Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Laundry Success Story

I'm no Laundry Queen. Unless having a "fortress" of laundry piled up around me secures that title. I'm thinking not.

Anyway, I mostly keep everyone in the household outfitted with clean clothes. Socks usually have to be sought out in the waiting-to-be-matched-and-folded basket, but they're there and clean. And if not, yes, Emma, you can borrow some of mine. So, I cover the basics, but I am not known for any domestic goddess laundering skills or stain-fighting prowess.

This morning as I pulled the wet load from the washer to go hang on the line, I noticed that two formerly white t-shirts were stained brownish-red around the neck and along the shoulders. This in itself is not entirely unusual; we have hard water in our well here- iron water- and it is prone to leaving rust-colored stains. But there were only two tinged items in the whole lot and I quickly remembered that both were worn this weekend at Buck's birthday party. One was Ev's, one Em's- both new. Then I realized that I had covered their arms and neck with spray-on sunscreen and determined that it was some sort of reaction between the water and sunscreen that left the stain.

Google is my friend. A quick search affirmed that this could happen- and often did- to other people with hard well water who had used sunscreen containing avobenzone. No, I have not yet looked into what a terrible, toxic chemical that might be that I slathered on my children's skin. But I did find out from numerous websites and forums that a product called "The Works" would work wonders on my iron water-sunscreen stains. And then I did look into what a terrible, toxic chemical that might be. And let's just say that stained clothing doesn't bother me enough to use hydrochloric acid to get it clean.

So I added the search term "natural" to my magic Google box and, lo and behold, you can just use lemon juice and sunshine to the same effect! Hmmmm.... that's a tough one... hydrochloric acid or lemon juice and sunlight?

Surprise, surprise, I went with the option that didn't require a trip to the store or protective gear, and a few hours later have bright white t-shirts that smell lemony fresh- with the added bonus that I don't have to worry about any corrosive effects on human tissue. Isn't that swell?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, what's a little extra hydrochloric acid to add to the bleach and petrochemicals?

    Loved your stories about Wally, Ellie and the chicks! Hope you guys are having a fabulous time! Sounds like it.

    Suzy in Memphis

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