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Dawn - edging ever closer to 30, although I still feel like I'm 21. :) I'm married to a youth pastor ('Big G'), and have THREE wonderful kids: a five year-old son ('Little G'), a just turned two year-old daughter ('A'), and our newest little girl blessing, Baby R, was born May 28/07!! They keep me hopping as I juggle them, my WAH part-time job as an accountant, being a pastor's wife, and of course hobbies like quilting, scrapbooking, and blogging!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
WFMW - Kids' clothing stains

I guess this is sort of 'DOESN'T Work for me Wednesday' this week over at Rocks in My Dryer. Instead of offering advice or tips on something that does work for us, this week all participants will be asking for advice from the collective blogging community on something that doesn't work for them.

I am asking you all for your advice on dealing with laundry stains. We are blessed with an active five year-old who comes home from kindergarten most days with a combination of grass stains, paint, and markers on his clothes; a two year-old who ends up wearing the majority of what she eats; and a four month-old who, like most nursing babies, has the occasional blowout diaper. Add it all up and you get a lot of clothing stains!

What seems to end up happening here is all the clothes get thrown in the laundry basket, and by the time I get around to doing laundry (probably once a week), I have totally forgotten which clothes have stains. So I have to spend a lot of time in the laundry room inspecting each piece of clothing carefully for any stains. And since my laundry room is downstairs, the children could be getting into who-knows-what while I'm down there examining their pants with a magnifying glass. Of course I miss some the first time around, so I repeat the examination as they come out of the washer. And somehow I'm still surprised by a couple of set-in stains when the load comes out of the dryer.
I don't want to pre-treat the stains with spray n' wash as soon as the kids take them off, because it very well could be several days before I wash them, and I think stain remover eats or stains your clothes if you leave it on that long. So what do I do? Wash a load every night with the clothes they've worn (and dirtied) that day? What is the best way to get stains out consistently (and with the least intervention on my part) - OxiClean? soaking?
I'm looking forward to hearing what Works for YOU!


posted at 8:42 PM  

At October 02, 2007 9:09 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Dawn, we do exactly what you don't want to do. We use Spray 'n Wash on our son's clothes right after he takes them off and then we throw them in his hamper until we're ready to do laundry (this usually happens once a week).

So far, we've had no problems with stain removers eating or staining the clothes with leaving it on for several days. Quite the opposite. 99% of the time, the stains come out!

Good luck!

At October 02, 2007 9:16 PM, Blogger Julie said...

I pre-treat as they come off (bottles of spray in my closet and in kids bathroom). Use Oxy in every wash (along with detergent). Somewhere (and now I can't find it) someone posted a great laundry stain remover. I know it had powdered Cascade (as in dishwashing) and I think the other ingredient was vinegar. I had a whole load of clothes that had been washed and dried with a Chapstick and had little grease stains everywhere. Washed the whole load with this and they were good as new. I will try to find it tomorrow and come back and post it.

At October 02, 2007 9:19 PM, Blogger Scrawny Mommy said...

I swear by "Biz." I soak most of my clothes in them; it's relatively gentle and it gets just about everything out! It's wonderful. Do be careful, though ... I don't tend to soak khaki/light beige items for long because I have noticed some slight discoloration issues.

At October 02, 2007 11:04 PM, Blogger Jane said...

Murphys Oil Soap is a gentle stain remover that works miracles. When I say miracles I am talking tar and even testers model paint! It is in the wood floor cleaning section. Another stain remover that wont harm clothes is Goop. It is available in the automotive section of the grocery store. It is awesome at getting paint out of clothes. Just work the gel through the fabric.

At October 03, 2007 12:28 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I had the same question!! I'm taking notes. :)

At October 03, 2007 5:20 AM, Blogger At A Hen's Pace said...

Several stain removers come in a gel or stick form that is made to sit for a week. The sooner you begin to treat a stain, the better chance you have of getting it out!

For stains I don't catch right away--I like soaking overnight in hot Oxyclean for most things. But for some reason, it doesn't work on grass stain as well as Biz, which is also what I like for cold-water soaking like blood and chocolate. Also, ammonia works wonders if used immediately on grass stain, blood and chocolate.

At October 03, 2007 5:23 AM, Anonymous Jes said...

Dawn Dish soap. so far it has worked on everything I've tried to get out, even dried stains!

At October 03, 2007 7:36 AM, Blogger Veggiemomof2 said...

My MIL works wonders w/BIZ soaking.

At October 03, 2007 9:44 AM, Blogger Homeschool Housewife said...

Well, for the everyday stains I try and spray it as soon as it comes off. So far I have not had a problem with the Shout staining and I am horrible about never getting to the bottom of the laundry. It is my least favorite job.

I did have one tip. Monday we discovered a red crayon had melted in the dryer and was all over everything. One tip said to spray WD-40 and scrub each spot. Who has this kind of time? Another said put 3 times the normal soap in the washer and wash as hot as you can. THIS WORKED! It took almost all of the stain, for the little residual color we added some bleach and rewashed one last time. The clothes look great.

The WD-40 did work on getting the crayon off the dryer though.

At October 03, 2007 10:18 AM, Anonymous Jenn said...

In Nova Scotia we have something called Hogwash. It's an all natural stain removing bar and it works really well. I love it! I don't know if you have it in AB but if you want to try it, I'll send ya some :) Come see me at my blog if you're interested.

At October 03, 2007 10:57 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Man, I wished you had asked this question 4 months ago when I had a load full of crayon ruined clothes! I did the WD-40 route on and I did save everything, but it took 3 days to do it. I have a separate basket for clothes that are stained and taken off upstairs. If the clothes are taken off downstairs, I'll spray with Zout (swear by the stuff) and throw it in the washer. Usually I know the next load will be a coloured load, so I don't worry about accidentally bleaching something.

At October 03, 2007 8:35 PM, Anonymous phyllis said...

i definitely try to sort out the "stained" stuff from the ordinary just-dirty laundry...sometimes i miss and i figure it's okay if there are a few grass stains remaining. i love oxi-clean for soaking. good luck!

At October 03, 2007 9:57 PM, Blogger Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

On really bad stains (chocolate, blood, etc. on white or light clothing) I will pre-treat with Shout stain remover gel. However for most day to day stains I just use oxyclean in the wash cycle. Also, I dry my clothes on a line outside, and that usually takes care of any lingering discolorations.


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