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I’m not sure about the rest of you with young kiddos out there, but I still frequently put bibs on my two-year old when he eats. It’s not that he’s particular messier than other kids when he eats (of course unless he decides his food is a toy for the moment). In fact, our kiddo is probably neater than most because he’s a MONSTER eater and will not miss a bite. I mean, this child has been known to eat an entire bacon wrapped filet mignon for dinner. No lies. We may have to take out a second mortgage to feed him when he hits his teens….
Anyway, I still use bibs on Little Grasshopper because I don’t like dealing with stains. You could have an entire cabinet full of different stain removers for different stains. And if you are trying to move to a more eco friendly or natural lifestyle you’ll find all sorts of complicated charts for removing stains with natural ingredients. At one point I even taped one of those charts to my dryer because I couldn’t remember what to use for each stain. It made dealing with stains so, well, stressful.
But alas, stains are simply a part of life. You probably even heard the expression, “the best days end with the dirtiest clothes,” which, I guess is meant to make the laundry doer(s) of the house feel better about having to scrub away after all that fun? Sounds more to me like a punishment 😉
Fortunately, I’m here to my (and your) rescue! I have found a two ingredient stain remover that will remove most stains. AND you likely keep these two ingredients in your house: dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.
How did I come up with this, you ask? Well, I finally got tired of looking up what I needed to do to remove a particular stain, so I just started scrubbing stains from the back with a little dish soap before throwing them in the wash. Surprisingly, most stains came out completely in the first wash. For more stubborn stains, I would also add some hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild bleaching agent.
Up until this week I just used this method without really testing it for real. But I finally did a little experiment which gave me evidence that it actually works!
Please excuse the low quality images that you are about to see below. I wanted to keep the images as close to reality as possible, so I opted not to edit except for cropping. Sometimes genius just isn’t pretty! 😉
You ready to see the experiment? Here we go….
First, I took three old white cotton wash cloths and rubbed them all with 1 tsp of each stain. The stains I used (from top left) included black tea, ketchup, mustard, red wine, barbeque sauce, and olive oil. let the rags sit out overnight to really let those stains sink in.
In the morning, I rinsed out the excess stains and treated Rag 1 with dish soap (soaped it up good and scrubbed from the back) and hydrogen peroxide. Rags 2 and 3 I simply rinsed with water. For the visual learners among us, I built this table to show how I treated each rag:
Wash Cloth Stain Treatments
|Treatment||Rag 1||Rag 2||Rag 3|
|Laundry Detergent wash||+||+|
Scrub, scrub (Rag1 )!
Here’s what rag 1 looked like after it was pretreated compared to the other two rags (they had not been rinsed yet). You can see it working already!
I let the rags sit for about 15 minutes before throwing them in the wash. Rags 1 and 2 I washed with detergent, and rag 3 I washed without detergent (all on the “normal” cycle). I dried them all normally, and voilà!
Just look at the difference! The only stain that didn’t at least mostly come out with the treatment was mustard. I kind of expected that though…mustard is so stubborn!
Upon further inspection, it also seems as though I may want to change detergent… rag 2 (which was washed with detergent) actually looks dirtier than rag 3 in some spots (which was washed without detergent). Ha, you learn something new every day!
So there you go! I hope this makes everyone’s laundry days just a tad bit easier!
For more cleaning tips check out how to get your home ready and organized before vacation, spring cleaning for the spring cleaning procrastinator, and what to consider before you hire cleaners.