I’m not a homemaker. I don’t do DIY projects. I don’t really cook, nor am I really handy. If you ask me to paint a wall, the paint will end up in my hair, on my nose, shoes, bag, ceiling, and floor, and sometimes on the wall. I have spaghetti arms so I can’t even carry the groceries inside by myself.
One thing do I enjoy is handling the weekly household laundry responsibilities. I suspect I’m an anomaly because not only do I like folding laundry (that shirt has to be folded the right way or I will re-do it), I also like putting laundry away. There’s something comforting about knowing Mike and I have a nice stockpile of clean clothes in our drawers and closets. (This also means I feel like crap when I hear, “Can you do laundry soon? I’m almost out of clean socks,” which happens from time to time when work gets busy.)
Anyway, when Mike got olive oil one of his favorite t-shirts, it was up to me to come to the rescue. We bought the shirt when we were on vacation in Maine last summer — it has a cartoon lobster on the back drinking a beer while reclining in a bowl of chowder and it says LOBSTA, CHOWDA, BEEYA. It’s cute.
I looked at a few websites for ideas on how to remove oil from clothing and ended up putting dish soap on it and rubbing it in. It did nothing. Well, that’s not true. What I did was I somehow turned one small olive oil stain into four stains. That takes talent!
Then about a week later I made another attempt. A few sites recommended rubbing in dish soap and baking soda with a toothbrush. So, I tried that, and I really went for it. I scrubbed in circular motions and pressed really hard.
I let it sit for about an hour, then came back a little while later and scrubbed in circular motions and pressed harder still. I let it sit again. More scrubbing. Then I put it in the wash and hoped for the best.
Well, the oil came out. That was the goal, right? But the problem was…the color was also removed where the oil had been. I guess I scrubbed too hard.
Mike was so nice about it but I felt terrible and couldn’t sleep that night. My mom was excellent at homemaking; she made it her full-time job. She’d be pretty ashamed of me if she saw me now.
I thought we could try using Rit fabric dye to get the entire shirt to one color. I guess at this point there’s nothing to lose. I’ve used Rit before to dye garments, but at this point I’ve lost confidence in my laundry skills.
How would you save this beloved LOBSTA CHOWDA BEEYA shirt? Please leave your suggestions in the comments!
I’d like to share what I hope are a few redeeming photos of my sweet laundry folding skills… I should probably just stick to the basics from here on out.