5 Tips you need to know for Removing Those nasty stains for the Buget-Conscious Mama
Chocolate. Banana. Watermelon. Avocado. Finger paint. Dirt. Christmas lunch And yes, vomit. You name it and we have seen it on our children’s precious clothes. Our favourite shirts and jumpers seem to be a magnet for the most hideous blemishes. We swear we have tried everything to try to remove the stains because sometimes we just don’t want to buy more clothes that are going to end up as landfill.
And during the holiday season those pretty dresses and shirts that we save for very especial occasions are bound to be stained with custard, turkey filling and cranberry sauce, so we asked Mum Source consultants and friends for their top tips for getting rid of those nasty stains. These are their answers.
1.Let the sun do the dirty work for you
Wash your stained clothes, or cloth nappies, and lay them in the sun, stained side up, and let them dry. It sounds like science fiction, we know, but it works. Coloured clothes have colour because they absorb light. When you put them in the sun the light makes the electrons move. This activity, according to the Naked Scientist, makes them react with the oxygen in the air and helps remove the stains. Just remember that white clothes may get a yellowish colouration if they get an extra-long sunbath, so be cautious. You can also try laying them in the sun first and then washing. This is by far the cheapest option, but it doesn’t work on all stains.
2.Let this pantry staple work its magic
The humble white vinegar is a cleaning powerhouse. It whitens, brightens, eliminates nasty odours and, best of all, is good for the planet—and your pocket. Why does it get rid of those ugly stains? Because it contains acetic acid. The acid is very mild and it won’t damage your clothes but it’s strong enough to remove residues left by food, soap and dirt. Add ½ cup vinegar to the final rinse or put it in the fabric softener dispenser; if you wash by hand then spray vinegar on the stain and wait at least 10 minutes before washing.
And try this before throwing away those cute white socks or 100% cotton onesies: put water in a large pot, add 1 cup of vinegar and boil. Turn the stove off, place all the items in the water and let them soak overnight. Put them in the washer first thing in the morning and watch those stubborn stains disappear.
3.Find a use for the box of baking soda you rarely use
Almost everyone we know has a box of baking soda in their pantry—and they rarely use it. Make a paste by mixing it with water (about 4 tbsp and ¼ of water). Cover the stained area with it, rub it and let it dry for at least one hour; then put it in the washer. Why does it work? This is a physical reaction in which the baking soda acts like a sponge, absorbing the stain culprit. Some people mix baking soda with vinegar and rave about the results. Chemistry explains this easily, the acid from the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, which is a base, producing froth that helps remove the stain easily. Please be weary and try this on a small surface before applying it to all your clothes as some might discolour.
4.Buy good old-fashioned laundry soap.
Go old-school and buy a bar of laundry soap. Use it to wash the stained area, make sure you rub it well, and let it sit for about ten minutes. Rinse, let it dry in the sun, and then wash as usual.
5.Try the last resort: a stain removal product
There are many options on the market, including Sard, Vanish, White King, and eco-friendly products such as Earth Choice. Finding the one that works for you and your family is a matter of preference (and budget). Choice has reviewed most of these products and has given White King a score of 74%, the highest overall score, although it rates low for baby food with 43%. Eco Store Ultra-Sensitive Laundry Powder got an overall score of 71% and a 93% for baby food. Do your research before committing.
By The Mum Source – www.themumsource.com.au