I was a Little League® mom for nine years. It was so much fun experiencing each new season and watching my son grow as both a player and a person. Every season is different but regardless of the triumphs, losses, and nightly practices, one thing remained constant throughout those nine years: there was a mountain of baseball laundry waiting for me at the end of every week! His clothes were COVERED with stains of all kinds: grass on the knees, baseball clay all along the pant legs, and even some food stains from when the team went out for some celebratory pizza. I felt like I spent just as much time cheering on my son on the field as I spent in the laundry room making sure his diving-catch-stains came out of his uniform! As a proud member of all® and even prouder part of the Little League family, I feel well equipped to let you in on all the laundry room secrets I’ve acquired over the years both at home and work:
Laundry Tip #1: The Sooner You Clean a Stain, The Easier It is To Get OutYes, this sounds like Laundry 101, but sometimes we need friendly reminders. This tip is relatively well known, but if you’re like most people, the last thing you want to do after arriving home from a game is laundry. But, to keep those uniforms clean, you should try.
Laundry Tip #2: Pretreating HelpsPretreating in any way always helps get out a stain. Pretreating can involve using a spot treatment, soaking the stain with your favorite laundry booster, or even just rubbing detergent into the stain itself. You may not have a lot of time, but even a few minutes can help. That’s because stains are bits of stuff stuck within the fibers of your clothes. Pretreating can get deep down into these fibers and save your detergent some time by working to get out the stains before the item goes into the washer.
Laundry Tip #3: Temperature Matters…SometimesWhile I usually only clean items in cold water to save money on my energy bill, most stains usually come out better in warm water. This is because heat helps to speed up the cleaning reaction to take the stain away. This is especially true with those pesky grass stains. One of the only stains that is removed better in cold water than hot is blood.
Laundry Tip #4: Use large Plastic Containers To Wash HatsMy son always wore the same lucky hat day in and day out. It was impossible to get him to change into a new one and I could never figure out how to wash it without risking losing its shape. I soon discovered that I could wash his hat using a large plastic container, adding some liquid laundry detergent, shaking the container to get the hat extra soapy, and then rinsing it off in cold water. Now my son was able to wear his lucky hat… without all the gunk.
Laundry Tip #5: Drying Sets A StainIf you take something out of the washer and the stain hasn’t been completely removed, DON’T dry it. The exposure of high heat will just cause the stain to set in and you’ll never be able to get it out. Just set it aside and put it in the with the next wash load. Sometimes persistence really is the key, but other times, when you’re staring down a truly tough, set-in stain, it requires you to add an extra boost to your laundry.
Laundry Tip #6: For those Set-in Stains, Use a Laundry BoosterWhen you’ve washed something a few times and the stain isn’t completely removed, I would recommend using a laundry booster. Laundry boosters are added to your washer and work in conjunction with your detergent to help get out the tough stains. I use the new all® OXI Laundry Booster for sensitive skin when I’ve let my laundry sit a little too long, and it helps to keep clothes clean and bright. I also use it around the house to get out any household stains.
Laundry Tip #7: Use A Proven Laundry DetergentYour laundry detergent is your most important weapon when it comes to the fight against stains, so it’s important to make sure you trust what you’re buying. Of course, as the Official Laundry Detergent of Little League, I’d recommend using all®. I used it even before I joined the brand, and I used it throughout my son’s Little League career. That’s because all® fights tough stains, whitens, and brightens and has been specially formulated to gets out your Little Leaguers’ toughest stains.
Julie O’Grady is a Senior Research Consultant at Sun Products