No More Grease Spots!

As I used to do with brand new neckties, I now do with my favorite shirts.  I think you know where I am going here. That of never eating a meal without getting a grease spot on a shirt or pair of pants—that is me! Or at least it was me, until last week.

For the longest time, I have pondered on why those greasy spots on my shirts defy all efforts to clean them. I pretreat them the same night I soil them. Yes, I know about pretreating. Works sometimes. Doesn’t often.

I am a lover of Orvis sweatshirts and generally most anything Orvis. Maybe it is because they love dogs so much, and for sure because they give 5% to saving wildlife and wild places. I digress. I purchased a new Orvis sweatshirt back in the fall, and the first time I wore it to supper, I ruined it.

Perhaps it was the cost of that shirt—nothing is cheap at Orvis—or maybe it was because that shirt was blue trimmed in orange. War Eagle, y’all! Regardless, I was awed by the tenacity of those damned greasy spots. Then I began to think. If I cannot beat those oily spots, why not join them? So, I started thinking. Why not make my entire sweatshirt — one big greasy spot? 

I gathered the materials. A large bowl. A quart of cheap cooking oil (my wife would not let me use the extra virgin stuff). I wadded the shirt up into a ball, stuffed it the bowl. Then I poured the oil over it until some oil was pooling in the bottom of the bowl and saving some oil in case I needed to add some later.

That shirt soaked up that oil just like it soaked up the oil in that salad dressing that first despoiled my new shirt. I turned the shirt over and found some spots where the oil had not penetrated and poured the oil I had held back to make sure every surface was one giant grease spot!  Then I let it sit—for a couple of hours.

… I just discovered as I write this that if you hold down the shift option and hit the + key, you get ± sign … I am on a roll.

Back to the story. When I checked on the shirt, there was no oil in the bowl. It was infused into the fabric of the shirt – just to add a bit of scientific language to my serendipity.  At this point, enter my wife … reluctantly. Sure enough, you could not see that original stain, but how the heck do we get a quart of cooking oil out my favorite Orvis quarter-zip blue and orange sweatshirt?  

Enter a large plastic tub, some warm water, and lots of Dawn dishwashing detergent. After lots of squishing and rinsing and re-squishing, my wife decided to head to the washing machine. Note that I did not make this decision. I only agreed to buy a new washer if that shirt that now weighed about three pounds wore out our washer.

The washer survived as did the dryer. However, there was only one problem. If you ran your fingers across that shirt, you came back with oil on them. Back to the washer and the dryer again. Same result.

When in doubt, go with the big guns. Half a cup of Dawn in the washer, even though some experts say you should not do that. Obviously, they never got salad dressing on their favorite shirt.

After a long and heavy-duty wash, back to dryer, it went. Success! No oil on the fingers, test. 

I wore that sweatshirt for the first time today on my walk with Boomer and Chloe, and I think that once I get used to the odor of safflower oil, it will be good as new.

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