Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Stain Magic

A while back I bookmarked a link on Pinterest about removing stains from the armpits of shirts. My husband's undershirts often get a bit yellow there & I thought I might try it out one day. Then I noticed one of my favorite shirts was getting embarrassingly dark on the armpits! So I pulled up the link, mixed up the recipe, and gave tried it out on one side.

It's not as obvious in the pic as it was in real life, but you can see the dark area on the left side. I used the concoction on the right side and it removed it completely!

Armpit stain (before & after)

I've seen a few different ratios floating around, but I like to use:

1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. hydrogen peroxide
1 tsp. blue Dawn detergent

I mix up a triple batch (3 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp.) and store it in a 1/2 cup tupperware. Be warned ~ the mixture does need a while to breathe, so do not put the top on for several hours or it will pop the top & you will have a soapy mess dripping down the side. Before using, stir it up well with an old toothbrush and scrub it on the stain. I like to let it sit an hour before washing but don't know if that really makes a difference or not.

DIY Stain Magic

After that success I decided to Google a cure for my big laundry foe ~ grease spots. My old strategy was to treat the area with stain remover and re-wash, hoping it would come out the 2nd time, but I had a few shirts that just would not get clean & were close to getting tossed. My husband had a particularly bad one ~

Shirt stain, before

I found several suggestions & ran some experiments. First I tried baking soda, and while it does mask the stain temporarily (you could probably hide a spot on clothing you want to wear right away), once it went through the wash the stain returned. Then I tried rubbing the stains with chalk ~ no luck. Finally I read to use a combination of baking soda and blue Dawn. I gave the armpit mix a try and behold!!

Shirt stain, after

I could not believe my eyes!

Since then I have tried this on all kinds of stains and dubbed it my "Stain Magic". I don't bother pre-treating anything, I just use it on anything that didn't come out in the wash. It has worked miracles around here & saved many pieces of clothing!

And if that fails...

The Stain Magic almost always works the first time, but occasionally I have to treat & wash something again. I did have some old baby clothes with some particularly stubborn yellowing that it did not fully remove, so I turned to my other powerful stain fighter ~ the sun!

Believe it or not, the sun is pretty awesome at removing stains and odors. We use cloth diapers and I learned to take any stained diapers, wet them down, and sun them to get them bright white again. I finally tried this with the stained baby clothes and it bleached the remaining yellow out in a day or two of sunning. Just make sure to wet them first, because it does not work nearly as well dry.

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