The “Dawn” of Laundry Success

In honor of Laundry Day–and in light of the many loads of laundry I processed over the past week and a half of potty training–I would like to share my latest and greatest laundry discovery!

I’ve mentioned here before that stain removal has been one of my unsolved laundry problems.  Aside from finding that Fels-Naptha works great on baby poop stains (and on the stains that form around the collars and cuffs of my husband’s dress shirts, I’ve recently found), the past several years of dealing with child-induced clothing stains has left me frustrated and perplexed.  The frugal perfectionist that I am, I am scarcely able to accept a stain as irremovable on even the oldest of child play clothes.  I suppose I could say that I’ve made it my unofficial mission to keep my family’s clothing in as “like new” condition as possible.

A while back when I discovered melted chocolate all down the front of Isabel’s brand new white shirt, I was determined to salvage it.  I went to the trusty Internet and did a search for “how to remove a chocolate stain from cotton.”  I found this eHow.com article, and decided to give it a try–with Dawn dishsoap.  Here are the steps I followed in order to save a white shirt from what could have been certain death by M&Ms.

  1. Run cold water from the back of the item to loosen the stain.
  2. Saturate the stain with Dawn dish soap and rub lightly.  Allow the soap to set for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Gently rub the ends of the stained fabric together to help agitate the soap.
  4. Soak the stained fabric in cold water for about 15 minutes, lightly rubbing the stained area every few minutes to help loosen it.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the stain disappears, and then launder as usual.

Since the M&M incident, I have also used this same stain removal process to conquer both a tomato-based stain (on another cotton shirt) and a black stain which I believe was grease (on a pair of poly/wool dress pants).

Fels-Naptha bar soap and Dawn dish soap:  two common (and cheap!) soaps for the most common of laundry stains!

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    I use Dawn on grease stains – the stains you see after they come out of the dryer. Works most of the time. I just use an old toothbrush to rub the soap in and throw it in the washer. Alice