Sometimes the interwebz lie.
You see, I’m getting ready for an event in Williamsburg, VA, this weekend, and I thought that I’d see if I couldn’t get those pesky orange stains out of the neckline of Sweet Daughter’s and my white linen shifts. You see, if you put on sunblock and don’t wait until it soaks into your skin before you get dressed, it will rub off on your light-colored clothing, react with the iron in your water when you wash them, and stain your clothes orange.
So, I’m working my Google-fu, and find that I can rub in a dish detergent like “Dawn”, let it sit, and then wash, or I can use anything with rust remover in it, but not to use any oxy-type product as that makes it worse. A product called “The Works” got lots and lots of hosannas. One guy even said:
I read many of the recommendations and tried "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner because I didn't have any of the bathroom cleaner. It worked instantly, no scrubbing needed! The stains just disappeared! Even old stains that had been washed and dried multiple times.
Since I’m sort of pressed for time this week, I decided I liked the “it works instantly” option better than the rubbing and scrubbing option. My “local” (yeah, it’s still 30 miles away) Target didn’t have the bathroom cleaner, but did have the stuff for the toilet bowl. “That’s supposed to work!” I said to myself as I tossed it in the cart.
When I got home, I gathered up our shifts and squirted “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner on the necklines. Hmmm. The stains didn’t just “disappear”. As a matter of fact, the shifts started turning pale blue from the dye in the cleaner. Except for the orange stains around the neck. They were a lot more noticeable now, since they contrasted with the blue.
I tossed the shifts in the wash with the rest of my white linen, some borax, and some laundry detergent. At the end of the cycle EVERYTHING was noticeably a little blue except for the cheery orange stains. Oh, and that really nice linen sheet that wasn’t quite white. The fibers still retained a little of its yellowish color which, when mixed with the blue, made for an interesting green tinge.
Eh. I tossed everything back in the wash for another go-round, this time with some bleach which seemed to lighten things up a little. The sheet spent 24 hours outside on the wet grass getting a “dew bleach” which helped a little. The shifts still have a bluish tint, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that they did have bluing in the 18th century. Now if I can just get rid of that toilet cleaner odor so I don't walk around all weekend smelling like a urinal cake. Because that's farby.