Friday, December 26, 2008

Cry for Help

Ok. So this week something went wrong - stains! There are stains in EVERYTHING! I'm serious, everything Oceana or I have worn in the past few days has/had a stain on it! She got grease on her new sundress. She had an accident on her two new dancing leotards. I dropped a buttered roll on the tummy of my new tshirt. I soaked my shirt right away with stain spray and it's still got that slightly darker oily stain look.

Then the worst! I pulled a load of wash out and discovered half the load had strange orangish-red stains on it. The worst is a dress I made for Oceana not 2 months ago. I can't figure out what the stain is. At first I thought it might be rust - but where would it have come from? And it's more red (like blood) than orange (like rust). Any ideas what it might be? If you need a picture, I can oblige. It naild one of my (newer) maternity tops and her dress the worst. The rest are okay enough (not as important as the rest).

The problem is that now I've soaked that dress, scrubbed it with the SARD bar (stain remover magic stuff that usually works like a miracle!), and washed it again. Nothing changed. My shirt is slightly lighter, her dress is just as dark as at first.

My other t-shirt (butter roll incident) is soaking again with SARD bar and in laundry detergent. Oceana's sundress is doing the same.

I don't have money to run out and get more stuff. What do I have on hand that I can try? Also, there are no name brands that are the same here (except for you, Jen-in-Aus). So telling me that Zout works wonders will only make me cry.



  1. You might try dish-washing soap. It's made to lift grease, and it tends to work really well on stains. Also, if you do decide that the red could be blood, try hydrogen peroxide. That's what they use in hospitals to get blood stains out.
    Hope you figure something out, I know how frustrating stains can be.

  2. I know 'Frend' always works for me. You can keep re-applying it and leave it up to a week to work on the stain. I've found if Frend won't do it, nothing will. Love reading your blog by the way. I found you through your comment on 'Bring the rain' - I saw you were from NZ too so had to come over! Merry Christmas.

    From Andrea in NZ

  3. I've heard powdered dishwasher soap (not liquid dish soap that use to hand wash dishes) works wonders. But it has to be the powdered kind made for dishwashing machines.

    Also I did a quick google for "stain removal" and coincidentally the first one to come up is a .nz site so everything on there should be available to you! :-)

    Here's the site:

  4. Also, I originally wanted to tell you how well Oxi-Clean works on my stains (I soak in a mixture of hot HOT water and oxi clean overnight), but I didn't want to make you cry. :-)

    So I looked up how to make your own and it looks easy and cheap to make:
    1 cup hot water
    1/2 cup baking soda
    1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide.

    Mix together & soak clothing for at least 30 minutes up to overnight. Then wash as usual.

    Hope this works!

  5. Susie,

    This is Joyce in Boise. Could a crayon have gone through the laundry. The problem is that the wax washes away, but now the stain. Or a lipstick? Same problem. Sometimes baking soda or hydrogen peroxide like Lauren suggested would work. After having 5 kids I have had my share of crayon debacles. It even stained the inside of my dryer. I wish I had better advice.

    Joyce Hartley

  6. Susie,
    On your butter stain, try putting some baking soda on the stain, dry directly on it, let it sit for 6 to 8 hours wash as usual.
    The orange stain, try putting on salt on the stain and pour lemon juice over it, hold it over the steam of a kettle. (because here is the atlantic provinces of new brunswick canada, it is winter) or in sunny New Zealand hang it on your clothes line. This works really well for rust stains.

    Have a nice day and holiday

  7. I don't know if I can help with the red stains, but I do know that corn starch works wonders on grease stains. Make a thick paste of it, spread it on the stains, and let sit for a while (like overnight). Then wash as usual.

    Good luck! Nothing irritates me more than a stain on newer clothes!

  8. vinigar - lifts alot of stains, but you need to soak over night. It will not lift the color so you are safe from fades.


  9. For oil stains you can try to find a hand soap that you would find in the mechanical part of a Wal-Mart type of store. In the US it is called GoJo. Scrub it in, wait about 5 minutes, then wash in hot water.

    For the mysterious red stains, you may try hydrogen peroxide.

  10. I am with Lauren on the dish soap thing...any greasy stains like butter or grease will usually come out with dish soap, It is also imperative NOT to put the clothes in the dryer. The heat will set the stains and make them near to impossible.

    As for the red...did you use sunscreen recently? I have had sunscreen turn our clothes red! I read up on it and there is an ingredient in many sunscreens that will stain fabric and it doesn't show until after washing. I have had a bit of success with that with baking soda...making a paste and rubbing it into the fabric and washing with a cup of white vinegar. Peroxide is also great!

    Let me know how you make out! Stains are SO frustrating!

