Quick and Easy Laundry Tips

While basic laundry is fairly simple, there are some laundry problems that can cause panic in the calmest of hearts. From stubborn stains to a dirty teddy bear, the following hints will make your laundry headache disappear!

KEEP YOUR COLORS, GET RID OF THE STAINS

�· Bleeding of Colors: Let me guess- your best red blouse stained all your whites into Barbie-doll pink? STOP! Do not dry them! Re-wash with regular detergent and a color-safe bleach. If that fails, try, a powdered-chemical color remover, such as Rit�® color remover, available in the laundry aisle.

�· Yellowed / Grayed Whites: White-wash solutions work on bleachable and non-bleachable fabric. You can also try hanging the clothes out to dry whenever possible. A great way to treat older, fragile linens is to baking soda in the wash cycle; as a natural cleaner, you can trust it not to break down the fabric.

�· Blood Stains: One of the most stubborn, bloodstains are best dealt with as soon as possible. Pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and rinse with cold water. Repeat until there are no traces of blood.

�· Burn / Scorch Marks: Although iron marks are virtually impossible to remove completely, there is hope to make is less noticeable. For washable fabrics, brush gently with a soft brush or dry sponge to remove any loose particles. Wash with regular detergent and a color-safe bleach. Note: This technique will weaken the fabric.

�· Deodorant Stains: Whether the stain is visible, or simply in the underarms, this trick should do the trick. Either sponge or soak (washable) fabric in white vinegar. Allow to sit for 30 min, and then launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric. You could also try soaking in equal parts of ammonia and water and a little dish soap overnight before washing.

�· Grease Stains: Sprinkle cornstarch or baby powder on the stain and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes to absorb the grease. Brush off and launder as usual.

�· Gum: Brush egg white onto gum with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then launder as usual.

�· Ink Stains: Pour rubbing alcohol on the stains (before washing) and they should disappear.

�· Lipstick: Most lipstick stains should rub off with petroleum jelly. If not, try a little vegetable oil before laundering.

�· Mildew Stains: Remove disgusting mildew off clothes by first shaking or brushing to remove any loose particles. Presoak in cold water, and then wash in hot water with a heavy-duty detergent. Add �½ cup bleach for whites, or �½ cup color-safe bleach for colors. Re-wash if stains remain. Only once you are satisfied with results, should you dry thoroughly.

�· Rust and Mineral Stains: Adding 1 cup of bottled lemon juice to wash cycle can remove discoloration from cotton fabrics.

REMOVE DISGUSTING SMELLS

To remove most odors from clothing and linens, try adding a cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle. For more difficult smells, try these easy alternatives.

�· Gasoline Smell: Use baby oil in the wash load to help get the smell out. Add the oil to a full load, and allow to swish around a bit before adding detergent.

�· Mothball Odors: Ventilation is key to removing mothball odor; airs larger items outside for a couple of days and fluff others in a dryer with fabric softener sheets. Try an odor remove spray if all else fails. To treat a whole area (such as a closet or chest), use activated charcoal (available in pet supply stores) to eliminate smell.

�· Sour Smelling Towels: Add a cup of white vinegar or 1/4 cup odor-eliminator to wash cycle. To prevent, never use bleach when possible, never overload dryer, and do not let wash sit to long before drying.

TO DRY CLEAN OR NOT?

�· Down Comforters / Jackets: While you should probably take anything really important to the cleaners, try this home method on everything else: Spot clean stains (grimy cuffs and neck areas) with a laundry pre-treater, then rinse. Using the gentle cycle, wash with a mild detergent and rinse very well. Dry on a low setting all day long, shaking regularly. The common tip of placing tennis balls or knotted towels while drying can cause fragile fabrics to explode- leaving you with nothing but a down-filled dryer.

Ã?· Stuffed Animals: Salvage your kid’s old stuffed toys by placing in a pillowcase, knotting the case, and washing on gentle or permanent press cycle. Dry for 20-25 minutes, and then let air-dry.

�· Silk: Instead of always sending your silks to the cleaner, try a warm hand wash with a mild, wool wash detergent. Dry fabric until just damp, roll tightly, seal in a plastic bag, and place in your freezer. Once frozen, remove and iron.

Using these tips will help you save time and money- not to mention the laundry blues- when dealing with any laundry emergency.

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