In my pre-baby world, I was a dance teacher, graphic designer and lover of all things hot pink and sparkly. So, when I got hit with the “Wow Chrissy, you are such a good boy mom” message one day, I was at a complete loss. Was it the dirt under my nails from the worm digging? The look of “gosh, I hope they don’t use that as a sword and hit someone in the face?”
Nope…. I’ve finally figured it out. I think that crazy nutty lady was trying to compliment my laundry skills. After all, a boy is NOISE WITH DIRT! Ask any “boy mom” and they will tell you this is one of the necessary skills one must learn when trying to keep little dirt digging, worm finding, pocket stuffing little angels looking cute and put together.
Here are my “laundry” rules when dealing with my sweet little dirt monsters:
1. Buy as many DARK color as you can
Jack Jack is a strawberry loving-fool… and we have some “new pink” shirts to prove his zest for their sweet red juice! I learned early in my boy mama days to buy dark to disguise a messy boy!!
2. Check Pockets
Any mama who has washed rocks, crayons, construction paper or gummy worms will tell you this is a lesson learned the hard way. It’s an extra step in the laundry cycle, but will save you time cleaning out the dryer and rewashing all of the other clothes.
3. When in Doubt, DON’T Dry It!
Popping your clothes in the dryer will SET IN STAINS if you haven’t removed them fully. I always do a spot check of the “hot ticket” items before I pop them into the dryer. Once you “bake in” those stains by drying, the next steps of stain removal will be a lot more challenging! If the stain is still present between washer & dryer, I pretreat again and wash it with the next set of clothing items. Or, I soak in my favorite “Magic Potion” (see below).
4. Invest in Pre-Treaters and Scatter Them Around
I have a pre-treater stick in the laundry room, downstairs in the kitchen and one in the car. When I see stains on clothing, I treat as quickly as possible and then throw them in the laundry pile.
5. Invest in Play Clothes and Leave the Good Stuff for Appearances Only
I always have a backup set of “dirty clothes” in the car. Inevitably, our day turns into a park adventure or an afternoon playing at the lake with grandma. And that usually mean dirt. And mud. And worms. (Jack is really into worms these days…) I have some ADORABLE preppy, cute clothes that I’ve picked up on consignment but I save the nice stuff for “appearance only” and have tons of play clothes that I won’t feel guilty getting muddy & stained. I love that I can pick up great play clothes at consignment sales for $1-2 a pop! SCORE!!
6. Find a Magic Potion
My friends at Wee Trade Kids in Florida shared this “Magic Potion” with me and now, I swear by it!
- – 1/2 Cup clorox color safe bleach crystals
– 1/2 Cup Cascade Dishwashing Crystals
- Mix together to dissolve in HOT water. Throw in your items & let them soak overnight (24 hours works best). Rinse Well then Toss in washer and wash as normal. (Always do a spot test first to check for color fastness)
- If you still see spots or you don’t wish to try this process first. Wash clothing like normal & lay out on green grass on a sunny day. You’ll be amazed what sun will bleach out naturally!
7. Be Armed
Being a boy mama means I can play sword fight with the best of them… For laundry & stains, I try and have the tools of the trade organized and ready for my dirt war. My favorites:
- Magic Eraser is PERFECT for scrubbing dirt off of shoes. I’ll do this periodically to prevent the boys shoes from becoming a red clay mess!
- OxyClean is a great laundry additive – for tough loads, I’ll toss in an extra scoop or two.