  11. From a book I have called "The Queen of Clean."

    Rubbing alcohol, for grass.
    Ammonia, for perspiration.
    Automatic dishwasher detergent, liquid, powder or tablet work.
    Baking soda, removes odors.
    Club soda.
    Cream of tartar mixed with lemon juice, for bleaching whites.
    Denture cleaning tablets, for food stains.
    Glycerin, for tar, tree sap, juice, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce.
    Hydrogen peroxide 3 percent - half a cup mixed with 1 tsp ammonia.
    Lemon juice on white clothes then lay in the sun to bleach.
    Unseasoned meat tenderizer removes protein stains.
    Salt, for red wine.
    Salt mixed with lemon juice for mildew.
    Shaving cream.
    WD-40 lubricant, removes grease and oil stains, crayon, lipstick, and chapstick - Spray on clothes, wait 10 mins - Work in undiluted liquid dishwashing soap then launder.
    White vinegar great for suede or as a fabric softener, a quarter cup in the final rinse.

    1 part rubbing alcohol, 2 parts water = generic laundry stain remover.

    equal parts white vinegar, liquid dishwashing soap, water. Shake to mix, let stand on stain a few mins then launder. Good for beverage, juices, grass.

    Equal parts ammonia, liquid dishwashig soap, water. For non-oily stains - milk, blood, perspiration, urine.

    1TB glycerin, 1TB liquid dishwashing soap, 8 TB water. For oily stains. Work into stain, let stand, flush with water, launder.

    I haven't tried any of these - do tell if something works!

  12. If the possibility is rust, try lemon or real-lemon juice then exposing it to the sun's direct light. Good luck.

  13. Could it be a crayon that melted? I've done that with an orange crayon, and I got a really cute, "OOPS" when my daughter fessed up to it being in her pocket. Just a thought.

  14. I second the dish washing soap. If you pour a good amount on the stain and let it soak in and then add a little water a scrub it, it works like a charm. Good luck stain fighting!

  15. Dump salt on the grease stain for 48-72 hours. Plain old table salt,applied liberally, it usually will absorb the grease. As for the other, don't know without knowing what it is. Any possibility a crayon or tube of chapstick made it in there? Don't suppose you can order oxy-clean on line?? I agree with the peroxide if it's blood, you can try baking soda (make a paste and cover with wet cloth to keep moist for a day or two). Just don't dry anything until it comes out!

  16. Oh, I called my mom after the salt idea for the grease and she says you can also try hair shampoo, and a friend from Aus. says she puts talcum powder on the grease and then hangs it in the sun. Hope something works! (I say sun when there is 4 inches of snow at my house in Oregon) :)

  17. About the red stain, my first thought was crayon also. Unfortunately I have no idea how to get it out, but maybe if you google it something will come up.

  18. Just in case that red stain is from a crayon, go to the crayola website in the parents section & find the "stain tips" page. Here's a link...hopefully it'll work for you. If not, go to to locate it.

  19. Poor Susie,

    I've tried sundrying the stain out. Don't dry the garment in the dryer (if you have one) just lay it flat on something outside s that the sun can soak out whatever is there. Then rewash. It may take a couple of washes. Also, baking soda. I think you should be able to put that on like a paste and scrub it together and let the sun bake it. It's worth a shot. I use baking soda for everything including brushing my teeth. It's a great whitener with no bleach ( I'm allergic to that)
    As far as where it came from.... well, that could be anything from a small piece of paper wrapper, to a piece of crayon, marker, or playdoh, to somesort of rag that you might have used for something else and it just bled right off onto the clothes.
    Good luck. Let me know how things turn out. Hopefully, cleaner. LLOLOLOL

  20. I agree with the multiple entries touting liquid dish soap for the oil stain. I have worked with that on grease stains (on cotton) that have gone through the dryer and made a lot of progress. I also used very, very hot water. Do you have Fels Naphtha in NZ? I sure wish I could e-mail some to ya right now! Sorry I don't know what to suggest for the colored stain, other than a try with Fels Naphtha.

  21. Other people have said this but I always use Oxy-clean on my stains. You can make a paste with it and let it sit on the stain for a while before washing it. Also put some of the oxy powder in the wash with the clothes. DO NOT put anything in the dryer until you are sure the stain is out. Good luck!

  22. Could be crayon?
    Baking soda and water may help. Good luck.

  23. Dawn dishwashing liquid works great on grease. I've had it work even after something has been washed and dried. Pour it on stain and let sit for even several days but I would say at least one day. I've never found anything else to work as well. I know your frustration!

  24. Like disolves like. Chemistry. So acids disolve acids, bases disolve bases. I don't know if either of your stains are grease, but if they are, lighter fluid will take it out. I know it sounds weird.

    By the way, I am Stacey, Dahvede's best friend's girlfriend. Sorry I haven't commented before now, but I read your blog occasionally since Dahvede asked us to pray for your little boy last year.

  25. Mama always puts baby powder on grease stains. Shake it one and rub it and rub it and rub it - the powder soaks up the grease. It works well. Also Dawn dish detergent "takes grease out of your way". :)

  26. I am going to read ALL of your comments because I have hit this crisis quite hard this week.

  27. Ok, so I've been checking back...did anything suggested work for your stains??

  28. I honestly just got about a half a dozen tips from reading these for my own clothes. I didn't have a tip for getting the stains out but don't hate me for my suggestion. I've had colored stains come on my white or light colored clothes before and if I couldn't get the stain out I just dyed the article the same color, so it was still useable and you couldn't tell it was stained.