Laundry Tips Using Natural Products (2)

Rust or iron stains can occur from actually coming into contact with something rusty, from red soil (high in iron content) or even from water. We live about 1/4 mile from Iron Ore Creek, and 3 miles from the Red River. As you can probably imagine, we have a lot of iron stains from contact with the soil and water alone. These can be cleaned with application of a layer of salt and lemon juice squeezed over the top and then rubbed in. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then wash as usual.

Glue residue from stickers is another common problem at our house. Sometimes my child will get a "GOOD JOB" or "WAY TO GO" sticker placed on her shirt at school, and without noticing its presence, it makes it into the wash. Or another time, I bought some of those cute children's summer shirts at a discount department store, but missed one of the adhesive tags they place on them. If you can catch these stickers before they make it into the dryer, you can normally remove the adhesive with just a normal wash. If the glue is extra sticky and just doesn't want to budge, use an ice cube to freeze the stained area, then scrape away as much of the glue as you can with a spoon, or the edge of a credit card. Add a paste of baking soda and water, rubbing it in well with a soft brush or with your finger. Let it set for 20 minutes, rinse in warm water and re-check. Continue this until the entire adhesive is removed. This will also work well on gum.

Ink From Ball Point Pen - I've always heard that alcohol or hairspray work well on ink marks. My experience has not been very good with these methods. I usually just end up with a smeared ink mark instead. I recently found a suggestion that I will try next time the need arises- soak the stain in milk for 1 hour or longer. Another method to try is making a paste from baking soda and water, applying it to the stain with a toothbrush. Work the paste into the stain, let it set 10 minutes, rinse, and repeat until the stain comes clean.

The key to removing most stains is to get to them as quickly as possible and remove the stain before allowing the garment to go into a hot dryer. Heat sets just about any stain to the point of no return...

Clothes Whitener
Vinegar removes soap buildup and has a whitening effect, and so does baking soda. For extra whitening, try 1/2 cup of lemon juice in the rinse cycle, then hang items in the sun. Hydrogen peroxide will also whiten clothes. Add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle. I advise testing an inconspicuous spot before dunking an entire item if you are concerned about fading. I say this because my daughter had a pair of grey warmup pants that turned a strange shade of red after using the peroxide, while her brother's grey warmups did not. I think different fabric types and dying methods were the cause of this.

Fabric Softener
Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine. Vinegar works naturally to soften your laundry and has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent. An added benefit is less detergent sensitive allergies for family members with sensitive skin. It also deodorizes- and don't worry... the vinegar scent disappear when it dries.

Make your own laundry starch by mixing two teaspoons of cornstarch with one cup water. Pour into a spray bottle and mist clothing as you iron.

Other Great Advantages to Using Natural Products
When you use baking soda, vinegar, and other natural products in your washing machine, you will notice a much cleaner inside surface to your appliances. Many of the soaps, softeners and dryer sheets are not only harsh on your clothing, but also on your washer and dryer's surfaces. You'll also enjoy the clean scent in your wash room and outside your dryer vent.

By Dene Brock
Title: Laundry Tips Using Natural Products (2)
Rating: 88% out of 100% based on 25 ratings
Written By Rian Subandriyo