Q: My husband's white shirts have stains from his underarm deodorant, so I soaked the underarm area in bleach for about 20 minutes and then washed as normal...now the shirts have these big blotchy yellow stains everywhere the bleach touched. I feel horrible, I have wrecked all my husband's white shirts! Does anyone have any idea how to get rid of these bleach stains and also the original underarm stains?
Tip #1: I have found that putting my whites through the soak cycle (my washing machine has one that is for 30 minutes and it agitates every 5 minutes) with a cup and a half of bleach and a cup and a half of Cascade, granulated, dishwasher detergent, for a normal size load, takes out all of the stains and makes my whites very white. The first time I tried it, I had to do it twice, but now it is just a part of my laundry routine and I only have to do it once. I have also heard about leaving a paste of baking soda and water on the stains for about a half an hour before washing works; but I've never tried it.
Tip #2: I have to do my laundry at the local laundromat - needless to say I made friends with the owner at the establishment. One day we had a conversation about this very same subject of all things - bleach will eventually disintegrate the clothing if using it too strong - she told me to use just good old plain white vinegar and you know what, it actually works! I use about a cup to two cups per load depending on just how obnoxious the stains are and it works for me - (My boyfriend has some obnoxious ring-around-the collar stuff going on too) I don't mix it with the bleach however due to one is acidic and one is a base and they will end up neutralizing each other out...so give it a shot (it really is not that expensive after all) I hope it works for you too. I now put a cup of vinegar in just about every load it is really effective on greasy stains as well. Nope the clothes don't wind up smelling like vinegar either.
Tip #4: I have done this many many times with different white clothing. I keep a box of iron out in my laundry room. You can buy it in the stores that sell your laundry soaps, etc. It is not expensive. I use a little more than what is actually called for. Put this in the water, put the white items in the water, and let them soak. Then wash as usual. Has saved me a ton through the years.
Tip #5: Oxi-Clean! It's awesome stuff, I'm telling you. My husband works in produce and his jeans come home filthy! You very well can't bleach those. Usually putting it in with your detergent on a normal cycle, at the warmest temperature the material can handle, will get it new again. If you want to, you can soak it up to an hour, just in case. I also have a 4 yr old who thinks his shirts are napkins, another reason I love this stuff. Inexpensive & you can use it to clean anything...I use it on my floors, counters, carpet and furniture..no problems. And a little goes a long way!
You can find it anywhere, in the detergent aisle, but the cheapest place I've found it is at, of course, where else, Wal-Mart.