18 September 2014

Banish Stains the Easy Way

We are a messy, mucky lot in our household. Wayne works with grease and dirt and saw dust and graphite all day. I cook and bake and clean and dig in the garden. The boys play sports and help around the yard. Hannah likes to bake and cook. Every day one of us will manage to spill something on our clothes or wipe their hands down  their pants (I'd never do that!) or run out to the letterbox in socks because it just takes too long to put shoes on (I'd never do that either!).

That means there is always something in my laundry that needs a heavy-duty stain treatment.

Soakers are expensive. Even the generic equivalents are pricey, especially when you're a stain freak like me. Nothing upsets me more than doing the washing only to find a stain on an otherwise spotlessly clean garment. I've been known to howl in frustration at the clothesline, much to my neighbour's surprise.

These days stains and spots get treated with Stain Removing Soap. It is the best stain remover I've ever used. It lifts graphite off Wayne's work shirts with just a rub. Grease (of the engine type) comes off jeans and shirts without scrubbing. I love it. It is one of my favourite MOOs.

I can't remember where I first found the original recipe, but many, many heartfelt thanks to the inventor. This soap is brilliant, easy and cheap.  Even on Wayne's work clothes (do you have any idea how hard graphite is to get out of shirts and trousers?) and the boys' sports clothes I just damp the stain, rub it with the soap and put the garment in the wash.  And I haven't howled at the clothesline in ages.

To make your stain removing soap you will need:
4 bars of soap*
4 tbsp (60ml) Eucalyptus oil
1 cup methylated spirits
1 cup boiling water
A stainless steel or enamel bowl
A saucepan big enough to sit the bowl over, like a double boiler
An old metal whisk
Soap moulds - I use empty egg cartons, silicone cake moulds work well
1.  To get started, fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil grate the soap, using the zester side of your grater. You do this so the soap will dissolve faster. You can just cut it into chunks, but you'll be standing stirring forever, waiting for it to dissolve.

2.  When all the soap is grated into a fine powder, add everything to the bowl and whisk together. The mixture will be cloudy.

3.  Turn the exhaust fan on and place the bowl over the pot of boiling water and start stirring with the whisk. I prefer to use the whisk because it helps the soap to dissolve completely.  The smell will be very strong, which is why I like to have the exhaust fan on.

4.  Stir until the mixture becomes transparent and thickens. It will look like a thick custard or sauce. Remove from the heat and pour into the moulds.
I use an egg carton because the little half egg shaped bars of soap are just the right size and shape to fit into the palm of my hand when I'm using it.

5.  Set aside to set and cure. It will need to dry for at least four weeks to harden enough to last when you use it. The longer you let it cure the harder it will be and the longer it will last. When you want to use a bar of your stain-removing soap just tear off a segment of egg carton and pop the soap out.

*You can use any type of soap. It's a great way to use up all those scraps of bathroom soap no-one will use. If you use scraps you'll need approximately 5 cups of scraps. Laundry soap is cheap and perfect for re-making into this stain-removing soap if you prefer to use cakes of soap.

I've used this amazing soap for years - since the boys were in primary school, so at least 18 years and it has never let me down.

To use it I simply wet the stain, rub the soap over it a couple of times and toss the garment into the wash. That's it. Easy. Effective. Cheap.

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  1. We don't have an exhaust fan :O We rent so I can't just put one in either. Will I be fine to make this or should I put one of hubby's masks on lol? Would love to try this on hubby's work clothes.
    Cheers Jo

  2. You should be fine but the fumes will be strong, the eucalyptus will certainly help clear your sinus :) If you have a barbecue with a side burner make it outside, I often do. You will love it, it shifts grease like nothing I've ever tried before, and red dirt stains just disappear. Personally I think it leaves commercial products for dead.

  3. Awesome, I can deal with clear sinuses lol will give it a go :)

  4. Would this work on car upholstery as cannot be washed ?

    1. Probably. Just don't soak the upholstery. Use a damp cloth, wipe the soap over the stain and work from the outside in with the damp cloth, rinsing and wringing it out as you go. Be careful not to get the upholstery dripping wet, keep it damp.

    2. Or, sorry just remembered this, use baby wipes. I use baby wipes on the velour-type upholstery in Wayne's car and they are amazing. Probably the best use for baby wipes.

  5. what does the Eucalyptus oil do for stains ? or is it just for scent ? I ask only because its very expensive around here

    1. Eucalyptus oil is a stain lifter, degreaser, dissolves sticky substances and is a disinfectant. It most definitely plays a part in the success of this soap, it's not used for fragrance.


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