Monday, February 6, 2012

Stubborn Stains

Lately, I've been faced with some very stubborn stains on clothing in our household. Usually it involves a white piece of clothing coming into contact with spaghetti sauce. I've also acquired some clothing for my kids that had that strange "off white" hue to areas of the white shirt where some weird old stain or spit up or something didn't quite come out. I used to just try some stain remover in one wash cycle and if it didn't come out, I just used the shirt or whatever as a play shirt or rag...I decided to be more proactive this time around. I was determined to salvage these garments as best as I could. After all, money doesn't grow on trees, right?

First I treated the stains with Tech (my mother in law bought this at a grocery store in Illinois. I have not seen it anywhere on the East Coast, but please prove me wrong...) or if that was unavailable some OxyClean Stain Remover. I let that set for a bit then soaked the clothes in warm water with OxyClean for an hour or so. Then I ran them through the wash on cold water with detergent and a Tide Stain release. No bleach in the wash only because the shirts in question had areas of color that I didn't want to risk bleaching. This usually lightened the stain. Then I took a paper towel and poured enough bleach on it to make it damp in a small area. I then blotted the light stains (only if they were on an only white area of the shirt) with the bleached paper towel. I believe in using as little bleach and harsh laundry additives as possible since they affect the longevity of the garment.

I was amazed at how effective the bleach worked! I could see the stain fade in front of my eyes. Even old stains that had probably been there a while! Even shirts that didn't get stain treated for several days after they came into contact with spaghetti sauce! I then rinsed these shirts out and ran them with the next load of laundry I did. Voila! Stain gone!

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