Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I Couldn't Live Without Part 1: Laundry 'Biz'ness

I know, I know- 3 posts in 3 days. I've gone post crazy- don't worry, the trend won't continue.

As I get things ready for Carolina, I keep thinking about the things that were invaluable with Clay. I had a good friend give me a list of things that were helpful to her and I used that to create my registry and get some other ideas.

I'll never forget when I was pregnant with Clay and I asked someone whose baby was just a couple of months older than Clay, "What has been the one thing you couldn't live without for your little one?" Her response- "Formula." Not exactly the kind of answer I was looking for!

So I thought I would post some of the things I have really loved and maybe they'll be helpful to someone else. My post today is about something super exciting- laundry. Okay, you can all stop cheering now.

As a nanny and aunt I worked very hard on my stain fighting skills and thought I was ready for my own little mess maker. Wrong. He brought with him stains I'd never seen before! Food stains and diaper mess stains didn't seem too bad in the beginning and I thought I really had it all under control. Then came the kicker.

We had packed all of Clay's outgrown clothes in diaper boxes and put them in the garage until I had enough to move into storage containers. When I packed them away, I had them washed, ironed and ready for our next little boy's use. I was so excited to have them all perfect and cleaned up and ready to go- until I opened the boxes back up. Most of the clothes had ugly yellow stains all over them. I was SO upset. All of the clothes I had worked so hard on (and spent money on!) were ruined.

The first thing I did was call a few people and see if anyone had had this problem before. No dice. So I got on the internet and googled it- still not a lot of help. What I could gather was that if you don't wash clothes with a detergent that contains some kind of oxy fighting power then all of the drool, spit up and other stains that were completely invisible when you packed them away will show up if they are stored in certain temperatures.

I also had the same problem with some clothes that a friend lent us. Clay never even wore the clothes (wrong size for the season) but when I was packing them back up they had the same yellow spots (and these were stored inside the whole time).

The process for treating these yellowed clothes is NOT a fun process. I spent days working on the same outfits and most of them finally came clean. Here's how it works: You have to buy Biz (not a detergent but a powdered stain remover) and make it into a paste. Then you rub this paste into the clothes until it hardens (this happens in less than 5 minutes). You wash the clothes in your regular detergent and repeat this process until the stain comes out. Yay.
Some of the outfits I've washed have been treated and washed more than 5 times. I like to think I'm more stubborn than the stains (and I would probably cry if I had to think about throwing all of the clothes away!). Sometimes I use a scoop of Oxi Clean or I pre soak them in it before I put them in with the regular detergent. After cleaning 2 large storage containers of yellowed clothes, I am on break for a while. I still have a whole pile to go but I figure the stains won't be going anywhere without me.

I only wish someone had told me BEFORE I packed all of those clothes away that all I had to do was add a scoop of Oxi Clean to the laundry and I would avoid days of applying paste to clothes. Hopefully, you'll never have this problem but if you do- it's Biz and Oxi Clean (both of which are fairly cheap and found at the grocery store) to the rescue!

Not all of my laundry stains stem from yellowed clothes but I do love Biz for all kinds of stains. If you take a peek in my laundry area at any given time, I have Clay's laundry divided into three piles: needs to be ironed, needs to be bleached or needs stain remover. For whites which need a little touch up, I always use a Clorox Bleach Pen. For regular stains that just need pretreating, my favorite is Shout .

So there is my boring post of laundry. I've honed my skills and I'd like to think I will have this stain fighting thing under control at some point (like when my last kid goes to college...) but hopefully, some of my tips will help you and your little mess makers.

Happy Stain Fighting!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You are a professional at this!! I am horrible with stains and need to work harder at it. Thanks for all the tips!