Stains, Stains, Go Away – Come Again Another Day

Or not. I’d be happy if stains just stayed away permanently.

Months ago I almost never had problems with stains.  My girlfriend asked me, ” how is that even possible with two kids”?  I figured it was some “eating with good manners” skill I’ve taught them, making me a stellar parent. Unfortunately, I’m not the amazing parent I imagined. For more than one reason.

So the answer is….my daughter, who is now 4, is old enough to eat (mostly) without spills. And at the time, my son was 6 months old and just starting solid foods so there were few spills.  We were a stain free household and proud of it.  But like they say, “pride comes before a fall” and now that my son is eating finger foods, he’s a mess!  And so are his clothes.

I had some Dreft Stain Remover on hand so I used it and it worked fine but I wanted something a little more eco-friendly.  Toys R Us had a sample of BabyGanics Stain, Stain, Go Away and after dousing shirt after shirt with it – I’m a believer. When it took a coffee stain out of a white shirt that had been sitting in my laundry bin for over a month – I was SOLD. I bought a big bottle and it’s gloriously stored right on my washing machine for daily use.

So ladies, what do you use to get stains out?

 

My Eco-Friendly Laundry Routine

 

With the exception of detergents, my laundry routine was eco-friendly before I even wanted to be eco-friendly.

WASHING

I sort all the laundry into piles in the following order:

  1. Adult or child
  2. White, dark or color
  3. Gentle or Heavy

While the sorting in itself isn’t all that eco-friendly, I do make sure that the piles are large enough to fill up the washer. No use in running half a load. If they aren’t, I’ll combine piles to make a load big enough.

I wash almost everything in COLD water. It saves $$ and energy and IT WORKS. Promise. The only things I wash in hot water are sheets, towels and anything with poop on it (thank you to my kiddos).

I use eco-friendly detergents like Seventh Generation or Earth Friendly Products. I don’t add fabric softener to the cycle but if you wanted to, Seventh Generation makes an eco-friendly version. I rarely use stain removers or bleach and if I do, they are…you guessed it. Eco-friendly stain removers or bleach. If I think something might be stained, I wash it at least once or twice to see if it will come out on its own. It generally does. If it won’t, I will use a stain remover, like BabyGanics or an eco-friendly bleach like Seventh Generation and voila – almost everything comes out.  We do occasionally having a clothing casualty but it’s rare.

DRYING

Almost all clothing gets thrown directly into the dryer for 10 – 20 minutes of light drying, enough to take out the excess water and wrinkles. I never use fabric softener sheets. Then I hang *almost everything* on a drying rack or on a hanger. I consider this to be the most important part of my laundry routine for several reasons:

  • I rarely have to iron since everything is dried hanging and comes out wrinkle free.
  • Clothes don’t shrink. Believe me, I’ve compared brand new dried in the dryer pants to brand new dried on the hanging rack pants and there was a whole size difference.
  • Far less wear and tear. Colors don’t fade. Dark blue jeans stay dark blue. The fibers don’t get as ruffled and worn looking.
  • There is no static cling.
  • We save tons of energy and less wear and tear on our dryer.

I’m not going to lie, this does take more time than just throwing everything in the dryer but seriously, most of our clothes are wrinkle free and I could pass down my kids clothes for years because they stay in such great shape. I’ve even had friends comment on what great condition their clothes are in.

For sheets and towels, I use Seventh Generation Fabric Softener sheets. They are paper so once they are used, I can recycle them – LOVE THAT! I also dry sheets and towels in the dryer all the way. If I had the space for a laundry line outside, I would definitely put them on the line outside. The sunshine dries whites whiter!

There you have it – my laundry routine. Not as simple as most but has lots of great benefits! What is YOUR laundry routine?