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Out Out Darn Spot!

September 26, 2018 - Jen Zbozny
A few years ago I read that the perfect choice for a first date (provided it's not a formal event, or 4 star Michelin restaurant), is a pair of nice jeans (no holes, not too tight, darker wash, think classic) and a white t-shirt. If it's a more casual date, pair it with black flats, and a classic pair of silver hoop earrings, and add a pop of color with your purse (do NOT take a huge purse, keep it small, and manageable). Dress it up with a tailored black blazer and heels or strappy sandals. Add a chunky bracelet for a different feel. I can see how this classic choice can work and also, because it's comfortable, it can help create excellent first-date confidence.

That is, if your white t-shirt doesn't have awful yellow sweat stains at the armpits.

I adore a good white t-shirt. Sadly, no matter how tidy and attentive I am, over time they tend to get a bit yellowed. I'll confess I wear the heck out of a good white-t. I prefer a short-sleeve fitted v-neck, or a long-sleeved fitted crewneck myself.

I've spent eons trying to solve the yellowing issue. It came to intense conflict over the weekend when I realized a beloved airy, white-cotton button down (I've had it for 11 years) began to succumb. Once more into the fray I went, and this time I WON!

Here's what I did:

1. I decided I needed something to LIFT some of the stain stuff out. I went with a bit of blue dawn dish soap. I admit I don't know what's IN that stuff but I know it has amazing surfactant abilities. That's a fancy word for "it lifts stuff up".

2. I decided I needed something that might counter-act the yellowish color. My aha moment was that I shouldn't use bleach (harsh!) and removes all color. I wanted something that wouldn't eat my cotton shirt but would lessen the yellow. Eureka! Hydrogen peroxide once, um, lightened my hair, but didn't strip its color out. I went with hydrogen peroxide.

3. I mixed one tablespoon of Dawn dish liquid with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. That formed a kind of paste which I generously applied to my shirt. After generously working that in, I added one of my most favorite home substances. Baking soda!

I took a good dollop of baking soda and SCRUBBED it into my shirt using a clean scrub brush (the kind you'd use for dishes, think softer bristles, not harsh, and not wire).

Then I left my gunk, paste, shirt on my counter over night. I admit it was in front of a window, so sunshine may have helped but either way - a miracle occurred! When I looked at my shirt in the morning, change had definitely come - it was WAAAY whiter. After I popped it into the washing machine with my load of whites (I did add a little powdered oxygen type laundry boost) and my regular laundry soap (another recipe for another day) it came out amazing!

Check out the pictures below at right. The first one is before. In the second one you can see the bits of baking soda are still on because that's what it looked like the next morning! Amazing. It seems the final "after" picture (post laundry) isn't posting properly but I'll update soon. Needless to say, I 'm thrilled!

The pics follow below at right. Here again is my miracle recipe: Ingredients: Dawn dish liquid, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda.

Mix in the following proportions:

1 part Dawn Dish liquid 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.

Scoop some out onto your stained areas and work it in. Once you've worked in your dish liquid/peroxide mixture thoroughly into your garment, dump a few tablespoons of baking soda onto the stained area. Using a soft-bristled scrubbing brush, work the baking soda in to the dish liquid/peroxide/stained area.

Let the garment sit for at least 2-hours. Check regularly because thoroughness may depend on the material you're treating. I left a thin white cotton blouse over night.

Wash as normal and congratulate yourself!


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