May 18, 2008
The mother of all stains is a Sharpie mark (good luck with that one), but second only to that are kim chi stains. Spaghetti sauce? Hah! Mere child’s play. Anyone who has had the pleasure of eating kim chi knows the true second burn: finding that tiny vermilion drip on your pants or shirt as you throw it into the laundry. And then finding that same stain undiminished after it comes out of the wash. After three or four washes, you pretty much resign yourself to the fact that that unflaggingly red stain is now a permanent part of your wardrobe.
Despair no longer! Here’s the simple trick to getting out kim chi and any tomato-based stains. Simply place the stained clothes in direct sunlight for several hours. I usually wash the clothes and then place it outside still damp, but inside by a very sunny window will do the trick. The problem I’ve found with placing it outside is the other things that fall on it (leaves, pollen, etc.), forcing me to wash it yet again. The stain will disappear like magic. I promise.
The downside to my kids’ love of Korean food: kim chi stains on their clothes.
Here’s my daughter’s shirt after a couple of washes – the stain did not budge even after direct scrubbing with my first line of defense (Shout gel, Fels Naptha soap, Oxiclean soak).
Her shirt after a couple of hours in the sun. The hard part was waiting for a sunny day.