I’m darn near 31 years old and I still haven’t figured out half the life hacks my mom used when I was a kid myself. She taught me some important tricks to running a household; how to bulk buy, how to coupon, and how to do laundry. I learned about diluting bleach the hard way after my mom caught me accidentally dissolving my shoestrings one day. All in all, I learned a good bit on how to treat specific laundry stains, and I want to pass this knowledge on to you. Consider this a Mom Hack you’ll want to put on all your Pinterest boards! Since you've got your own kid, I know you're tackling a lot of messy baby laundry. Let's not pretend your kid doesn't stain all their clothes.
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Understanding Water Hardness
Tap water contains trace amounts of mineral deposits, known as water hardness. Generally speaking, water hardness is not going to impact your daily life. It might mean that your shampoo or soap don’t suds as much, or that your faucet develops a scale-y deposit over time. It’s really most important when you’re talking about absorbent laundry, like towels. If your water is significantly hard, it may leave mineral deposits in your fabrics. Those mineral deposits could decrease absorbency or leave behind an unpleasant smell. Properly treating your water hardness by adding a water softener like Calgon or Borax will optimize your detergent and any laundry stain treatments.
Know How Your Washing Machine Works
Most washing machines fall into one of two categories: Standard or High Efficiency (HE). Standard washing machines work best when water + laundry creates a stew-like consistency for agitation. They also use significantly more water during the wash and rinse cycles. You can safely use any detergent in a standard machine (but never use a laundry soap!).
High-efficiency machines are a bit more complicated when it comes to achieving ideal agitation. Without an agitator paddle to swish clothing around, HE machines rely on clothing tumbling against each other to remove debris and stains. Be sure to use a detergent that is truly HE-safe! Don’t worry too much about not seeing “enough water” - that’s just an HE machine working exactly how it’s meant to! Regardless of which machine you own, make sure it's working properly and you clean it once a month.
Choosing A Good Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent is a big industry, and for good reason. Tide actually has a proprietary formula of surfactants and softeners that makes it a top-of-the-line choice. I’m partial to the cleaning power and amazing scent of Gain and Persil, too! While the scent is a nice bonus, concern yourself with laundry stain removing power. Detergents with enzymes included perform better on biological stains.
How To Treat Specific Laundry Stains
Generally speaking, use a cold or lukewarm water to treat a stain. Try to get to a stain while it’s still wet, if possible, and don’t dry the item if the stain persists.
With a little determination and the right laundry stain treatment, superhuman moms can fix almost any stain! Now if we could only teach out kids not to make the stains in the first place...
What creative ways have you used to remove a baby-made stain? Tell me your laundry tricks on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #MomLaundryHacks.