Can we take a minute to talk about something that we all like to ignore? LAUNDRY… I know there are some unicorns out there (like my own mother) who actually enjoy doing laundry but if you are like me and most of my own mom friends – laundry is not your favorite chore. For me personally, I don’t mind the actual washing part but trying to remove stains and get it all put away drives me crazy and let me tell you that between my two sons and my husband – I have to deal with a TON of stains. While I’m not an expert, in the last five years since my oldest was born, I have learned quite a bit about what does and doesn’t work. I figured I’d share a few of my favorite stain removers here for those of you who are tired of constantly ruined clothing or clothes perpetually stained with carrots (that orange stains like crazy!) or worse- a baby poop explosion!
My first line of defense against stains is to treat and soak everything as soon as possible because once the stain sets in…. it’s ten times more difficult to get out. I usually treat everything with a stain remover (I’ll get to suggestions in a minute) and then pour a little bit of detergent into a bucket of water and soak in my utility sink until I have a chance to actually wash the item. Don’t forget to use cold water because hot water (in my experience) can actually set the stain in worse.
Spray and Wash Stain Stick – This was my go-to for years before my kids were born. I used to interchange it with the Shout stick depending on what was on sale but I don’t think shout makes a stain stick anymore (or if they do I can’t find it). I love the stick versus a spray because it’s easy to swipe on and it stays where you put it which means less mess and more stain removal power where you need it. I had great success using it to remove food stains from my husband’s clothing and I even managed to remove a pen stain or two. You can find it on Amazon HERE.
Babyganics Stain Remover – When my first baby arrived I found that I wanted a less “chemical” stain remover considering how much of it I found myself using. I hate seeing giant stains on my kids’ clothes so stains are a constant battle. Now, full disclosure, Babyganics isn’t quite as “organic” or “natural” as the name would suggest (they were actually sued over this) but I do feel like it’s a little less harsh than Spray and Wash without losing any of the stain fighting power. Babyganics stain remover does come in a stain stick but I have had a difficult time finding it so I usually stick to the spray. The best results I have had with it were after spraying the stain, rubbing in the stain remover, and letting it soak overnight before washing. You can find it on Amazon HERE.
Blue Dawn – Yup, that’s right- you can use ordinary dish soap to fight laundry stains! I had no idea about this until another mom in my breastfeeding support group mentioned that she had successfully used it to remove milk stains from her nursing bras. Dawn is fantastic at removing grease stains because well – that’s what it’s formulated to do on your dishes. Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way and for some reason the blue version works best – but don’t ask me why! Find it on Amazon HERE.
Felsnaptha – This product is AMAZING and I can’t say enough good things about it. In fact, I wish I had known about it sooner but I actually just discovered it about a year ago. A mom in one of my support groups suggested it to another mom who was having a difficult time removing stains from her cloth diapers. At the whopping price of only 88 cents (that’s right under a dollar!) on Amazon, I jumped at the chance to try it because I felt like I literally had nothing to lose. I was absolutely amazed by its stain fighting ability. I actually called my mom to tell her about it since she actually loves laundry – haha. When she responded that she used to use it on my dad’s dress shirts for ring around the collar I was floored. I was so mad that she never mentioned this awesome product to me! She said she hadn’t used it or thought about it in years but I feel like I want this product to be a staple in my laundry arsenal for the rest of forever. I have found that if felsnaptha can’t remove it – there’s probably not a lot of hope. I presoak, then rub it on like a stain stick, and then throw the item in the wash. You can also cut off pieces to use in your washer to boost stain removal but I haven’t needed to try that yet. Fair warning though, without the wrapper on – it looks like a block of cheddar cheese and because I keep it in a ziplock bag (just like our cheese) my husband once got confused and brought it up from the basement and stuck it in the fridge –haha. DEFINITELY NOT CHEESE HONEY – SORRY!
Sun – When all else fails and the weather is good, my last ditch effort is to spray with stain remover and stick the item out on my deck in the sun. Don’t ask me why this works but in several cases, I have left the item out for a few hours only to check on it and discover that the stain has disappeared. Before tossing or ruling something hopeless it’s worth a try!
I hope that these tips help to remove some of the stress that stains put on your life. They can’t actually do your laundry for you but hopefully, they make the job easier. Hang in there mamas – you got this- and worse comes to worst? Mount Laundry can wait until tomorrow. Hugs!