I’ve had a love-hate affair with stain removers for as long as I can remember. Some did a good job of getting out dirt stains but not so much organic matter (read: overflow from my days when I was dealing with poopy diapers). Other stain removers did great on that same organic matter but were no match for the red-clay stains (thank you Pennsylvania soil) that my kids got on their clothes.
Then last year I did a story for All You magazine, a Time Inc. publication, on greening every room in your house and saving money, too. The folks that represent 20 Mule Team Borax sent me a box to try out for my story. They were claiming that their product was the best laundry booster out there. Plus, it’s affordable and green. OK, whatever, I’ll give it a go.
Soon after that box of borax showed up, my daughter had a soccer game. She’s a goalie so she spends a lot of time on the ground, getting very dirty.
The borax box suggested adding the powder to a load of wash, but I’m pretty particular about pre-treating stains before washing them. After the soccer game, I tried the borax on all of the stains on her uniform. First, I wet the fabric. Then I added a tiny bit of liquid detergent. Next, I sprinkled on some borax. Finally, I rubbed it all together to make a paste. I let it sit on the fabric for about 30 minutes before washing.
The uniform went through the laundry and came out looking brand new. Since then I’ve tried borax on nearly any stain my kids can create these days–my husband, too. Blood, dirt and chocolate don’t stand a chance now that I’m armed with borax. That first box is long gone, and now borax has become a must-buy for keeping my family’s clothes clean.
I’ve even gotten my mom into using borax. She oversees a church-run thrift store and receives a ton of clothes as donations. Previously, a lot of what should have been wearable clothing she had to toss, because of stains. Now she brings those clothes home, uses some borax on them, and then they look practically new–or at least not stained anymore.
All of this is why I’m handing out this week’s Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval to borax, specifically 20 Mule Team Borax because it’s the only brand that I know of these days. If you’d like to get more wearing out of your clothes and don’t want to have to turn something into a rag because of stain, I would recommend that your give borax a try.