Frugal Friday

By  | 

Doing laundry is not a lot of fun to begin with, but a stubborn stain can turn the chore into a real challenge.

Stains, especially from kids, can take more than one wash cycle. Here are some solutions to cut down on the time and effort you spend doing laundry.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, making stains and getting rid of them are two of the things they do best, and they know how to get out the toughest ones. If you've got kids, grass stains probably challenge you on a regular basis.

"Stains like grass, milk and perspiration are all protein based, so we call them "protein" stains, and in order to remove them, you really should use a liquid laundry detergent that contains enzymes. Enzymes will break down those protein stains. Never add the bleach at the beginning of the wash cycle because bleach will kill the enzymes or deactivate them, so wait five minutes. Give the enzymes a chance to work, and then add your bleach."

Kids also tend to drip ketchup and mustard. The yellow pigment in mustard that's so hard to remove is a spice called "turmeric".

Carolyn Forte says, "The best remedy we've found is liquid glycerin. It's available in your local pharmacy. Just take a couple of drops, rub it into the stain to release it and wash as you normally would."

The staining caused from ketchup or barbeque sauce or tomato sauce is a combination of grease and red coloring from tomatoes.

Carolyn Forte adds, "Soak them in cold water and that'll keep the red dye from setting.
Then sponge them with a degreaser or solvent. We recommend AFTA. That will remove the grease. Once you've got that done, put it in the wash and the stain should be removed."

One stain you never want to see is blood, but every now and then, kids get a few nicks and scratches, so soak the fabric in cold water, then pour on a little three percent hydrogen peroxide from the medicine cabinet.

If your child gets a marker stain on clothes, Good Housekeeping says rinse the fabric under cold running water until no more color is released. Then soak the garment in a solution of warm water, detergent and ammonia.