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Archive for January, 2010

Pre-Laundering Stain Treatment

January 31st, 2010 at 02:40 pm

My clothes washer is washing our sheets right now. DH's pillowcase had a small blood stain on it. Before starting the wash I treated the stain as I have for 99.9% of my adult life: I measured my regular laundry detergent in to the cup, got the stained area wet (use COLD water for blood), poured a little bit of detergent on the stain, rubbed the fabric together with my hands, did a quick rinse (again use COLD water), repeated these steps one more time, and the stain was gone.

I have owned one bottle of special stain treatment stuff in my life. I bought it during an especially busy time in my life, thinking it would make doing laundry a bit easier. It didn't. In fact the case could be made that using my tried-and-true method is faster since I don't have to take a special bottle down from the cupboard, open it, close it, and put it back (and remember to buy it when it runs low).

And while I haven't done an ounce-for-ounce comparison, I KNOW that using plan old laundry detergent is cheaper than using a specialized product.

This post is not just about treating laundry stains. It's about questioning whether you really need a specialized product that a manufacturer has done a great job selling you on, or whether an everyday (less expensive) product would work just as well. For the newly-frugal, as you go about your daily routine today, why not ask yourself: "Do I really need this product? Does it really make my life easier and save me enough time to make it worth the extra cost? Or is there another less-expensive product that I already own that could work just as easily and well?"