Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Out, damn'd spot!"

...Okay, I remember enough from high school Lit to know that Lady Macbeth wasn't talking about laundry. I'm pretty sure she had laundry people. Yeah, and I'll bet her laundry people had laundry people too. So, quit your griping Lady!

I, on the other hand, do not have laundry people, and in spite of my best non-swearing-mom intentions, I frequently find myself quoting Shakespeare to the seemingly endless stream of splattered, splotched, and spotted laundry.

My advice for you: swearing is not an effective method of stain removal.

I've been on a quest to find a better way to get rid of stains (It may have been one of my New Year's Resolutions. Yes, I know it's weird, but I'm in good company!!), and I've learned a few things:

#1: see above.

#2: Stains are much easier to remove when they're fresh. I've found that I'm much more likely to remember to pretreat my laundry when stains are fresh if I keep my pretreater near the hamper, which is in the bathroom at our house. Now I can do a quick scan of the kids' clothes when they come off for bath time and take care of any spots before they have time to settle in and get comfortable. 'Cause, frankly, I'm too lazy to walk down to the laundry room every single time one of my kids makes a mess of his/her clothes. Which is approximately every 7.3 seconds.

#3: Once a stain has gone through the dryer, the chances of getting it out are slim to none. Heat sets in stains, but some stains need multiple washes/treatments to completely get rid of them. For a woman who considers herself lucky to remember to shower more than once a week, relying strictly on memory to check stained clothes before they go in the dryer is just not going to cut it.

Enter, lingerie bag. Since I've started washing our pretreated clothes in a lingerie bag, (to separate them from the rest of the laundry) I don't have trouble remembering which items need to be checked for stain removal before going in the dryer. This single step has been revolutionary for our laundry.

Please excuse the hyperbole. (my English teachers would be so proud. That one was for you, Mr. Olsen!!)

Mr. Snickerdoodle would want you all to know that I do in fact have laundry people. Well... a laundry person: Him.


Anonymous said...

Oxyclean. I can't sing it's praises enough for removing Teen Boy Dirt/Stench from clothing.

Staci said...

That's funny, I was going to comment about OxiClean too! Wesley got a bloody nose in bed once and I avoided washing his sheets for almost a week because I was not sure what to do (that was stupid, I know) and with my stain pre-treater and a small scoop of oxiclean, it all came out in one cold wash! I was amazed. Good idea with the lingerie bag too!!

Britney said...

a) I can relate -- a lot of spots/stains/smudges/odd-looking-of-unknown-origin markings.

b) I love Oxiclean, but sometimes it isn't enough. I love the MArtha Stewart stain chart and use it a lOT! I have my vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, cheap hairspray, glycerine, Goo-Be-Gone, Borax and various stain treating products in my laundry cupboard.

c) Can I please borrow your laundry person???? He's not THAT busy afterall!!! ;) My optional laundry person is either actually really bad at laundry or just fakes it. :) I'm not sure which.

Marci said...

I LOVE your system of putting stained items in a lingerie bag. That it BRILLIANT!

Have you ever used Zout? I highly recommend this stuff, especially for old stains that have been laundered, including machine dried, repeatedly!! One important hint, do not pre-treat and let the product dry on your clothing. Just toss the stained item in your hamper and treat right before you're ready to wash!