Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When You Play in RED Tennessee Clay

 I lived in Virginia
until I was 17 years old
and thought I knew a thing or two
about red clay.

However, after the showcase tournament 
Mary played at last weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee...
I have a new level of awareness when it comes to red clay.

I know the REAL reason Tennessee is 
Big Orange Country.

It's NOT because everyone LOVES
The University of Tennessee.

It's because of all that INTENSE red clay
they have over there.
Everything is forever orange once it comes in contact with that stuff.
It is insane.

When I first saw the Shockwave uniforms
I cringed...
But they do look sharp.

how do I keep them looking sharp and white?

In the past
I used a carpet cleaner for tough stains on the white parts on the uniforms
and it worked fairly well.

But as many of you already know,
I like to make a lot of my own cleaning products.

One of which is my

Recently I have been seeing posts on Facebook
about stain removers.

And with the new white uniforms and this recent encounter with Tennessee red clay I thought this might be an excellent opportunity to give them a try...
especially since the carpet cleaner is full of some nasty chemicals.

Because these uniforms are polyester,
hot water and beach are not an option.
what to do with red clay stains?


So, first I used a hard brush and brushed as much of the loose dirt from the uniforms as I could.

I decided to try two different stain removers.

On the "Teal" Uniform 
(teal shirt & orange trim pants)
from tournament day 2 
I decided to use the 


This is an ingredient I use in my 
homemade laundry soap. 
I hate admitting this... 
But, I have never used it alone on a stain.

I got the uniform wet then simply rubbed the bar over the stained areas.

The "White" Uniform 
(white shirt & teal trim pants)
from day 1 of tournament,  
which by the way, was the worse of the two.

I decided to use the

Hydrogen Peroxide & Dawn 

2 parts hydrogen peroxide
and 1 part Dawn dish washing liquid.
From everything I have read it has to be the original "blue" no other.

Spray Bottle 

Then applied to stained areas.
I have to tell you...
Going into this I thought this version of stain-remover would be the least labor intensive.

I was WRONG!

After applying the spray, you must then rub the fabric together and when pretty much the whole uniform is stained...
this is not a "Quick" treatment.

As for quick and easy... 
Fels-Napth is the way to go.

Off to the washing machine...
I used my homemade soap and washed in warm/cold water then hung to dry in the sun.

Not too bad, right?

On the LEFT ~ Fels-Naptha
 There were still some faint clay spots but overall the uniform seemed brighter and whiter.

On the RIGHT ~ hydrogen peroxide mix
A very valiant effort here for sure, but there is still a large area where orange stain is still faintly visible.
Not terrible but... 

To be fair, the hydrogen peroxide & Dawn did have the worst of the two uniforms.

On a whole, I would have to say that the 
Fels-Napth won this round for me.

A brighter white with little to no effort.

So what do you think?

My Laundry Recipe

  • 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha (Ivory, Zote or Purex)
  • 1/2 c. Washing Soda
  • 1/2 c. Borax Powder

Grate bar & put in pan. 
Add 6 c. water & heat till it melts.
Add soda & borax, stir till dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Pour 4 c. HOT water into 5 gallon bucket.
Now add soap mixture & stir.
Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups & stir.

Let sit for 24 hours & let gel.

Use 1/2 c. per load of laundry.

I can't call any of these 
but they are by far a better choice than some of the alternatives while getting the job done well.