It was pretty much a perfect afternoon.
My parents decided to take all the grandkids to a gorgeous local garden. They ran all over the place -- Max and his cousins were busy smelling flowers, sticking their hands in fountains, rolling (repeatedly) down an enormous hill, bathing their feet in a stream, playing in the sand, looking for birds and bunnies. Grandma even treated all of them to chocolate ice cream cones.
My boy got chocolate ice cream all over his shirt.
It wouldn't have been a big deal, but that shirt just so happened to be one my favorites. I splurged on that shirt -- it has the original cover art from The Wizard of Oz on it and I got for it him after we finished reading the book together (it was our second time -- such a great read-aloud). What can I say? I get sentimental about clothing.
Oh, and did I mention it was yellow? Pale yellow. I have since learned my lesson that you don't buy light colored shirts for little boys.
I took it home and used my arsenal of stain-tackling techniques: a diluted dish soap solution, then vinegar, then hydrogen peroxide. I soaked it. I scrubbed it. It went through multiple wash cycles. I let it hang on the clothesline for hours, hoping the sun would bleach it away. None of it worked.
A few days later, just as I had decided to wave the white flag and give up on the shirt, I saw a recipe for a miracle stain remover on Pinterest.
The recipe is simply one part Dawn dishwashing soap (the original blue kind -- I actually already had this on hand since it makes the best homemade bubble solution), one part baking soda, and two parts hydrogen peroxide.
I mixed it all up and started brushing it into the chocolate stains. It came up easily. It made me a little giddy, I won't lie. Like I've said before, I love me a good homemade cleaning concoction.
There was one spot on the Cowardly Lion's face that was particularly stubborn. Even when the chocolate stains had faded slightly with my previous attempts, this spot didn't budge. Armed now with my miracle stain remover, I channeled Lady Macbeth and scrubbed. "Out, damned spot! out, I say!" It may have faded some of the lines on the Lion's face in the end, but the spot washed out as far as I could tell. With that, I put the shirt into the wash, the whole front of it soaked and covered in soap suds, and crossed my fingers.
A wash cycle and some time on the clothesline later...
Not a single chocolate ice cream stain to be found! Like I said before, all my scrubbing may have faded the Lion's face a tad, but it still looks much better. Plus, it works with the worn, vintage feel of the shirt anyway.
Ah, Pinterest saves the day. Again.