Sunday, March 29, 2009


So I was doing some reading online when I came across this priceless article. I'm sad to say, though, it's a little too late for my beautiful blue and black striped blouse with a white collar. The collar turned pink and I washed the shirt dozens of times. I tried all sorts of concoctions and ended up pitching it. That really hurt. I saw this article and it mentioned a couple of different solutions when your clothes turn pink. Save this and file it so if you have a laundry disaster, you can refer to it. That's what I did. Talk to you on Tuesday. I'll be back from a mini vacation.


by Mary Ellen Pinkham, Everyday Problem Solver

Below, you'll find examples of both household remedies and commercial recommendations. (In a couple of cases Mary Ellen even suggests some of her own products, which she developed because they solved problems for which there were no other solutions, and I continue to feel they're the best way to go.)

1. White clothes are pink

Solution 1: Rit Color Remover. This product is specifically meant to remove dye color that's been transferred to washable white fabrics. Where to find: Fabric stores and drug-store chains.

Solution 2:1. Place the clothing item on a stack of paper towels and spray the stained area with WD-40. Leave it for five minutes, then repeat on other side.

2. Rub in liquid dish washing detergent, placing fresh towels underneath as color is absorbed.

3. Wash with chlorine or oxygen bleach, whichever is appropriate, and rinse with warm water.

2. Crayons melted in dryer

For the dryer drum:

1. Scrape off as much wax as possible with a credit card or other non scratchy tool.
2. Use a blow-dryer held about 6-8 inches from the drum to create enough heat to melt the wax, and wipe away what you can.
3. Spray WD-40 or Goo Gone on paper towels, and wipe it again.
4. Use a little liquid dish detergent and warm water to wash out the dryer. To be very sure the wax is cleaned out, before you use the dryer on a normal load, first dry a load of rags for 30 minutes.

3. Wool sweater shrunk

Solution: Not guaranteed, but this is worth a try. Soak the sweater for a few minutes in a bucket of water to which you've added a couple of capfuls of hair conditioner. The hair conditioner will loosen up the fibers enough so that you can lay the sweater on a dry towel and gently pull and stretch it back to shape. Allow to dry thoroughly.

4. Stained lingerie

Solution: Apply a solution of three percent hydrogen peroxide to the stain, let it bubble up, rinse. Repeat until the stain is gone. If that's not working, and/or if you've got a set-in, dried stain on items that have already gone through the washer and dryer, try Mary Ellen's for Those Days. It works on whites and colorfast items like magic.

5. White fabric with yellow stains

Solution: Yellow stains are very tricky and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Sometimes the whiteners and brighteners used in the manufacture of a white item simply turn color. Or, as in the case of underarm stains, the fabric itself has been damaged. Both situations are irreversible. Sometimes white linen items can be salvaged. If you've tried bleach without success, check out Mary Ellen's Formula One for Set-in Stains—it's good for white and colorfast items. Over the years, women have written to tell me it even removed stains on old christening gowns. Also, you'll avoid yellow stains on white fabrics if you never store them with plastic coverings (such as dry cleaning bags).

6. White fabric looks dingy

Solution: First soak the item for half an hour in a quart of warm water with a tablespoon each of ammonia and liquid dish washing detergent. Rinse, and then soak it in a quart of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar. Finally, rinse well and dry.

7. Clothes are wrinkled

Solution: Return everything to the dryer, put a damp towel into the load and re-dry. Or press garments with a pressing cloth dampened with diluted white vinegar.