I've never been particularly good at cleaning. Admittedly, I've never been very good at any of the things I spend most of the day doing - cleaning, cooking, buying groceries, keeping children out of trouble... but cleaning is definitely my nemesis. Especially stains. I've been known to sew a patch onto an article of clothing to hide a stain rather than try to get it out. Also, I've always shied away from bleach because I don't understand it and it stinks, so my whites just get dingier and dingier until I throw them away or turn them into smocks.
Recently, however, two of our more beloved white items got stained and I couldn't bear to give up on them. Moses' "fancy shirt" had an unfortunate incident involving post-church donuts. And my new tunic had an even more unfortunate incident involving baby vomit at a Chinese restaurant. I gave them a normal washing and they both came out stained. Determined to do something about it but sure that the lazy side of me didn't want to, I put the shirts on the couch where they would annoy me until I figured it out. Unfortunately, I tend to be pretty passive-aggressive, so I ignored my not-so-subtle attempt to get myself to tackle the stains, and the shirts sat there for about a month. Today I gave in and busted out the Borax, which is the only cleaner I have on hand other than regular old laundry detergent. I made a paste out of it and scrubbed those stains for a bit, and what do you know - they came out. I am very proud of myself! This ushers in a whole new phase of life where my husband and sons won't have to walk around wearing clothing with random patches or strategically placed stickers covering ignored stains.
I highly recommend this Borax stuff. We've been using it as a water softener in the dish washer and washing machine and it definitely makes a difference - no more hard water deposits on everything. It is cheap and you can buy it a Target or the grocery store.
And while we're talking laundry, I also recommend these, also available at Target. They bounce around in your dryer and soften things up while keeping the clothes from getting wadded up into a big soggy ball. There are similar laundry balls available on etsy and I plan on getting a set of those soon. How about you - any laundry secrets to share?