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  • Laundry Tip: Pre-treat with Tide Stain Release

    Baseball season has just started around here, and of course I find myself washing white pants every week – white pants that have grass and mud stains all over, especially on the knees. After the first game, I had to wash the pants four times and I still couldn’t get out one tiny little spot of mud.

    After the second game, I was mentally prepared to wash the pants four times again, but I decided to experiment a little bit. Instead of pre-treating the stain with a spray like Zout or Shout, I used Tide Stain Release. It’s a fairly new product that you add to the washing machine at the same time as the detergent, but the bottle says you can pre-treat stains with it too. I left the pants on the washer overnight, and washed them the next day.

    I couldn’t believe it when they came out completely white after the first wash. I was thrilled! I know I sound like a paid commercial for the product, but I don’t think I’ve even gotten a free sample of this stuff. I did get a couple of bottles for free back when Vons stacked paper and electronic coupons, and now I’m going to have to keep an eye out for deals.

    I don’t know if this will work after every game, but I’m pretty excited that I won’t have to wash the pants four times every week!

    Shower cleaning tip: Scrub during your shower

    I have to admit, I was pretty hesitant when I first read Flylady‘s suggestion to scrub the shower during my shower. In fact, I resisted for years. But scrubbing the shower/bath area was something I kept putting off, so I finally bought a long-handled brush at Target (it’s actually a kitchen scrubber) and started scrubbing the shower while I’m in there anyway.

    I just use some shampoo – it was free thanks to The Drugstore Game – and scrub a wall one day, the tub the next day, another wall the day after that. And it really works!

    I wish I hadn’t waited so long to start doing this, but better late than never!

    Save Time with this Laundry Tip: Multiple Baskets

    Growing up, I used to throw my dirty laundry into a hamper. I was taught to do laundry all at once, separating the clothes and then doing load after load in one day (usually a weekend). But living alone, I acquired laundry baskets that didn’t match, so they didn’t stack. And I didn’t really want a hamper. So I did what seemed natural, and tossed light colored clothing in one basket and darks in the other.

    Sorting laundry as it’s created saves a lot of time.

    It also makes doing laundry less onerous, since you can do a load as the need arises. The darks basket fills up quickly around here – every day or two, since we have the kids throw their dirty clothes into the baskets in our closet. I suppose that when they’re a little older, I’ll clear some space on the floor of their closet and install baskets in there too.

    Flylady suggests doing one load a day so that “Mt. Washmore” doesn’t get too big, and while I don’t necessarily follow that guideline (I’ve done three loads today), I wholeheartedly agree with the principle.

    Works for Me: Two blankets on the bed

    I have a confession:

    I am a blanket hog.

    If there is a blanket on the bed, I will grab it in my sleep, wrap it around myself, and only some vigorous yanking will dislodge it from my grasp. Temporarily.

    In the interest of marital harmony, we realized very early on that something had to change or one day I would discover that my beloved had turned into an icicle.

    As I mentioned previously, I’m a big believer in easy bed-making – there’s no flat sheet, just a comforter with a cover. So our solution was simple: We simply added a second comforter to our bed. Now at night, we each have our own comforters so there’s no fighting over coverage.

    Simple, effective and – dare I say? – brilliant.

    Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at We are THAT Family.

    Works for Me: Simple Bed Making

    Not long after I was living on my own – back when I moved into the college dorms, in fact – I found a simple way of making my bed that was fast and easy. The first thing I did was dispense with the flat sheet. I’ve never much liked flat sheets anyway, as I tend to push them down with my feet and find them bunched at the foot of the bed when I wake up.

    So now I need only the following to make my bed:

    • fitted sheet to cover the mattress
    • pillow case (2, since I use 2 pillows)
    • comforter
    • comforter cover, aka duvet

    Since the comforter is protected by the duvet, it only needs to be washed infrequently. Everything else is easily washed weekly. And most importantly, it takes all of one minute to make the bed in the morning – just a little fluffing of the pillows, and spreading of the comforter over the bed. That’s it!

    Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at We are THAT Family.

    Works for me: Seam Ripper

    I had to sew a button back on last weekend, and I didn’t have an exact color match on the thread. I did, however, have two spools that were close. So I picked the lighter color, which seemed to be the closest match, and sewed the button back on.

    Um, apparently the colors weren’t close enough. I stared at it, and then decided I’d have to try the darker color.

    In the past, I’ve used a pair of scissors to remove buttons, but I’d sewed this one on really well. I was afraid I’d damage the shirt if I used scissors.

    And then I remembered that I have a seam ripperfrom when I took a sewing class almost ten years ago. The only thing I learned in that class is that I can’t sew, but at least something good came of it. The seam ripper worked like a charm, and since I have one and almost forgot about it, I thought there’d be a good chance that others who don’t sew have never even heard of one.

    The great thing is that seam rippers are really inexpensive. The one picturedis $2.38 at Amazon, and that’s probably about how much I paid at the craft store for mine.

    Disclosure: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!