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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Laundry Pre~ Soak

Pre-soaking laundry is the only way for me to get clean laundry and remove stains. I find it effective when using beach - chlorine or oxygen - for whitening and brightening laundry also. 
I don't care what kind of washer it is, it just doesn't get all the dirt out, and I find my clothes looking "dingy."Here is the water after a one hour soak of clean clothes...or so I thought...

My grandma had the washer next to a big utility sink and would have the wash water dump into the sink to drain. She would put a load in the washer and one in the sink. She could do 2 loads at one time. 2nd load only had to spin dry. She was very frugal. But, soaking clothes loosens the soil and you can reduce the wash time. It's hot water and detergent and sun that fades clothes, not soaking.
If the items  are safe for washing, there is no harm to be done by allowing them to soak overnight. Most laundry products will  get the same reaction for stain removal or whitening in one hour so it is really based on your time schedule. The only product that can harm clothing if left too long is chlorine bleach. If the laundry is left in a chlorine bleach solution for too long, it will develop holes and fading from weakened fibers.
Make sure the detergent or bleach is fully dissolved before adding laundry. If I am going to soak a load of laundry, I fill the tub with water and add the detergent or bleach and allow it to agitate for a few minutes before I add my clothes. Then, I turn off the cycle and allow them to soak. Some newer washers have a safety feature that locks the door and doesn't release until the load is complete. Boo , I say. For this reason (and the fact that it is pink and darn cute) I have went back to the good ole ringer washer, since I rarely dry my clothes in the dryer.

Things to consider....
Read the care labels before soaking. This is an absolute must, always. There are some garments that will not fare well from soaking, wool being one example.
Find a suitable container to fill. Soaking requires that the entire garment be submersed under water. You will need to locate a suitable container that can be filled with water and take the added clothing size (remembering that the weight of the clothing will increase the water level). Good containers include a clean laundry sink, a clean bucket, or even a baby's bath.
Add the clothing and push deep under the water so that it is covered. Be sure to push down any areas that pop up and try to stay dry above the waterline.
 Rinse thoroughly to remove the initial detergent or stain removal liquid.
*If stains are especially bad, it pays to rub on a small amount of detergent or the suggested stain removal liquid or paste direct to the stain. Often the method for a particular stain will describe how this is best done.

My favorite products....
20 Mule Team® Borax

This is a great way to boost your detergent and help it get rid of tough stains.It also helps your detergent lift stains — such as tomato sauce, oil, grease, grass, and ground-in dirt — off fabrics when used to pre-soak your clothes.

Washing Soda

This is also a detergent booster....Because laundry soda is so alkaline it is a powerful cleaning agent for your home, and is used in many different cleaning solution recipes.It can cause skin irritation, so wear rubber gloves while cleaning with any solution containing it, and also rinse the area throughly if it gets in contact with your skin. If you do not have washing soda, it it fairly simple to make from Baking Soda....yes the same stuff you bake is how....
Just heat your oven to 400 F and sprinkle your baking soda  thinly on a cookie sheet. Bake it for about half hour, until it changes composition. You will notice it gets grainier (is that a word?) Ha Ha...


I always have this on hand for sooo may uses, and bonus it is usually only $1.00 . For a make your own pre-treatment ...
Dissolve 1/4 bar of Fels Naptha in 2 cups hot water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Pour mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the item and allow item to sit for 1-hour before washing. 
You can also just rub the bar on the stain before washing.