Ok, you're not going to believe this, but did you know that sunlight can remove impossibly-stubborn-you've-already-thrown-your-hands-up laundry stains? I am not even pulling your leg here. In fact, I have pictures below (just because I love you).
Our raucous girls can ruin an outfit like nobody's business. I swear they practically look at a piece of clothing and it becomes marred, stained, marked, and splattered with any number of permanent marks. I don't know how they do it, but if they've worn something then you know for sure someone is going to have to spend an amazing amount of time and elbow grease to try and make the clothing wearable again.
The other day the stain-du-jour was good ole' spaghetti sauce. They LOVE the stuff, bless their hearts. But unless we strip them naked (not the most prudent option in a restaurant, but I've been sorely tempted), they get just covered with red. It even gets on the inside of their shoes. Sigh...
My mom and I had tried everything -- every single thing -- to get that spaghetti sauce off their clothes. We were ready to toss everything in the trash. And that's when I saw a note on the internet (what did we do before the net?!) saying that I could just leave the stained clothing out in the direct sunlight. So (quite disgusted by that point and willing to try any fool solution), I got all Beverly Hillbillish and laid all of the still-damp clothes all over the back lawn. And can you believe it those stains just completely melted away! As proof, here is the before and after on Ree's shirt:
Yup. It worked on white cotton tee-shirts, like Ree's above, cotton khaki shorts, and a light blue synthetic tee. I feel like going on Oprah to talk about this I am so excited. Maybe I'll email her right now. ;-) Anyhow, just wanted to share in case anyone out there is faced with the same problem -- apparently it works with a whole bunch of types of stains. Good luck, and please share any other good stain-removing tips you have. We can REALLY use them in this house. Really.
Oh, my mom just stopped by for a vist and saw what I was writing and said "Nice...we spend 30-plus dollars on stain removers and all we really had to do was put the dang clothes out in the sun..." Heh.
** To answer some of the questions I've received: the clothes had not yet been put in the dryer (although they say this trick even works on things that have gone through the dryer), and I had just pulled them out of the last failed washing machine attempt right before the sun experiment, so they were still damp and didn't have any remaining chemicals or stain fighting liquids on them at the time.