe family instead needing to have good clothes and play clothes?

-Tip number 1: Read your labels and sort your clothes accordingly. I always cringe when I watch someone throw everything in the wash all together. Doing laundry the proper way keeps clothes from pilling, bleeding colors, and becoming dingy.

-Tip number 2: While sorting clothes, check for stains and set them aside to be treated.

-Tip number 3: Treat all stains and let them sit for 15-20 minutes. (more on this in a minute)

Now here comes the tricky part. What do you use to treat various stains? Here are my go to products: Shout and Clorox Color Safe Bleach. YUP, that is really it for the most part. Most often, I always combine the 2 stain removers by first spraying with shout and then using a gentle bristle toothbrush to scrub the area. Stains like blood, chocolate, red pasta sauces, grass stains, ground in dirt, ring around the collar and even grease have completely come out. After the 20 minute sit time, wash as you desire, following label directions of course. Before throwing clothes in the dryer, check your stained clothing to make sure they came out, as drying the fabric could set the stains in permanently. You may need to repeat the procedure more than one time but it will be well worth it.

Laundry Pic 1

Here is where the stain challenge has beat me for many years – baseball dirt. :-/

I even went to a dry cleaner to ask what I could do to get the dirt out. Their response was that you can’t get it out…. LoL

However, I learned a fantastic procedure that helps tremendously. And no, it is not buying more pants either… LoL!

First, if heavily soiled with dirt, take them outside and spray them with the powerful spray of the hose.

Second, rub Fels-Naptha laundry bar on the heavy soiled areas.

Third, use a gentle toothbrush to scrub liquid OxiClean on the grass and dirt as well.

Laundry Pic 2

By doing these steps the pants already look 75% clean.

Lastly, wash them in hopes of them coming clean. I never dry them in the dryer in hopes that in the next wash the stains will become lighter. 🙂

Let’s talk gum. It is actually fairly easy to get out of clothes. First, place the clothing in the freezer. Once frozen, break off most of the gum by hand. Once you have most of it broke off, run that area under hot water and gently scrub with a toothbrush. The hot water will melt away the gum and the brush will sweep it away.

Here are a few products I have tested out after I was asked to write this article.  Unfortunately, they did not hold true as stain fighters or whiteners. Clorox Stain Remover for Whites caused yellowing. Dawn was supposed to take out grease, but it did not do the trick. Sports Cleaner was supposed to help those tough stains, but the stains did not budge. OxiClean states that you should make a paste and apply it directly to the stain and let sit. When I did that a hole formed in the garment. White Brite claims to whiten your whites, but mine appeared to look exactly the same.

Laundry Pic 3

I hope this article helps you. Here’s to happier laundry days!!!

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