Wednesday, September 19, 2012

STAINS: How did this happen?? (laundry advice please))

So pretty much everything my kids own, from pj's to regular ole clothes (with the exception of maybe ONE church outfit) has stains on it.  Everything they pick out of their drawers is stained in some way or another.  It is so frustrating.

Even my husband has had to recently throw out three nice button down shirts due to stains that will not come out.  I don't ever remember this problem happening quite to this extent. It's not like I let my dirty laundry sit for weeks- I usually clean things in the next few days- not usually the day of, but not longer than three days.  I am really starting to wonder what I am doing wrong because I am sick of buying new clothes for everyone, only to get a stain on it a week later that won't budge. Even bleach doesn't get these stains out!

I'm thinking it's got to be one of these things- please help me out here. It's either:

a. I need to wash stains the day of- maybe the minute of, and pretreat it. But who wants to do that much laundry??

b. My washing machine stinks. It came with the house, so I don't know how old it is. It's not a front a front loader and I hold that against it.

c. The homemade laundry detergent we've been using is not up to par. It had great reviews, but I don't remember having this problem before we used it...

d The stains are from foods that don't come out of clothes out easily- like oils/fats, chocolate, blueberries and beets. We pretty much have a vegetable beet juice every morning with inevitable falls down the fronts of tiny shirts. And the animal fat intake around here has increased 10 fold since the name, Weston A. Price, came into our vocabulary.

What do you laundry machine, right? haha! I have visions of throwing my laundry machine off a cliff, but I'm not sure it would sure it would help.

Any advice is appreciated!


L Brons said...

For those type of stains, I start with an enzyme cleaner like Bac-Out or maybe Resolve's Spray and Wash on the oils. If that doesn't work or if you discover something later (dried) the small blue bottle of Shout Advanced Action Gel for Set-in Stains does wonders. My third line of attack is an overnight soak in the washer in an Oxy-Clean type product (I use as hot of water as the clothing can take and probably about 3 scoops for 1/2 a washer load--much less than what is on the label). If fading isn't an issue, the sun is always your friend, too. Good luck. Enjoying planning some Christmas shopping for my older girls (8&6) and Sister-in-law in your shop. Found you on a link from Catholic Icing.

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

You'll be mad when you read it, but most older top-loading machines clean better than front loaders (don't hate me!). The front loaders became popular because they are energy efficient and use less water. So don't throw your machine off a cliff! 1) if you have a bar of fels-naptha soap, wet it and rub it onto stains. It's awesome- except on berry stains. For berry stains, make a paste with Oxy-clean and water and smear it on the stain.

2) I boost my homemade detergent with oxyclean directly into the basin. Makes a huge difference.

Good luck!

Teresa with lots of kids said...

My friend and I both found that our clothes were dingier and not coming as clean and sometimes even were stil a little smelly with the homemade det. (and we both live in different states with different water and washers). We switched back to regular det. I know it is cheaper to use homemade but I like clean clothes. We both have front loaders so I don't think that is the problem. Also I started using Tide Boost this summer because my kids can be so hard on clothes during the summer and I don't always catch all the dirt and besides, I can't spray an entire set of clothes that has been muddied by making mud pies ;) The boost seems to do the job. If you don't want to switch from the homemade then I would say try the boost or the oxi clean and see what happens.

Sarah Harkins said...

Thank you for all your advice!

I'm with Theresa- it seems to be the homemade stuff. My clothes have never been this dingy looking. It didn't happen all at once, but now that we've been using it for over 6 months, nothing seems to be really clean or even smell clean.

But the stain advice is great! I will have to try some of those things.

Heidi said...

I go with the detergent...I haven't done homemade, but used Charlie's soap for a while until my husband rebelled against his dingy whites...our front loader is on its last legs, and I think I may go back to a top lloader after this! But it does still clean alright even with its machine problems since I switched to the tide pods...

Mandy Benton said...

Sarah, your top loading washer with an agitator is the best type of machine to get stains out! I've used all different kinds of washers. For grease, the easiest thing is: dishwashing liquid!!! It works! I squirt a generous amount on the grease stain before washing and try to wash it on warm. Clean clean clean! i use plain old resolve on other stains. I would totally switch detergents. said...

I have read that chalk is a great way to get the oil stains out, I have a stack of stuff waiting to try it on, figners crossed.

I also think home made detergent doesn't always work as well. I was adding oxi clean or clorox booster to mine for a while and just went back to regular detergent and I did notice a difference.

I am addicted to tide sticks thoughf or immediate treatment of stains, makes a HUGE difference in the level of success I have. I also have to remember to spray cleaner on those spots just before we wash. My stain treater I still make myself though, equal parts water, dove liquid soap and ammonia, works wonderfully.

Good luck