Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Stains on a white shirt? READ THIS!

on June 6, 2010

Ok, we just returned from vacationing in Florida and had several white shirts that had been stained by sunscreen. I was extremely disappointed because they were new and the stains were really very ugly. In the sun, the lotion-type sunscreen had stained the neck of the shirts orange, a dark burnt orange color. Needless to say, I was not a happy mom.

As I was doing laundry, I did what I normally do, I washed a load of bleach whites hoping to remove the stains. No luck. Argh. What next? I thought that maybe if I used a bleach pen and put concentrated bleach directly on the stains and left it for a bit, that would work. Nope. Nada. Stains still there, only marginally lighter. I’m sorry, but i don’t know anyone, kid or adult, who wants to wear a shirt with a yellow neck. Gross!

I did an internet search and found several potential home remedies. The first that came to mind was cream of tartar. I’ve heard that used for stains. As well as white vinegar. The one that really caught my attention was a remedy for yellow under-arm stains, since they were basically the same color http://www.ontheglam.com/2010/04/problem-perpetual-pitstains.html#.  Our stains were not necessarily created by the same thing but at least the same color family. My thought is what do I have to lose? It won’t make them look any worse than they do now!

Guess what?? It was successful! I am very happy to report that a mixture of 1 part water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and one part baking soda did the trick. I mixed it into a paste and used an old toothbrush to apply it to the area and let it sit for about 30 minutes. When I returned, one shirt was perfectly normal. The other that had the most stubborn stains was mostly gone, but not completely, so I applied just a bit more and will let it sit for a while longer. I am very happy with the result. They were all white cotton tees, I don’t know that I would try it on another fabric since peroxide does have the capability to bleach things. But now I have another weapon in my quest for cleaner clothing. My children seem to be stain magnets and any help I can get, especially in the inexpensive/organic/home remedy department is really fantastic! I have another shirt of my daughter’s that I’m going to try it on, chocolate ice cream stains on a striped shirt. I’ll let you know how that one turns out. Color me happy!

I just had another thought. I wonder what other stains this concotion might work on. As in maybe stains on a counter or sink. Hmmm, I may just have to try it out.

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***Update*** I forgot to mention that one of the shirts  that I was able to successfully remove the stains from, had gone thru the wash and the dryer, which I was uncertain of because of the heat of the dryer and the effect it has of setting stains in. I tried the mixture on a striped shirt, my daughter’s cotton striped tee with chocolate ice cream stains. Some of the stains were on an aqua stripe. I was concerned about the possibility of bleaching the color, but thougth, what the heck, it won’t look any worse, right? Guess what! The stain is not totally gone, but nearly gone and really unnoticeable unless you’re looking for it. YAY!

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6 responses to “Stains on a white shirt? READ THIS!

  1. valcitygal says:

    That’s awesome – I’m going to make a note of that and keep it handy. White shirt stains are always a pain in the butt and usually means the end of the shirt but next time, I’ll be sure to give this potion a try!

    • drmomx2 says:

      This is something I’m definitely going to keep handy. With my children, and husband for that matter, stains are a normal part of my laundry life. If I’ve got something that is organic and inexpensive to get the stains out, I’m so there!

  2. On the Glam says:

    It totally works on the sink too! I pre-treated my white tee-shirts in the sink and then used the remainder to clean my white sink – took away all those stubborn stains around the drain. A real multi-tasker…

  3. drmomx2 says:

    I would like to know anyone who uses this on something else successfully! I tried it on my sink stains, but, well, I think the only thing that may help them is a new sink!

  4. […] Stains on a white shirt? READ THIS! June 2010 5 comments 4 […]

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