Today I'm gonna share a few of my most favorite solutions to those wardrobe-destroying woes. All thanks to my mama, really.
I grew up with an amazing mom who just knew how to do... anything. Install a toilet? Make a perfect Christmas cookie? Sew a shirt? Yup. Remove a stain? Absolutely. She would re-attach buttons, shorten pants and fix busted seams. I thought it was normal. I wanted to be just like her. I keep these things in my cleaning closet just for those occasions when life, you know, just seems to happen.
I remember picking these up in the super market when we ran out of some formula. I don't remember which ones we kept around. I just knew that there were special formulas depending on what your stain was made of. In grad school I understood much better the chemistry behind these and what a miracle they really are. In my house as a grownup I keep the Fat & Cooking Oil formula as well as the Wine, Tea, Coffee and Juice formula.
You can order them online or find them at your local Jo-Ann's.
I hardly think there's a person in US who hasn't heard of this one. But, what you might not think of with OxiClean is that it is wonderful for removing age spots and marks from vintage fabrics and linens. Whenever my mom (who now runs an antiques shop) or I come across linens that look well taken care of but no less dingy and needing a little love, we use this. A recent batch of vintage homespun napkins came home with me covered in spots and emerged from oxiclean soaking to be a clean, even cream color. As they should! Remember to run anything you've soaked through the regular wash, too.
Looks boring and bland, right? Wrong! While I would use Carbona for known stains and OxiClean for less known stains I use Synthrapol for all sorts of fabric cleansing. When clothes are very dirty, have sweat stains, keep shedding dye (like when you buy an indigo-dyed fabric), Synthrapol is my go-to. I started using this in college during my Fibers classes to rinse hand-dyed textiles. It's safe for home use and super efficient. A very small amount go a long, long way! I'll soak the family tablecloth in this after a holiday and have an easy-peasy time getting the marks out. It's gentle on fibers and tough on stains. Also, it has no added colors or fragrances!
All three products are pretty affordable and findable. I've included links in the title bits of each for your easy reference. Keep these ideas in your back pocket (or laundry closet!). It sure helps to know there's hope for your "ruined" clothes when you are livin' la via me-made!