Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Battle of Chocolate Milk

There was an incident last month, between chocolate milk and gravity. Gravity won, of course; and I ended up with chocolate milk spattered far and wide. The Very First Step is to make sure no one is freaking out about this! A certain child was sure he was going to get into big trouble. I'm still trying to clean up the impact, but it clearly wasn't intentional, and these accidents aren't common. The hardest hit were a white teeshirt and my hardwood floor. (Of course the shirt was white. This can't be easy!)

After cleaning up the main splatter and the child, I ran cold water over the white shirt. This reduced the chocolate marks, but did not remove them. I tried soaking the shirt in water; no improvement. I tried soaking the shirt in salted water; no improvement. Salt acts as a water softener to make water-for-cleaning more effective, but this chocolate was more stubborn. Next I put the shirt in the washing machine and washed it in cold water with OxiClean White Revive Whitener. The stains might have been lighter, but were still present. So I did some research:

Based on that research and availability, I tried soaking the formerly-white shirt in a solution of water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda (I purchase the last two in large sizes because they're both so handy). Success!!!

I didn't try ammonia or an ezymatic cleaner or club soda (didn't have any); I figured the bubbles of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda could approximate the fizziness of club soda, assuming that's how it is effective. I didn't try cream or full-fat milk because I don't keep that around either. I have Borax; it's a component in my homemade laundry powder, so I figured it would be tested in the washing machine soon enough.

I've been known to forget what worked last time, so I'm sharing with everyone.