Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fighting Dirty, Facing Laundry Challenges

As a young girl growing up, my mother liked to do the laundry herself, so I wasn't afforded very much time to leanr the proper processes and perfect laundry!  It turns out that laundry is one of my favorite ( or the one I don't mind doing!) household tasks.  Through lots of trial and error, I have found a few solutions, but recently came across some fantastic tips from Robbies Kitchen.  Here are a few tips to handle challenges most moms will face at some point!

Bleeding of Colors: Your red shirt got mixed in with other clothes and ruined them? First off, DON'T DRY THEM! Wash again with regular detergent and color-safe bleach. If that didn't work, Rit®, the makers of clothes dye, makes a color remover that works wonders and doesn't cost much. To prevent bleeding in the first place, wash in cold water; I also use a cup of salt OR a scoop of Oxi Clean® with every load.
Blood on Clothes: Pour hydrogen peroxide on blood and rinse with cold water. If some blood remains, repeat. (Submitted by Michele Dutcher)

Burnt Stuff on Iron: Rub iron with aluminum foil to remove burnt on starch, etc.
Deodorant Stains on the Underarms of Washable Shirts: Sponge on white vinegar (or soak stain in it); wait 30 minutes. Launder shirts in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Using an enzyme detergent or a detergent with bleach alternative check care labels to be sure this is okay). I sometimes put liquid laundry detergent right on the area, leave it for five to ten minutes, then wash. To prevent: Let deodorant dry before dressing. And don't let stains sit! Apply prewash spray or liquid detergent ASAP, then launder. Every third or fourth washing, use the hottest water safe for the shirts.
Dryer Tip: Include a few tennis balls in each dryer cycle. The tennis balls not only cut drying time by 25% - 50%, but also fluff the clothes to a delicate softness, and towels with be especially fluffy. (Submitted by a site visitor)
Fabric Softener: I have been using an old dish towel as a fabric softener sheet. I pour a couple of capfuls of Downey on it and throw it in the dryer. It has taken over a year to go thru a bottle of (small) Downey fabric softener. I add more Downey about every 15 loads or just when I notice a little static. It helps to use a towel that is distinct from the other laundry. I use a pink towel, which is a one of a kind in our house. (Submitted by a site visitor)
Fading: Turn dark clothes inside out and wash in the coolest water possible; dry on lowest heat. For all-black clothes and linens, throw in a box of black Rit® dye every 8-10 washes or so to keep black clothes black.
Gasoline On Clothing: Gasoline is an oil based product, therefore, use another oil based product to pull out the odor (which is left because all the gas oil has not been removed yet). You can use any kind of oil that normally washes out of clothing, like baby oil. Put some of the oil into the washer along with the clothes, let it swish around for a while, then put in the detergent and all should come out okay. Be sure not to use a dryer to dry these clothes, as it could cause a fire.
Grease Stains: Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or baby powder over the grease stain, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then brush the powder off. The powder absorbs the grease and it brushes off with the powder.
Gum On Clothing: Use egg whites to remove gum on clothing. Brush egg white onto gum with a toothbrush. Let sit for 15 minutes and then launder on the items normally.
Ink Stains: The best way I have found to get out ink stains is to put rubbing alcohol on the stain - it disappears! This must be done before washing. (Submitted by Darvin Mossing)
Laundry Basket Freshener: Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket (remember to change it weekly.) You can also simply sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the odors as well.

There are numerous other household and laundry tips over at Robbies Kitchen.  I've certainly learned my fair share for the day...now off to do the laundry!


  1. Lots of great ideas there - I especially like the idea of using a towel for a make your own dryer sheet - those things bought at the store are so expensive! I'm not sure, though, that I will ever get to the point that I enjoy doing the laundry (but I don't really dislike it?! Ironing, on the other hand....?!?!?!)

    Thanks for stopping by the other day - I am enjoying my visit in Florida. I am in Orlando - I suppose that is right in the middle:) I can say it is HOT! Goodness.

    Have a great week -

  2. Hi there! Been reading your blog for about a week now. Great laundry hints. My daughter had a purple permanent marker bleed in the pocket of her scrub top on the way to work two weeks ago. Now that was a challenge! Took a combination of alcohol, resolve max laundry spray, stain stick, all fabric bleach and LOTS of elbow grease.... but I finally redeemed the top! PTL!

  3. Great laundry tips! Glad to know someone else uses the Rit color remover besides me! I love that stuff! You've given me encouragement to (slightly) enjoy doing laundry! LOL

    Be Blessed!

  4. I love laundry, too. Monday is my laundry day, and it actually helps me look forward to the day! I blogged about organizing my laundry room on my homeschool blog because I love my system so much. However, I learned a lot on your blog! I went and bought peroxide and have started using it with success. Thanks for sharing your secrets!


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