Wednesday, October 3

Works for Me: Stain Tactics?

Aha!! I've finally figured out how all of those people manage to get on the list before me at Shannon's WFMW--You all post on Tuesday night. Cheaters! :P

At any rate, this week is Backwards WFMW over at Rocks in My Dryer. Instead of my sharing some brilliant tip with all the world (or the three of you who still read my blog), I am to pose a question to the rest of the WFMW crew to share their brilliance.

So, here's mine: How do I get stains out of my daughter's clothes?

Particularly troublesome are tomato sauce and mud. Is there a product that really works for you? What about set in stains from, say, when we went to the park after it rained and she landed on the seat of her pants, smack-dab in the mud puddle at the bottom of the twisty slide, then I didn't get to the laundry for another three days? Not saying this is necessarily what happened ... okay, it's exactly what happened. Her light pink pants now have huge brown stains where you really don't want to see brown stains.

Ooh, and what if I accidentally didn't notice, say, a red marker she'd put into her pocket, so I've already washed and dried a whole load of t-shirts that now look like they were tie-dyed by someone with no sense of balance in their design. Am I just out of luck? Or can my clothes be saved??

Tune in next week ....

Whoops! Sorry, I was suddenly hearing the warbly organ music from those old radio dramas.

If you have any hints, especially ones that don't require I treat the stain right away, please leave me a comment. I would be eternally grateful--or at least until she grows into another size and requires new clothes anyway.


  1. I've had good luck with rubbing an Oxiclean + water paste into the stain and also adding some to my wash load.

    Since it's somewhat expensive, I've switched to adding baking soda. Not sure how well that removes stains, though.

    P.S., You've got a great writing voice! Really entertaining style. I'll be sure to come back :)

  2. I am a firm believer in OxiClean. You put a few scoops in a small load, with hot water - soak it overnight, then run the wash the next morning (not with hot water). This works for practically any kind of stain.

  3. Dawn dish soap has taken out any stain I've come across, even ones that have been dried in the dryer! None of those store bought stain removers have ever worked for me.

  4. I use Oxy-clean too, but have also found that if you take Cascade (for your dishwasher) and make a paste if it's powder and dilute it down a little with water if it's liquid and put it directly on a stain, rub and rinse well. Launder as usual. One note though, Cascade contains some kind of bleach so you have to be quick so it doesn't bleach the clothes. However I would rather have a bleached spot than a chocolate ice cream stain or tomato sauce stain. Not that I have experience in any such stains!

  5. I love OxiClean also and have found that if you soak clothing in it for a few days, even set-in stains will come out perfectly.

  6. Hi Amy,

    There are two things that I swear by. TIDE and throwing the clothes in the washing machine right away - with hot water. I have a 3 year old GIRL and a 3yr 10 month old BOY and they are both really messy. After preschool he's covered with dirt and she's covered with paint! Right after dinner I throw their clothes in the washing machine with other soiled there EVER a time when you don't have laundry to wash?? Or, even if that miracle should occur I still just wash their stuff. Tomato sauce, chocolate, "washable markers", milk spit up(when they were babies), etc. I never have to pretreat or soak, which is FAB!
    The few times the clothes have sat overnight or longer without being washed...well, the stains are stuck! Of course, getting the clothes in right away is the trick...which I know is HARD to do.

  7. Your going to think I'm nuts, but for tomato sauce, I boil (yes boil) in Oxy Clean. It has worked in the past...

  8. Amy,

    Thanks for leaving some mop suggestions on my post yesterday.

    I've had the best luck by just setting stained clothes out in the sunshine:

  9. Hi Amy--

    I'll just chime in on OxiClean in hot water, overnight, for most things and also mention that Aldi's version of it works just fine.

    That said, Biz actually works better for old protein stains like blood, chocolate and grass stain.

    For really bad set in stains like your daughter's pants may be, I've heard of Cascade mixed half and half with something like Tide or Biz (or vinegar?), soaked overnight.

    For greasy stains, Lestoil wins hands down, but it's hard to find! I buy mine at the Walmart in Ohio, but last time I checked, our IL Walmarts don't carry it!


  10. Too funny that we had basically the same question! We have a couple pairs of pants here with the badly-placed brown stains as well. :) It looks like we've both got some good suggestions!

  11. karen@FamilyBriefs9:11 PM, October 05, 2007

    I use Greased Lightening cleaning agent. I spray it on and wash. If the stain doesn't come out, I spray it again and let it set - repeating as necessary. As the stain disappears, I throw it back in the wash!

    I also will put a scoop of OxiClean in a large tupperware-type dish and add water. I soak tough stains in that for a while and try washing again. Usually, these two methods get out just about any stains!


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