I was downstairs working on laundry a few minutes ago, and I began reminiscing about my adventures in stain zapping. I’ve certainly learned a lot over the years, especially since having kids. So for all you moms out there who hate ruining cute clothes with pesky stains, here’s what works for me.
1) Treat stains with Spray and Wash Stain Stick as soon as possible after a stain. I keep Stain Sticks in four locations in my house!
2) For tough stains, soak the garments in OxiClean. I begin by filling the washer with hot water and then adding a scoop of OxiClean. I stir it around so the powder dissolves; then I add the clothes. Once the clothes are covered with water, I turn off the water and allow the clothes to soak as long as necessary. For really bad stains, like blood, I’ve sometimes soaked clothes for two days! Usually about eight hours is sufficient.
3) After soaking for the determined amount of time, I continue filling the washing machine with whatever temperature water is appropriate for the color of clothes. As the machine is filling I add detergent (Dynamo brand, the cheapest I can find!) and additional clothes of similar color. I wash as usual.
4) When it’s time to move the clothes to the dryer, I remember the most important rule about stain-fighting. NEVER dry clothes if the stain did not come out! If, by chance, the stain is still there, return to step #1 and start the process again. However, most stains do come out most of the time.
The only time my routine backfired was when Kayla got the bottom of a turquoise pair of shorts extremely dirty. I have no idea what she got in, but I had to put the poor shorts through this routine about three times. The stains did come out, but the shorts faded in the process. Other than that, I’ve only had success!
I have heard that black walnut stains are impossible to get out of fabrics. I have to be especially careful about this because we have a black walnut tree (and the girls love to play with the walnuts). Later in the season, once the squirrels really start tearing the walnuts to shreds, we’ll have to switch to walnut play clothes, which, I’m sure, will be covered with permanent black stains.