May 12, 2015

Zero Waste Stain Remover - Possible, but Necessary?

I have two kids

Therefore I have stain remover.

I usually buy it from a store and when I'm finished I toss the spray nozzle and recycle the bottom.

But an experiment, via the scientific method*, taught to me by Mr. Smith in eighth grade, has led me to consider two alternatives:  make homemade stain remover or don't use stain remover at all.

Question:  Will homemade stain remover be just as effective as store-bought stain remover?
Research:  Very little!  Except for finding this recipe for homemade stain remover.
Hypothesis:  Store-bought stain remover will be more effective than homemade stain remover.
Materials:  Dirty kid clothes
                    Ketchup
                    Hydrogen peroxide
                    Dawn dish soap (except we won't be using Dawn specifically because I like using only what I have on hand.  See:  homemade laundry detergent).

Procedures:  Create homemade stain remover using 1-part dish soap and 2-parts H2O2.
     Spread ketchup on control, a white washcloth.
     Spray part of clothing with homemade stain remover.
     Spray another part of clothing with store-bought stain remover.
     Leave part of clothing untouched to see if stain remover makes one stinkin' difference.
     Launder
     Dry
     Compare
Observation:  My kids are really rough on clothes.
Observation:  The Outback is overdue for an oil change.
Observation:  There's far too little dark chocolate in this house.
Observation:  




Conclusion:  There was little difference between store-bought stain remover and homemade stain remover.  There was also little difference between using stain remover and NOT using stain remover.  But...it did get out a three-wash-old strawberry stain on my toddler's sweater so we've got a keeper.
Future Action:  Toss my last nozzle, continue making the homemade stuff and use like you would a citronella candle - you aren't really sure it's making a difference but it makes you feel a little bit better.

*The word "scientific" in "scientific method" might be the only "science" actually used in this experiment.

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