Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to Freak Yourself Out Washing a White Shirt

In a previous post, I mentioned the secret to having clean underwear is to own a lot of underwear.

It should come as no surprise that the secret to having a clean white shirt is to own a lot of white shirts. I don't have as many white shirts as I do white underwear. I have fourteen long-sleeved white dress shirts. Seriously! I didn't come by that many on purpose... I just have fourteen white dress shirts.

One of them, my favorite one (Hey--when you have 14 of something, one of them is going to be your favorite), had some blood stains on the sleeve. The stains were well-earned: I did first aid on someone while wearing it, and got a couple of blood stains on the cuff, and a couple of fingertip sized stains at the bottom of one sleeve near the seam.)

I've tried bleach on the stains. I've tried spitting on the stains (on the off-chance that it was my blood). Tried baking soda. The stains have faded, but they're still there. A friend of mine suggested hydrogen peroxide.

Tonight I finally attacked the stains with hydrogen peroxide, and it worked. The stains went from rusty-brown to bright red, and got a little lighter. In fact, they spread pink through the wet area. I moved to the kitchen sink to rinse the pink away.

I forgot completely that I had just made a pitcher of red Kool Aid. That's important to this little story.

I was merrily rinsing the pink out of the sleeve of the shirt, marveling at the effectiveness of this H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) on the blood stains... WHEN SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING... I saw bright red on the tail of the shirt nowhere near the pink on the sleeve!

I howled, yea, verily, howled, "What the hell? The stain jumped!" My wife rushed out of the bedroom to see what was the matter. The cats stopped fighting long enough to look at each other, then at me with that mystic contempt they mastered when the first Cleopatra was stroking something Caesar wanted stroked (his laurel)...

And I realized the blood stain didn't jump at all. The Kool Aid (bright red) was still on the spoon I used to stir it in the pitcher, and the shirt was on the spoon.

So much for the Mysterious Jumping Blood Stain. ...And so much for the dignity of cleaning my own shirt.

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