Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dirty Laundry

Laundry is my favorite chore. I actually really like doing laundry. It is a passive activity so you can be doing other things while it is getting done. It is directly beneficial and necessary for everyday life. Unlike some chores which either don’t actually matter or kills you so slowly you don’t actually notice, like dusting for example, you need fresh clothes for social acceptance.

But I also love laundry because it is sort of a chemistry problem. I remember when I was in high school being really stoked when I realized I could use hydrogen peroxide to clean up an embarrassing menstrual blood situation. In college I hung out a lot with a friend who was a pro with the stain stick.

And now, I am getting lots of practice thanks to my VERY messy toddler.
Andrew comes home from daycare a complete and utter disaster. Which I think means he is doing toddlerhood right but WHOA, that kid is a mess. I am getting good at remembering to pre-treat and so far mostly use a spray and wash stain stick. That will usually get any “washable” paint that my teeny artist brings home on his clothes.

Food stains are a bit tougher and I have started doing oxiclean in a screw top Tupperware container and soaking for a few days. I think this weakens the clothing a bit because shirts I do this to wind up getting small laundry holes pretty soon after.

I do AWESOME on clothes that have large patches of white thanks to Clorox foaming spray bleach. I saved two of my favorite of his tops this way and still can’t believe it when I take them out of the closet.
My challenge is when they are mostly colored.

This shirt for example I did the spray and wash, I did the oxiclean soak, I even tried diluted bleach (see slight discoloration on one stripe). The trick I always forget about though is what came through. THE SUN! I sunned this shirt for a day or two in the window and now it looks great. I learned the sunning trick from cloth diapers. You’d be amazed the kind of stains a day in the sun can get out.

So yeah, I like laundry. I want to get better at it. For most routine laundry happening I am pretty much all about efficiency and don’t even look through for adult generated stains. I am also awful about preserving fabric integrity- so many pilly sweaters. I would like to figure out a good trick to prevent/clean deodorant stains. I am considering scouring the internet for laundry people. I haven’t ever seen such a thing but I would bet my bleach it exists. I’d love a group that gives tricks and formulations for cleaning solvents.
My true trick for maintaining sanity amidst the toddler stains is shopping consignment. The shirt pictured above was $0.75 at the big fall consignment sale so I wasn’t too concerned if it was a lost cause. Although, my dear boy tries to foil this plan by doing his messy best in his full price fanciest clothes.

(see that really cute sweater that I bought from actual Gymboree? It required a serious Tide pen session and hand wash not 15 minutes after we took that picture. Nice try buddy!)

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1 comment:

Kathy said...

You are hilarious. Laundry as chemistry experiment. Of course. ;)

I suspect there are Pinterest boards aplenty related to laundry cleaning tips and tricks. If I see anything particularly tempting, I'll send it your way. :)