Tip Tuesday — Dirty Laundry

When I was pregnant, people repeatedly warned me about the increased amount of laundry I would have to deal with once the little bubba came tumbling down and out into the world.

I sort of believed them. I nodded my head and smiled. I thought, “How much extra laundry can she really generate? Her clothes are so SMALL!” And I was right. She did only create about one extra load of laundry per week, a load which I washed in special dye and fragrance-free baby detergent.

And I was wrong, because what they didn’t tell me was how many more pairs of dirty clothes I would go through myself. I am constantly covered with inexplicable goo. I can’t “explic”, for example, the dots of crusty something that are dribbled down the right leg of my jeans as I type this and I don’t much care to solve that mystery.

The mystery we are here to solve today is how to deal with this barrage of filth in a timely and semi-organized fashion and actually get it clean enough to eat off of, because that’s probably what we’ll end up doing with it anyway. (Don’t tell me you haven’t picked up a cheerio or two from your -eh-hem- “nursing shelf” and popped it into your mouth to dispose of it.)

As a mother of two small children, I could tell you what works best to keep me out of the laundry-induced cookoo bin. I actually just did type out our entire laundry routine but it was so boring and obnoxious that I deleted it. I guess you’ll have to buy the book.

Instead I’ll give my number one laundry tip. The tip is called “the special solution.” (Seeing it written out like that, it actually looks sort of sinister.) I’m not sure where my mom got this but it has been a lifesaver many many times indeed. The solution is made by mixing 1 cup of bleach with 1 cup of powder dishwasher detergent, added to a washer full of hot water. Let the water and the other ingredients agitate for a few seconds. Then add the clothes. For really bad stains, you can soak it overnight and then let the load run through.

I use this for cleaning all my whites and they come out beautifully white every time. The real joy of the “special solution” (besides it’s creepy name) is that something in the dishwasher powder makes the bleach semi-color safe. It doesn’t work on everything. It will usually fade bright colors some and sometimes makes the colors totally wonky. However, if you’re desperate, throw a stained colored item in this solution and you’ll frequently have great results. I’ve gotten impossible stains out of khaki pants and pale-colored baby clothes with this. It is a GEM.

One more tip — GOJO. It’s one brand name of the stuff mechanics use to clean the grease off their hands. I can’t find that particular brand here in Washington but I found something similar at the car parts store. It is whitish and comes in a sour-cream sized container. (Don’t get any of the orange or other fruity varieties. You just want the original white stuff.) This works wonders for getting grease stains out of clothes, even if they’ve been through the dryer. Have you ever found an empty chapstick in your basket of clean clothes, only to discover that every article is covered in tiny splatters of set-in grease? If you scrub at it with GOJO, your clothing may just have a fighting chance. Oh, and it’s super-cheap.

That’s what I got. Share yours please.

With my first child the question was “How many times a day can I change her out of dirty clothes into clean ones?” With number two I wonder, “How many times can he spit up on an outfit or get spilled on before I consider it ”˜dirty’?”

This entry was posted in tip tuesday. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Dirty Laundry

  1. House Warden says:

    One other thing I remembered while reading through is hair spray, that’s right hair spray, something most people have in their house. Works great on ink stains. Spray in on, let it sit and there you go.

  2. J says:

    I love how when you have babies, you become a human tissue. My baby currently has a cold. I can’t even tell you how gross the shoulders in all my clothing are right now. I might just try your special concoction

  3. Michelle says:

    I love all this, and I’m not even a mom. I think I may have a problem.

    Might try some of those tips for grease stains. I work for the school dining hall…need I say more?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I highly recommend Murphy’s Oil Soap. It can either come in a liquid or in a bar. It works wonders!

  5. falwyn says:

    My biggest laundry tip:
    I live in an apartment, second floor, and farther than ever previously from the laundry room in our complex. The very thought of dragging my 3 year old, my 16 month old in a stroller, and one. load. at. a. time. all the way over there is enough to make me break out into hives. So my fabulous new routine is: I now walk in the morning (at 5:45 am) with a friend in the complex, and I do one load each morning while we walk. This is quite amazing, as it is shockingly (shockingly!) easy to fold and put away one load, as opposed to five or six at a time. What a concept, hm? (I have also instructed my husband that I am not allowed to complain about laundry for at least a year after we finally have a washer and dryer of our own, in the house even.)

  6. Alex says:

    Thanx for the great laundry tip! I never could get the stain out of my daughter’s Biscotti dress I bought for her picture day at School! This worked! many thanks to you!

  7. Beverly Heckford says:

    Borax and…
    I have NOT understood why some people continue to have a “laundry day“unless they are using a “wringer” washer. Laundry day was needed because in the past a machine AND tubs of water were used to wash all loads but white in the SAME water, and all rinsed in the same water, which sometimes had to be carried inside from a hand pumped well.
    I keep up with a large family with an automatic washer by having the clothes sorted in 3 laundry baskets for white, light and dark clothes. (Red that is notorious for “bleeding” I keep separately for a small load) I start a load WHENEVER a basket is full.
    Once was enough of trying the spray and wash products. It was costly and VERY time consuming. Fresh Start got the machinery grease out of my husband’s clothes which I haven’t been able to find lately, so I use Tide with Bleach in VERY hot water and depending on how much laundry is waiting, let the clothes soak as long as possible even overnight.

  8. libby larson says:

    Gojo hand cleaner pretreat not only works with stains, but also bad odors. (G-strings and stuff).

Comments are closed.