Friday, September 25, 2009


I don't do very many non-food reviews. But every now and then, along comes a product that I feel a need to talk about -- even if it's way outside my normal scope. OxiClean is one such product.

It's not like OxiClean is new. Billy Mays has been (or had been, sadly) shouting at us from our televisions about it for years. I just never bothered with it, and let's be honest -- who really believes what late-night infomercials tell you, anyway? (sorry Billy)

Well, I HATE to do laundry. In fact, I have been known to pay people to do my laundry. But one of my day jobs requires me to wear white dress shirts...specifically, clean and spiffy white dress shirts. And I hate to look unprofessional in any case.

At this point, I feel the need to point out (once again) that I am seriously short. Short, as in a couple inches under five feet short. And at my height, pretty much everything in a restaurant kitchen that can be greasy/messy/gooey etc. that would probably hit at apron level for everyone else, lands at about mid-chest on me. With that in mind, all of my shirts quickly end up with a rather distinct line of stains across them from where I have had to lean over things to reach.

Because I hate to do laundry, and I hate my dress/work shirts to look sloppy, I have been using a dry cleaner to launder/press and do stain removal upon my shirts. But in a matter of months, the shirts always hit a point where they are beyond help...or so have said my various cleaners. And, like everyone else, I am feeling the effects of the economy, and frequent dry cleaning isn't cheap! Furthermore, taking stock of my work shirts, it became clear that I badly needed some new ones.

Honestly, I can't afford to replace all my shirts. I have tried bleaching, and that only results in spotty shirts and a very itchy, blotchy Gigi (yes, Gigi has extremely sensitive skin).

What to do?

Well, while cruising the laundry aisle at Albertson's a few days ago, I noticed they had the smallest size container of OxiClean on sale for an insanely low price. So I figured I would give it a try and use it on one of my worst shirts. If it worked, great. And if it simply killed the shirt...well, it wouldn't matter, because that shirt was going to be discarded anyway.

As per the directions on the package, I let my shirt soak in the OxiClean.

Now, kids, this is where I am going to give you the "don't try this at home" lecture. I experimented on a shirt I didn't care about. So please, do not do your first OxiClean test on your irreplaceable great-grandma's wedding dress or some other such item, and then write me nasty emails or comments if it disintegrates. I got fantastic results, but I also didn't follow the instructions verbatim; I allowed the shirt to soak overnight rather than the six hours the label recommends. Also, I did not use the product on something delicate. You have been warned.

Here is the shirt before:

See what I mean about the stain line?

Again, I did let the shirt soak overnight (though not intentionally -- to be honest, I got busy with something else and forgot about the shirt). The next day I rinsed it out well and hung it outside to line dry.

And this is the same shirt after:

Here is a close up on the stains before:

And the same area, after:

WOW! The white is as bright as it was the day I bought the shirt, and the stains that in real life were a nasty dark yellowish brown are almost completely gone -- there is still a very faint shadow of a stain, but you really have to look for it to notice. (These were stains, by the way, which every dry cleaner I went to was unable to eradicate, and said it couldn't be done.)

Why didn't I try this before?! I have been able to save ALL of my white shirts. I couldn't possibly love this product any more than I do.

Thank you, Billy Mays!

(BTW, this is also my epic 600th review!)

Albertson's Supermarket


Ann said...

I adore OxiClean.

I will add one word of caution. Never use it on anything with metallic threads as it can cause the threads to disintegrate. I doubt you wear many shirts with metallic threads (eek) but if you use it on other things, be careful. I ruined a lovely (and not too terribly tacky) holiday tablecloth this way.

Other than that, the stuff is fabulous!

Devika said...

After watching "Pitchmen" I realized that Billy Mays does not mess around with the products he endorses. I nominate OxiClean as the 8th wonder of the modern world!