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By hello_kitten On 04/03/04  

I'm doing some laundry, and have a few questions about stains!

How do you get blood out? menstrual blood, if that makes a difference. There are some that i've soaked and most came out, but other ones i didn't soak, and now it's dried and old. I've heard of using hydrogen peroxide, but would that bleach the items?

some of my socks are really gunky and gross (atheletic socks, dried sweat, eww), but I don't have enough to wash them as their own load. I use the dorm washers, which aren't super strong, so I'm wondering if any of the "dirties" from the athletic socks will carry over to other clothing? I want to wash my underoos with them, is that a bad idea?

Ok thanks so much, I am so inexperienced when it comes to these types of things

By Rochelle On 04/03/04  

for blood stains...use meat tenderizer

By hello_kitten On 04/03/04  

>for blood stains...use meat tenderizer

like, put the meat tenderizer directly on the stain? what kind of meat tenderizer should i get, and does it work on older stains? does it affect the cloth, like if it's polyester or cotton or wool, will it dissolve it or wear it down?

By lizzymahoney On 04/03/04  

The meat tenderizer trick is a great one for removing blood stains. Think of the blood as a protein, which it is, and then recognize that meat tenderizers of any type will break down proteins. Something with papain or bromelain would be good. Those are plant based enzymes (although they may be synthetic) that work on proteins. It can work on older stains, but there are always some stains you can't get out.

Hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy or grocery store bottles is fine for most clothes. If you have access to hair bleaching strength, don't use that on clothes. I can't think of any that it wouldn't be okay on. Medical people rely on HO to remove blood, vomit, betadine and other nasty staining stuff.

There are laundry additives that really do help remove crud. I use 'spray and wash' on minor grimey bits. My brother uses 'Lestoil' on greasy work clothes. I've used a 1:1:1 household bleach, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent dissolved in a gallon of water combo for overnight soaking before, too. That's excellent on light colored clothes, but you do have to be careful around bleach, and know what you are combining. Any ammonia in the mix will release the suspended chlorine as a gas -- Toxic fumes.

Sometimes letting clothing soak in a washer with just the detergent will do the trick. Sometimes longer agitation, if you can reset the timer.

As far as funk from your gym socks, don't sweat it. :P If you don't overload the washer and all have a chance to circulate with an appropriate amount of detergent, they will come clean and relatively sanitized. Hotter water is more sanitary, but will set some stains you didn't pretreat and will wear your clothes out faster.

I'd be more concerned about the germs left from previous users than about gym socks tainting thongs.

By Rochelle On 04/03/04  

yes, exactly what lizzy said. you may want to dampen the stain a little with water first so the meat tenderizer powder stuff will be absorbed by the fabric.

By modforpretend On 04/03/04  

also, use cold water when you're removing blood stains. the protein loosens more in cold and sets in warm or hot.

By mgdriver On 04/04/04  

for really revoltingly gray sweat socks, boil some water and dissolve dishwasher soap in it. just get the cheap store brand powder. toss in the socks or whatever, stir it around, let it sit till it cools. dump out the water, then run the socks thru with no additional soap. may take 2 washes. i did this when raising teenage boys, the filthiest creatures on earth! it will beat up the fabric/elastic somewhat, but since the stuff is otherwise unwearable, might as well go for it!

By hello_kitten On 04/04/04  

hey, thanks for all of your advice! I am getting some meat tenderizer asap, it'll be useful in my cooking too! he he.

I am doing a monthload of laundry today, it's crazy. he he he.

I have another question, about washing shoes. Can I just throw them into the wash? I have a pair of new balance running shoes that are all sweaty and gross, and I've heard of throwing shoes into the washing machine. Can I throw them in with other laundry, or will they get gross? Also what about drying, can I dry them in the machine, or will the running shoes melt?

Thanks so much! !

By MlleEmily On 04/04/04  

In a pinch, you can use your own saliva to prevent bloodstains from setting. Probably not the volume of staining you'd get from Aunt Rosies' visit to your underoos, but if you get smaller amounts of blood on you clothes. I know this because I sewed my finger on an industrtrial sewing machine and blood got all over the top I was making, and my teacher told me to spit on it... the stain washed out very well after that.

By sobriquet On 04/04/04  

I threw my dingy, espresso-and-whipped-cream-funk coated nylon/suede Sauconys in the washing machine with a load of towels, they came out looking great. I put them in the dryer, too, but they "kicked" the door open every 15 minutes till I gave up and let them air-dry.

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