Knowing When to Throw in the Towel…& Use It as Rags

Grease stains…

My laundry is full of them. Unfortunately, I don’t notice them until after they have been washed and dried.  Now, they are set-in grease stains.

I had one set-in stain in particular that I really wanted to remove.  It was a uniform shirt of mine and I needed to get the stain OUT.  It wasn’t HUGE, but it was annoyingly noticeable.

Attempt #1

  • Wash again (cold water)…hoping the detergent would notice the stain this time.
  • RESULT: no change

Attempt #2

  • Treat stain directly with liquid detergent
  • Wash again (hot water)
  • RESULT: no change

Attempt #3

  • Treat stain with stain remover (Spray n’ Wash)
  • Let stain remover sit over night
  • Wash again (cold water)
  • RESULT: no change…AGHHHHH!!!

Attempt #4

  • Time for a little research…thank you google.
  • I found a few sites that recommended spraying the stain with WD-40.  Crazy, right?!  The “science” behind this theory is that the WD-40 (which is a petroleum product) “reactivates” the set-in grease stain.  You will then treat the old stain as a fresh new stain.  Okay…I guess that makes sense.  I’ve tried crazier things before.
  • Sprayed stain with WD-40.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Then applied Dawn Dish Soap (blue kind) to the “fresh” stain.  I then took a scrub brush to work the soap into the stain.  Let that sit for a while (maybe another 30 minutes.)
  • Wash as usual (cold water)
  • RESULT: An even BIGGER stain than before!!!  Plus, a huge stain on the back of the shirt where the WD-40 soaked through!  Are you kidding me?!?!


Attempt #5

  • Time to break-out the BIG GUNS!
  • Soak entire shirt overnight in full-strength degreaser (Simple Green Cleaner)
  • Treat stain with Dawn AGAIN & Wash AGAIN (cold water)
  • RESULT:  Absolutely NO CHANGE.  There is still a HUGE stain on the front, and now the back.

That’s it…I give up.  I’m throwing in the towel.

Please…..help this Whimsy Housewife!  Comment with your suggestions on removing set-in grease stains, before this T-shirt becomes rags.


No-Fuss Homemade Laundry Soap (Liquid)

As promised, here is another version of homemade laundry detergent.  The other day I showed you my version for powdered laundry detergent.  That recipe is great for babies or anyone with sensitive skin, but our whole family uses it and I love it!  View that post here.

Today’s recipe I can’t take credit for.  I found this version of detergent from one of my favorite bloggers, Jill at One Good Thing by Jillie.  Her blog is so full of useful tips and tricks.  Please take a moment to visit her site here!

In Jill’s post, she has great photos telling exactly how to do each step.  It’s so simple and that’s what I love about it.  Here is her step-by-step tutorial.

This recipe is great for HE washing machines, regular machines, safe but effective on cleaning clothes, and also safe for sensitive skin.

Super Fast & Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

This makes 1 gallon

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Borax (found in laundry aisle at most grocery stores)
  • 3 Tablespoons Super Washing Soda (found in laundry aisle at most stores)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dawn dish soap (I use the blue dawn, because it cuts through grease better than any other I’ve tried)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 gallon jug

Directions

  1. Pour 4 cups of boiling water into gallon container.
  2. Add Borax, Washing Soda, and Dawn to container.  Swirl around until all ingredients are dissolved.
  3. Let the liquid cool.
  4. Once it’s cool, fill the container almost all the way to the top with water.  Bubbles will come out the top of the container.
  5. Use about one cup for large loads.

A few extra tips for you:

* This is safe for HE machines because it is low-sudsing.

* This detergent is watery, but it cleans really well.  It even removes my husband’s grease stains from his work uniforms.  I tried making it more concentrated by using less water, but the dish soap didn’t dissolve and just sat on top of the water.

* Make 2-3 batches at a time.  Use up rate is about 16-20 loads.  But it only costs about $.17/gallon!!  (My powdered soap recipe does seem to last a bit longer.)

Give this or the powdered version a try and let me know what you think!