Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm asking - What's YOUR Secret?

Laundry - the never ending "to do".

I have to say I'm not a big fan. And, honestly, I am not a very detailed laundry-doer. In fact...

I never sort my clothes.

I do laundry the following way. The kid's clothes make one load. Mine and Kory's clothes make up load two. Baby clothes are load three (because I still use Dreft for him). And towels and rags make up load four.

I guess that is a kind of sorting! :)

And then stains come along. Sometimes I use Zout, other times I opt for Prewash. And every once in awhile I use Shout. The better the piece of clothing, the more intentional I am at trying to remove the stain.

That brings me to my point (were you wondering if there was one). I want to know your best kept laundry and stain removing secrets. I know you have them because you all are so much better at this laundry thing than me.

And, you are in luck because I am going to share my big stain-fighting secret with you (although after reading about how I do laundry you may not put much stock in it, but I'm telling you it works!)

I discovered this little gem one Sunday morning when the boys were younger than they are now. The kids were ready for church. Kory and I were in process.

I went downstairs to check on everyone, after hearing a nerve-racking length of silence, and discovered that ball-point pens had been found and used on they boy's brand new church clothes.

Of course I reacted like the proper, church-going, Proverbs 31 woman that I am and once I got done crying and yelling at the children called my mom.

She directed me to call the Queen of Stains - Gail. Who shared the following tip with me that I am now going to share with you (you lucky internets you).

With a little elbow-grease, hairspray gets ball-point pen ink out of clothes.

All you need to do is spray the stained area with the hairspray of your choice. Dab the stain with a rag (do not rub, dab) and repeat. Initially the stain seems to get darker, but then it starts to fade.

I can't tell you how domestic and Proverbs 31 I feel with this kind of knowledge. And that is why I am asking for more!

What is your favorite laundry/stain-fighting secret?


Anonymous said...

I am glad to know about Gail...all this time I've lived in Gridley and never knew expert stain advice was just a local phone call away:-)

We have a lot of chocolate stains at our house (ice cream, choc chips, choc. milk...)Liz R. gave me a tip of soaking the chocolate stain in milk. It has worked better than anything else I have tried.

Also, I think getting to the stain as fast as you can with hot water (unless blood, then cold).

Well there is my 2 cents.

I'm curtios to read some others!
Love, Jill

Kelley said...

I have no secrets but yours is really handy today. I was at a woman's house for a meeting yesterday and someone got ink on her chair cushion. I will definitely pass along your tip to her! Laundry is a NEVER ending process around here.....

Mindy said...

Yes, I always use hairspray on pen stains and it always works! Oddly enough, I'm wondering if Allison or Gail told me that way back in the day. :)

I asked this question on my blog a while back and Rebekah got me hooked on the Amway SA8 prewash. It is amazing! It has gotten out every stubborn stain that nothing else could!

I also use Oxi Clean powder for soaking stains and that works really good too.

And for quick treatment on the go I love Tide To Go pens! They work great!

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...


My friend once worked at a bridal shop. She swore up and down that they wash the dresses. That seems unheard of to me, but when a dress becomes stained, they used Tech stain remover. I literally got black permanent marker out of a pair of my daughter's shorts once.

I can only find it on-line. But it's a miracle cleaner.

christine said...

I agree with the above recommendation for Tech Stain Remover, orderable at ($5 for an 8-ounce bottle). This is an annual stocking stuffer item from my mom; works great on LOTS of stains.

Samantha @ the Listener's post said...

Kids N Pets is by far the best thing I've ever used - it even got permanent marker out of our couch that had been there for weeks! It works really great on smells too!

I also am a huge believer in Color Catchers!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if it's truly a laundry secret... But, we have problems with gum. For some reason, that crazy stuff just slips right out of people's mouths and onto furniture, clothing, car seats, and more. A trick I've learned is to get the stuck-on gum really, really cold--nearly frozen. Then, it kind of cracks right off. You can stick a shirt or something right in the freezer or use ice cubes on furniture or the car seat. It even works when gum is stuck in hair--fun!

The Zookeepers said...

I have found it helpful to keep a bottle of Shout right next to the laundry hamper. Then whenever something very dirty or stained goes into the laundry it gets sprayed and sits until it gets washed. That prevents me from throwing something in the dirty pile with a mental note to treat before wash. In this mommy mushed brain I always forget!!!! I wouldn't go as far to say that Shout takes out all my stains, but it's definately very helpful to spray them & let it sit for a few days before they get washed.

megs @ whadusay said...

Great tips everyone - thanks for passing them along!

Jus Shar Designs said...

I use Dawn on greasy stains. Shout on the rest of them. The key is to put something on them as soon as possible.

I've heard really great things about those Tide stain wipes (or are they pens). I need to get some for my purse.