Favorite Products for Dirty Laundry

I really don’t like doing laundry, but find it’s mainly how I spend my weekends, so I might as well make the best of it. I would like to provide my family with perfectly clean, stain-free, good-smelling, ironed clothes every day of the week. I would like to be that mom in laundry product commercials, who smells the towels in the perfectly organized linen closet and says, “Mmmm, boy do these smell fresh!”

Yes, I dream big.

So this weekend, in addition to laundry, I went to Harris Teeter and stocked up on an entire inventory of advanced laundry products.

First, I bought some OxiClean. Billy Mays sort of scared me into buying it. Could that guy be louder or more insistant?

I’ll try anything to remove stains — it seems that anytime this family gets a new article of clothing, it attracts some kind of food spill immediately. Shout has been a standby for years but it’s letting me down, so I’m moving on. Not only that, but adding a scoop of this stuff is supposed to get your regular load even cleaner. So far so good.

Then, I bought some Downy fabric softener in the lavender and lilac scent. (Boy I lead an exciting life, don’t I?) After years of going fragrance-free with our laundry detergent, I wanted to at least have fabric-softened, scented sheets for our beds.

I didn’t stop there, of course, but washed our towels with the scented fabric softener, too. We tend to have a lot of static at our house in the winter so I’m still sticking with the Bounce sheets.

My fabric softener dispenser on my washer is broken. I don’t know how that happened, but alas, it did. So I bought a nifty Downy ball — you just pour in the softener, pop up the top and toss it in. The centrifugal force of the top-loading machine releases the softener at exactly the right time.


I have never tried color-safe bleach before. I use bleach on whites, of course, but this is a new product in my house. I like bright colors and I hate it when clothes fade, so I’m hoping this works out. I’m also hoping it helps (with the OxiClean) to get out any stains before they’re (and here’s my other favorite mom-character line in a laundry commercial) “set for life!”

My sister told me about a spray that she buys and uses on her family’s clothes. Reportedly, she sprays it on, smoothes out the clothes and the wrinkles disappear.

I tried it — another Downy product — the Wrinkle Releaser, as I ironed about eight of my husband’s shirts. This is a new record for me. I don’t think I’ve ever ironed eight shirts in a row before. The spray helped smooth out the wrinkles so the ironing was a bit easier. I couldn’t have done it without my iPod, nor would I have wanted to.

How do you keep your family’s clothes clean? Any stain-fighting tips? Any favorite laundry products you’d like to share?

*Update — I went back and counted. It was actually TWELVE shirts.
**Update — The OxiClean got a food stain out of a shirt that nothing else had worked on. It’s a winner!

About marijean

I'm a public relations professional, social media consultant and work-at-home-mom living and working in Charlottesville, Va. I'm Marijean Jaggers and this is my blog.
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11 Responses to Favorite Products for Dirty Laundry

  1. Mary Beth says:

    The OxiClean Laundry spray also works really well for stains – but you have to follow the directions. It says to leave it on for 10 minutes and then throw it in the washer. If you leave it on too long, it stains your clothes (of course – this was when I left it on SEVERAL times overnight). I’ve also heard that soaking your laundry in Biz works – my friend swears by it.

  2. Cat Herrington says:

    Ah! Great post! and so practical! I was a no-fragrance launderer for years and recently switched to a lavendar scent too.

    My sister uses baking soda in her wash (about 1 cup) and only about 1/4 cup of laundry detergent. I was visiting her house last week and this formula took out dirt & food stains (and even vomit stains (gross, but true) from white crib sheets with no clorox. She has also used soapnuts – a natural detergent – that I’ve seen at IY. I’ve never tried it, but it worked for her family (a husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat).

  3. Saraj says:

    My laundry trick, that I’m trying very hard to make a habit, is to do one load every day. Just one, but every day. Eventually you get ahead, but that’s when you start looking around the house for things that you could wash since everything else is clean… dish towels, pot holders, that old blanket in the den?

    It worked great the few weeks I did it. But with only 2 of us it’s too easy to say “ah, I don’t need to do any laundry yet” and then that’s the end of the everyday thing. As soon as I let it go then I don’t want to fold and put things away after the next big load. Putting away is the hardest part in our house. Usually the guest room bed becomes a pile of clean clothes.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I feel the need to forward this post to my MIL who works for S.C. Johnson Wax. I think I will…

  5. Randee says:

    Eerily enough, MJ, my laundry list (literally) about mimics your to a T. Although I use Downy sheets. My mom switched to Snuggle when we were kids and I still remember smelling Downy after many years and thinking, “I missed this smell!” So, it doesn’t matter what I can get that costs less, because sometimes you just gotta have it! We are rarely without wrinkle releaser, because I hate to iron and my husband is invariably leaving for one of his two business trips of the year while running around screaming, “My shirts are all wrinkles! Why do my pants look like they’ve been laying on the floor for 3 months?” (They have, by the way.)

    I will say that as much as I love OxiClean, I’ve noticed if you don’t let it dissolve well in the water, it leaves little pinholes in the fabrIC.

    Also never without Tide-to-GO, because we all spill.

  6. Great post! My 6 y/o daughter calls Billy Mays “that yelling guy” as in “mama, I hear that yelling guy again…” and I’m with Randee! Nothing substitutes for Downey. It’s gotta be the real thing. HAven’t tried lilac, tho.

  7. blackbird says:

    I’m an OxiClean user — I *think* it does a good job…great post.

  8. Michelle says:

    How did I miss this post? LOVE OxiClean. Also, a little tidbit for ya. My husband got grease from his drill on his favorite shirt and asked if I could get it out. He doesn’t ask for much, so I really wanted to come through for him. I used the net and found a tip that applying Dawn dishwashing liquid and then just scratching it with my fingernail would make it come right off. AND IT WORKED! WOW!

  9. Michelle says:

    Oh, and as I just found out, Dawn works on food grease too, but you really need to rub, rub, rub.

  10. Jin Nedman says:

    I tried ten dozens of anti-wrinkle lotion. But this one truly make my skin look toner. I did order next one.

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