Thursday, July 24, 2014

Laundry Crisis Averted...

I am not prone to "cheating" on Stonemountain And Daughter Fabrics by spending a lot of time shopping for ready to wear garments. I can make just about anything for my wardrobe, but let's be real, some things are just not worth the sewing hassle.  Jeans, simple t-shirts and sweaters are among those things that I regularly purchase in department stores.

"Lobster" jeans from Cabi

Recently, I purchased some linen crop pants (hel-lo! something that I could have made!) from Tommy Bahama for way more $$ than I care to say.  I also ordered a couple of classic knit polo shirts from Land's End, splurged on a pair of lobster colored skinny jeans from CAbi and nabbed a cute lace tank from White House/Black Market.

I love all these garments, but what are the chances that 1) all of them would be dirty at the same time and 2) that I would throw them all into the washer...together.  Yep, those pretty lobster red pants were hidden in my carelessly thrown together wash load.

Let me just admit that I stopped letting Dave touch my laundry years ago just because of this very thing. Imagine my horror upon transferring my load to the dryer...all those pretty white things now a glorious shade of baby pink.  (BTW, the CAbi jeans are still pretty!) Luckily, I did not dry them but quickly threw the white things in the washer again with some Oxy Clean, which is touted to be a non-chlorine stain remover.

After the Oxy Clean? That would be a No.

There was also a cheap white cotton t-shirt in the load that I decided to experiment on...
with Clorox.  Didn't even phase it.  

I really didn't care THAT much about the other white things, but those linen crop pants are among my favorites. You can search Pinterest and find all types of concoctions that promise to remove stains and whiten.  But one friend mentioned good old Rit Color Remover as a possible solution.

Try finding Rit Dye/Color Remover. Target no longer carries it.  
The customer sales rep mentioned Michael's. That would be a No.

I remembered (or thought I had) in Winco.  After combing the aisles, I finally scored some color remover.  And just in case, I bought some more bleach, some whiteners and other products. My daughter read something about Peroxide and Baking soda??? Scary, but if I get desperate, maybe...

I went online to get some hints about how to use Rit's Color Remover. I remembered my Mom dying clothes on top of the stove...big pot of boiling water with constant stirring. And the process has not changed in 50 years.

I poured the boiling water into my kitchen sink and added the little magic packet.  The instructions day it takes from 10-20 minutes of constant stirring to remove the color.  Patience is a virtue and not one of my strong suits. But as I stirred the smelly ( perm solution??) brew, I could see the pink cast start to fade. on the t-shirt.  I bravely threw in the polo shirt with the navy polka dots, the lace tank, another printed top that had a tie dye pattern on the front and stirred for what seemed like an interminably long time.

Most of the "pink" fabrics were cotton and a couple had a little Lycra in the content, but all seemed to respond well to the Rit product...some just took longer. I think the polka dots suffered a little, but at least it's not pink.

It's working...
Use this BEFORE you try anything else

I made another batch of Color Remover for my precious linen crop pants. Miracle of all miracles, I may have saved my pants. I am working on getting the last tiny remnants of pink - it's barely there...perhaps if i hadn't used the laundry product first.  But they are wearable.

Untouched photo...LOL!

Yes there is a moral...several, actually.  I'm not blaming the manufacturer of the bleeding lobster jeans...consider it operator error. So take time to sort your laundry and save yourself some grief. And when in doubt, always be sure to check your labels for care instructions, whether you are buying ready to wear garments or fabric. FabricLady would probably say "That'll teach you not to buy linen pants when you can make them". And finally, don't be so hard on your too can make stupid mistakes!

Laurel. Pretty in Pink, but I'd rather have White!


  1. When I was a newlywed someone told me that if I offered to do the wash and left a red sock in the mix I'd never have to wash clothes again. I did just that (an accident I always maintain) and forty years later I'm still not doing the wash.

  2. Another happy ending.

    I avoid this problem by never wearing white.

  3. Hi Laurel: I enjoyed your story about the stain removal. Good job but a lot of work. Since I prefer the same brands (fairly $$$) I can see why you worked so hard to restore them. I just thought I'd mention...granddaughter purchased an off-white sweater (partly wool) with an ugly dark grey stain on it...I tried all of the usual removers (I have the best luck soaking in Oxi-clean and using an old toothbrush when it works for the fabric.) But I digress: So we finally we had nothing to use to try ANYTHING because nothing was working anyway...Well, I bought an old fashioned bar of FELS NAPTHA SOAP, rubbed a little on, let it set a few minutes and WA, removed the stain and wno damage to the sweater. Her "final-sale, $25.00 sweater looks beautiful!
    Just thought you could tuck this away for the future...WHO KNEW!
    A side note: you and I met in Loomis at one of the little computer "help" sessions at the cute little shop with all the shabby chic and collectibles whose name I can't recall right now. I moved (back) to Minnesota last Dec. to be close to my kids and love it.
    Best of luck to you...I follow you on my reading list. {HUGS}, Joy Schumann

    1. Thanks so much Joy for the hint!! Sometimes the old style products are still the best!! Best wishes to you in Minnysota and keep in touch!! Laurel

  4. JoAnn's carries Rit Dye Remover:)

    Before we had Color Catchers, I used to throw a pair of my husband's white briefs in the machine with whatever fabric I was pre-washing to see how much it was bleeding. Wonder if that is why he insists on doing his own laundry now?
    Love the red sock remedy for doing other people's laundry--just wish I hadn't done it to myself so many times.


Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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