Monday, May 12, 2014

Laundry miracle: Removing stubborn stains

You can now refer to me by a new name: Laundry Master. Let me explain how I earned this title. I just did something I've been trying to do for years -- I successfully removed arm-pit/deodorant/spit-up stains from a bunch of my shirts and my kids' clothes. I feel such a sense of accomplishment after being embarrassed by these clothes and prepared to either donate them to a charity or throw them out.

My secret is learning to mix patience with a product I've been using ineffectively for a couple years: Clorox Stain Remover and Color Booster. (Buy it at Costco for the best price.) (This is not a sponsored post for anything.)

I had seen my mother bring back to life a number of articles of clothing that had seen better days. She told me this is what she uses, and I just couldn't figure it out because I'd been using this same product to no avail. Turns out my mom knew a few tricks to make the product extra effective, so after a phone call consultation with my mom, I decided to try her strategy. (I forgot to take before shots, so you'll just have to trust that these items were totally yellowed before I worked my magic.)

So, if you want to get rid of deodorant stains, spit-up stains, or even dryer-set stains as the outside of the bottle claims, follow these steps:

1) Soak your color-sorted items in cold water with a cap-full of Clorox Stain Remover in the washing machine for about an hour.

2) Remove each article of wet clothing one at a time. Apply the Clorox Stain Remover directly onto the stains while the clothing is still wet. I used a tiny spatula to help me rub the Clorox product into the stains. Make sure the product is rubbed in well.

3) Let the Clorox product set into the clothes for about 10 minutes.

4) Add the clothes back into the water in the washing machine. Let it soak for 24 hours. Yes, that's right. Be patient.

5) The next day, run the washing machine on whatever setting you typically use. (I almost always wash everything in our house on delicate).

6) Pat yourself on the back when you remove clothes from the washing machine that look nearly as perfect as they did on the day you bought them.

I ran one load of white/light colored clothes and another load of darker items. Though the entire process took over 48 hours, I am thrilled to not have to retire all the white or otherwise stained clothing my family owns. It's a domestic miracle.

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