Monday, January 18, 2010

Proud Moment of Domesticity

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?

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

Thank you, thank you for the Borax tips. I've been looking for something to take the hard water stains off of things in my house. I'll give it a try.

My favorite thing is the bleach pen. It is indeed very smelly, but it powers anything out of whites, and the fine tip pen allows for detail work.

PJ said...

My laundry secret is vinegar in the rinse cycle! Works a bit like fabric softener & helps prevent fading without all the chemicals.

Thanks for the Borax tip - will try that, too! My cleaning arsenal is currently just baking soda & vinegar, but I'm willing to add a little to it :)

Heather said...

Dish detergent on grease stains. It was definitely an "Ah Ha!" moment when I realized it gets grease off more than dishes.

emgray said...

Good for you! Stain-fighting is not one of my strengths either as the white uniform polos my boys wear to school can testify...

teamoment said...

I'm so impressed! And inspired! Borax and I are going to have to be introduced to each other.

Heather said...

Ooh - thanks for more great laundry tips everyone! Heather, I tried the dish-soap-on-grease-stains thing the other day on my son's sweatshirt and it totally worked! THANK YOU! And I've been thinking about that bleach pen for years ... might be a good way to start overcoming my fear of bleach!