A long while back, I shared a picture and wrote, "I hope I remember this the next time I have the inclination to buy white pants for Carrington. That's blackberries at the top, grass at the knee, and mud at the hem, and that's from just one wear!"
I try to remind myself that "boys will be boys," but not all boys wreak this level of havoc on their clothes. Carrington is a special case when it comes to destroying new pants.
It usually starts out very innocently. Here, upon arrival at the Clifton Inn, the pants are clean.
Still clean for a game of croquet.
See, this is where it starts getting tricky. Nothing good in the way of white pants can come from eating blueberries while also sitting on Pop's lap. Although I didn't witness or capture the proof on film, I am confident that a great deal of silliness ensued that evening, resulting in the afore mentioned blueberry stained upper portion of the white pants.
Can you spot Carrington in this lovely picture? Who needs a thousand words, when I can sum it up in two? Grass Stains.
I was able to somewhat salvage those white pants. I eventually cut them at the knee, hemmed them, and made them into shorts, which he wore all summer long, and well into the following summer. I swore I wouldn't buy him any more white pants, and if he wasn't so completely adorable in them, I could have kept my promise. They weren't his first pair, and they certainly won't be the last, so I needed a really great stain remover that can get even Carrington-size grass stains out of the knees of white pants.
I have a run-to-in-case-of-laundry-emergency stain removing product that I have found myself using more than I want to. It works like magic! But it also smells like a chemical spill, and the warning label says to use in a well ventilated space and not to breathe it in or get it near your eyes. Sounds safe, right? Exactly what you want to wash your precious little mud and grass stain covered angel in, right?
Since I am in love with most all things Pinterest, I went in search of a DIY stain remover, and found one that looks safe and effective, and this week I finally got around to trying it out. It is my first SoVA Mom Myth or Magic Experiment.
I am unable to give credit to any one person for this recipe, because I found it on many, many blogs and Pinterest sites. The recipes were the same or similar on each one. The recipe I used calls for 1 part blue Dawn dish detergent, and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. Jillee at One Good Thing by Jillee recommended adding a little baking soda as well, which I did. I mixed the detergent, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide in a bowl and used a scrub brush to apply and scrub the mixture on to the clothing.
We attended a potluck a couple of weeks ago at the home of friends Bob and Victoria. They have the loveliest yard and the prettiest green grass. It had rained buckets in the days prior to the gathering, so the yard was thick and lush. Someone told me that evening that she loved seeing the children run and play outside. They looked as though they were "frolicking." I looked outside to see the sweet frolicking children, but was confronted with my daughter lying on her back in the grass with her knees pulled up to her chest in a fetal position, with Carrington stretched out, his feet barely attached to the ground, his back pressed against her feet. The goal was for Courtland to push out with her legs as hard as she could while propelling her brother into the air before plunging himself back to the earth. Before I could yell "Don't get any grass stains on those white shorts," Carrington was thrust into the air, landed on hands and knees, and although he could have stopped there, grass stainless and clean, he continued to roll around on the grass in a fit of giggles. I wouldn't trade those giggles for a whole closet of the purest of whites.
I was surprised that the shorts weren't more dirty and stained than this. The front looked about the same, maybe a little dirtier. I also had a couple of white button up shirts of my own, and two of Mark's dress shirts. Sometimes I wonder how white dress shirts worn at a bank can get so dirty, but then I remember that Mark is just a grown up little boy, and it all makes perfect sense. I made a bowl of the stain remover using the recipe, but tripling it. I scrubbed, and I could tell a little difference, but not as much as I had hoped at first. By the time I had scrubbed all of the shorts and shirts, however, and picked up the first one I had worked on 20 minutes earlier, I could tell a huge difference. The trick is to let the solution set. The worse the stain, the longer it may take to work its magic. There were a couple of really heavy soaked through grass stains that were the size of pencil leads that came mostly clean, but I couldn't entirely get them out. The other spots, though, were completely gone. The whites really were whiter. Myth or Magic? The recipe for getting whites whiter is magic!
It's hard to tell from a picture of two white shirts against a white door, but I promise the shirt on the left is dingy and the one on the right was treated with my recipe, and is much whiter. I didn't realize just how dingy that shirt on the left was until I compared it with the freshly washed one on the right. This recipe is for making whites whiter, not necessarily getting stains out, but I used it for both, and it was effective for both. One Good Thing by Jillee suggests using this recipe for getting whites whiter, and has another recipe just for stain removal. I think I'll try that one next time. Until then, try frolicking in the grass with the kiddos. It comes highly recommended. If you get grass stains on your knees, shrug it off. You got this.