From my inbox: Laundry stains and pre-treating
"I wanted to thank you for all of your posting on line drying clothes for me! It has been very helpful. I also made a more concentrated version of "the homemade laundry detergent" and I'm having trouble with it not washing out fat based stains on my boys' shirts. Have you noticed this, do you have to do a lot of pretreating?"
Carey, you're quite welcome! I love line-drying my laundry, so it was a pleasure to write about it. :)
To answer your question, no, I don't do a lot of pre-treating on my laundry. I don't think I've ever found a detergent that takes out grease stains without pouring the detergent right on the stain and scrubbing a little.
Most of my laundry is not very greasy. It's just the four of us, and my boys are still young. Yehoshua (2.75 years old) still wears a bib at every meal! And I wash his hands whenever he eats. I'm pretty particular about food -- it stays in the kitchen, at the table, etc. We still have dirty laundry, obviously, but I try to minimize the mess and work involved.
I wash my husband's work clothes separately, since they're the dirtiest things I launder. I wash those in warm-cold water and use extra soap/detergent. They still have stains sometimes, but they have holes, too, and I'm not too concerned. I feel like they're clean, and they just get dirty the next day anyway. ;)
Here is my "take" on laundry stains.
We have some nice "church clothes" and we are very careful when wearing those items. (And we wear them for a limited amount of time, not just all day!) I change my clothes right before we head out the door. This clothes rarely gets stained, but when it does, I pre-treat or do what's needed to remove the stain if possible.
We also have decent, every-day clothes. We try to keep this clothes in good shape (like I mentioned earlier, Yehoshua wears huge bibs at mealtimes, which seems to be one of the worst culprits for messy shirts!) but we also don't really worry if it gets stained or worn. It's clothes, after all.
I hardly ever pre-treat anything. I do line dry the clothes, so sometimes if a stain doesn't come out with one washing, I'll pre-treat it the next time (since the heat of the dryer hasn't gotten to it to "set" the stain). Other times, not.
And then we have the clothes (mostly just Yehoshua's!) that is always stained. Bibs, cleaning rags, dish rags, and some t-shirts. It's around-the-house clothes and I don't bother to try to keep it looking perfect. If we have to go out, we wear something nicer.
At any rate, this is what works for us! Most of our clothes was either given to us or purchased at rummage sales or garage sales, and we've always been blessed with a supply of nicer things just as the older was getting worn-looking. :)
P.S. Baby poo stains I do try to get out, if they're in a noticeable place on the baby clothing. :) Usually some scrubbing and some sunshine will do the trick! :)