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Friday, May 24, 2013

The saga of sweat stains

I did the wash post New Hampshire Renaissance Faire and out came my favorite white pirate shirt (I've had it since the 80s, it used to be a work shirt) and one of my favorite gray/blue chemise with nasty rust sweat stains around the neck line.  Grrrr.  One of the hazards of doing renn faires is sweat on natural fabrics.  Sometimes they come out in the wash but sometimes...well, a picture speaks louder than words.

This is the neckline of the chemise.  The white shirt looked just the same.
So, I went researching.  One pin on Pintrest said that 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with hot water would take care of any stain.  I soaked both shirt and chemise for 24 hours.  No love.
OK...next to try is Oxy Clean.  I used one scoop and hot water as recommended and did a two hour soak.  While it did brighten the white and the gray/blue, the ugly rust stain is still there.
While I was at the store picking up the Oxy Clean, I saw this.  It's Carbona #9 Stain Devil.  They have several solutions that are specific to certain types of stains.  It's $3.35, but cheaper than replacing the shirt, if I could even find one like it.  While the shirt and chemise were soaking in the Oxy Clean I looked this up online.  It has enzymes in it and the Mavin of Housekeeping, Martha Stewart, recommends enzymes for removing sweat stains.

Here is the white shirt...nice and clean.  I could see the stains lightening as I applied the solution.

Now, a couple of words on this saga.  Both articles are cotton.  Both were destined for the dye pot if they couldn't be cleaned.  I used an entire bottle of Carbona on just the white shirt.

Here is my recommendation for getting rid of these stains.  First, DO NOT DRY the cloths in the dryer.  This will set the stain and you can kiss it goodbye or shove it in the dye pot.  Second, try treating the stain with Fels Naptha laundry soap.  While this didn't work on these particular stains, I have saved many an article of garb or regular clothing doing this before laundering.  Third, a good soak in the Oxy Clean did brighten up the colors, so I would do this first then give the article a good hand scrubbing with laundry detergent or Fels Naptha laundry soap.  Lastly, if all else fails, I will try the Carbona Stain Devils that is specific to that stain.  For sweat or rust it is #9.

Now I'm off to the store to pick up a few more bottles of Carbona for the chemise and a tunica from GNEW last year.

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