Because the thrift stores in Utah are picked clean of wearable toddler clothes, Johnny and I have resorted to buying the majority of Sally’s clothes new, although highly discounted. I typically stick to mega sales at Old Navy and Gap and occasionally buy pieces at H&M and at an on-sale Zara.
But if we’re going to put actual money into clothes for Sally, you better believe we’re going to save money by putting these clothes to good use. She will not be the only child who wears these clothes. These clothes will be passed on to any future daughters or nieces. And the only way that can happen is if they remain stain free.
Also, to save money, we don’t buy more clothes than Sally needs, and we often buy her clothes a size up. So her clothes get worn often and for up to six months, which provides for more opportunities for a stain to cling itself onto a piece of clothing forever. Still, I expect these clothes to stay in mint condition. I’m so very demanding.
A few nights ago, I walked into the laundry room to find Johnny doing a load of Sally’s laundry. “There are stains on everything!!” he said. It’s true. There are stains on everything. EVERYTHING. But by the time the dryer buzzes, there are no more stains on anything. And here’s how we do it.
- First, I start a load of warm water. Some of Sally’s clothes call for a warm wash and others call for a cold wash. But I initially put it all in warm water.
- Next, I pour in the detergent and a full scoop of OxiClean.
- Then I start sorting through the clothing. I spray each and every stain with Shout, rub it in, and throw it in the wash. This can take time since sometimes one shirt can be riddled with 10 stains of its own.
- Once I have all the clothes sprayed and thrown in the wash, I let them soak for an hour or more. This is the key. If I don’t let them soak, all my hard work is for nothing. By the time I actually start the load, the water has cooled.
- Finally, I dry them on the lowest heat setting and do a victory dance when those stain-infested clothes are magically stain free.
It works like a charm, every single time. Sometimes I wait over a week in between loads of Sally’s laundry, which means stains have been sitting, festering for days and days. But even the very worst stains come right out.
Also, a few times Sally’s clothes have been mistakenly thrown into one of our loads of laundry and haven’t gone through the proper treatment. When that happens and a stain is stuck in the clothing, I just soak it in a small tub of OxiClean as a last resort, which has never, ever failed me.
And that’s how I keep all of Sally’s clothes looking brand new. And now I’m interested… how do you other mom’s do it?