Once upon a time . . .
In a house not too far away . . .
There was a spaghetti dinner . . .
OK, enough of all that;
Loves marinara sauce.
Blame her Italian heritage, or the fact that it is on so much of what we eat in this house, this child is crazy about her red, garlicky sauces.
What she isn’t so crazy about?
So on this particular evening, we’re having spaghetti next door with my grandparents; the Chickadee has enjoyed a scribble-on-every-page-of her-coloring-book session with her chunky crayons (the washable formula, which I swear were invented by parents who grew tired of scrubbing crayon off walls with a sandblaster because of the original formula’s stubborn nature), and is now eating her spaghetti with absolute gusto.
You Moms and Dads know where I’m headed with this.
You can feel the terror creeping up on you.
She abandons using her fork and starts eating with her fingers, something I honestly have no problem with because she gets far more food in her mouth this way.
Just as I am reaching for her with a clean napkin with which to wipe her hands, she notices me; and she does it.
She splays her fingers wide and she wipes both her hands down the front of her cute little striped dress.
Her favorite, I might add.
I try not to get overly annoyed, and I’m frankly not too worried, but then as I pull her out of her seat, I see that she has scribbled all over the beige seat pad with crayon.
Against my Gigi’s wishes because she doesn’t want to “make work for me” (which is silly, but we should send that memo to the Chickadee, really) I take the seat pad home to try and get the stains out.
OK, so, confession time;
My laundry game is something else.
I have gotten years old formula and baby ca-ca stains out of hand me down onesies, dark hair-dye spots out of a white shirt (with lace detailing), and blood out of a beige pillow case (somebody in my house has seasonal nosebleeds) making these items look good as new.
Never has ANYTHING given me the kind of trouble that the spaghetti sauce stain on that little striped dress did.
But I prevailed.
Here is how.
The first thing you need is to understand the stain you’re working with and what kind of pre-treatment will be appropriate; I have 2 in my arsenal.
Zout is a triple enzymatic stain treatment spray that makes the claim that it will get blood, spaghetti sauce, ground in dirt and any number of assailants to clean clothing out of fabric, regardless of how long the stain has been there; it is as advertised. Everything I mentioned above; the formula, the poo, the hair-dye- Zout managed to pull all of those stains- in some cases, while I was watching. It’s an incredible find. The Oxi Laundry Stain Remover Spray is similar but tests the color fastness of fabric a little quicker than I’m comfortable with, which is why I follow the stain treatment times closely (both say 10 minutes, max) but due to Oxi Clean’s high lift tendencies, I usually use it on upholstery fabric or white clothes that need that tough love.
There they are, guys.
There you have it.
But let’s get a closer look at that dress;
So I spray them both down liberally; the dress with the Zout, the (thankfully, removable) chair pad cover with Oxi.
Feeling smug and hopeful, I set the timer for 10 minutes and I go about my business.
When the time is done, I go back to the laundry room to inspect the dress; as I pick it up, inspect the stain, something doesn’t look like it usually does with Zout treated stains.
The stain hasn’t lifted.
It looks the same as before, just wet.
So I run it through a normal wash, along with the seat cover.
The seat cover comes out PERFECT on the first wash; the dress?
Has bright yellow splotches where the stains were.
I hang the seat cover to dry, but the dress still needs love.
If this ever happens to you, do NOT, whatever you do, run that garment through the dryer; that stain will set and guarantee be there for life or longer.
I decided it was time to double up on this and see what a second treatment, with Oxi this time, and a 30 minute soak in Oxi Clean powder dissolved in water would do.
I put a half a scoop of powder in, set the washer to a medium load and threw in the dress and a few other things that needed a soak (I usually employ the gloriousness of Oxi Clean powder when clothes have gone inexplicably dingy, it usually restores them to their former beauty with no trouble) and when it was full of water for the cycle, paused the wash and set the timer for 30 minutes.
When the 30 minutes is up I just un-paused the wash cycle, let it go all the way through to the end and then pulled the dress out.
Both items returned to their former, non-stained glory!!!!
Of course this is not the only kind of laundry battles we fight; tune in to next week’s Tuesday Cleaning Tips for Laundry; Episode 2 . . . The Baby PJ Menace . . .
We will talk about the chronically grungy nature of even freshly laundered baby and toddler pajamas, why they tend to be that way and what you can do about it to make it stop; also, learn about what I call the laundry wonder drug.
Until next time!
The Chick and her Chickadee