This post was most recently updated on April 21st, 2018
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With a family of six, keeping up with laundry is a never-ending challenge. Stains, tears, smells, weird color migrations – some days it’s like God Himself is testing my ability to care for my family’s clothing. While I use a really effective natural laundry detergent, sometimes it needs just a little help with the really stubborn spots. And I could not live without this particular laundry stain remover I’m going to talk about today.
Over the years, I’ve developed a myriad of tricks to keep my family’s clothes looking clean and fresh. One of my favorites is to dress the messiest members of my family in all black clothing so stains and dribbles don’t ever show. So easy! So fashionable! I’M KIDDING!! I don’t do that … I’ve thought about doing it, but I don’t.
Bonus Laundry Saving Tip
Separate kids’ clothing into categories.
- Around the house clothes
- Outside play &/or work clothes
- Going somewhere clothes
This system works great, because if a stain on one of their around the house shirts or play/work pants just won’t come out, it’s not a huge deal. Plus, it helps preserve their good ‘going somewhere’ clothing, too. Which often allows me to pass those items on to a younger sibling, or to sell or donate it. That’s a money-saving, winner of a tip. But not the tip I want to tell you about today.
Sports Uniforms Should NEVER Be Light-Colors
Today, I specifically wanted to talk about sports team uniforms. The reason being: A lot (especially homeschoolers!) of us who have children playing sports are responsible for the care and cleaning of those uniforms. And none of us wants our child to be the one on the field in a dinge-y, stained uniform, right? Not to mention how EXPENSIVE it is to replace a football jersey stained beyond saving.
This is an especially big problem for those of us *lucky* enough to have light-colored game pants or jerseys. Seriously, sports leagues everywhere – BLACK PANTS, always go with black pants!!
So, my son’s football team colors are purple and silver. While the ‘home’ uniform is dark purple, their away uniform is primarily silver. Light, bright, silver. They are really sharp-looking uniforms. When they’re clean, that is. But they are such a pill to get clean!
My boy making a GREAT tackle here!
At least their practice uniforms have black pants. But these gorgeous silver and purple ‘away’ uniforms … ugh! Or at least it was “UGH!” until I discovered the secret to keeping his team uniform spotless all season long …
Be Kind – Wash Your Kid’s Uniform
At the end of last football season, I carefully washed my son’s uniforms and sent them back to the equipment manager, knowing that he would be getting the same jersey again this season. I also assumed that along with his same jersey, he’d be getting the same pants – the ones I had lovingly washed and cared for all season, and returned looking almost as new as the day he brought them home.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead, I apparently got the pants from the kid who had to wash his own uniform. The knees were almost black and there were (what looked alarmingly like) blood stains on both legs.
Without inspecting either after he brought them home from equipment checkout, I told my son to just toss both the home and away uniforms in the wash. I thought I’d ‘freshen’ them up before his first game because, well – they were supposed to be spotlessly clean right? Then I took them out to hang on the line and noticed the state of his silver pants. Shoot. Back inside they went.
The Secret Laundry Stain Remover
Here is the laundry stain remover secret that makes my life much less frustrating: Fels Naptha soap. Yeah – that really old-fashioned laundry bar that the Ma Ingalls crowd used to use on their washboards back in the day? It’s AH-MAZ-ING.
I buy this laundry bar at Wal Mart at around $.97 each. Because I never, ever want to run out, I buy several at a time. And I like to keep it on a little dish on my laundry shelf, along with an old toothbrush, so it’s convenient to use regularly.
How To Use:
- Pre-Treat Laundry
- Run a moistened toothbrush through the soap
- Scrub directly onto the stain
- Let it sit for at least 20 minutes, longer for more stubborn stains
- Wash as usual
Most times, the stain is gone after one washing. Occasionally, I have to repeat the process. But I have yet to find a stain that this stuff won’t take out. I LOVE it!
In the case of the sad and dirty uniform pants: It took 3 scrubbings with Fels Naptha and 2 washings before they were clean enough to suit me. And before you start thinking, that is way too much work and no one has time for that … I was not standing, scrubbing away for hours with a toothbrush and my bar of soap. I spent just a few minutes spreading the soap into the fabric with the toothbrush each time. The most ‘work’ I did was going in and out of the house to look at them in the sunlight because it’s awfully dark in my laundry room and couldn’t see if the stain was gone.
I find this product to be life saver because I live in the heart of Red Dirt Country. And I know y’all have heard me complain about red dirt and it’s evils many times before. The Fels Naptha actually removes red dirt from clothing, when nothing ever has before. I also love it because it’s not a toxic, chemical-laden product (like bleach – yech!) so there are no fumes, residues or perfumes left behind to irritate my family’s collectively sensitive skin. PLUS, it works on any type of washable fabric – even our girly ‘delicates’.
If you’ve never tried using Fels Naptha in your laundry routine, I urge you to get a bar for stain and spot treating. It really works so wonderfully and is probably the best ‘multi-substance’ laundry stain remover I’ve found. I’m just so stinking happy to have found something that helps me keep my family’s clothing – and my kids sports uniforms – clean and bright!
Love & Blessings,