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Slices of Life - Polyester Wars

April 8, 2016
Jill Pertler - Columnist , Traer Star-Clipper

Laundry's never been my thing, even though I've had more than my fair share of experience with the spin cycle. Lord knows I've tried, but despite a decades-long love affair with bleach, my kids were always the ones with the grayish, never-quite-perfectly white socks. I finally figured out the black athletic socks don't show dirt like the white ones do, so now I try to buy those.

I may have scored a small triumph over the socks, but every laundry CEO understands you can't avoid white completely. My current battle involves a long-sleeved white polyester T-shirt. It belongs to my son and was a special birthday gift he picked out himself. It is embellished with the correct and trendy logo favored by those who wish to score high on the cool-meter.

Let me tell you a little something about polyester. It's the fabric of choice for stylish sports-oriented kids and yoga-pant wearing moms. According to my extensive Internet research, polyester is a synthetic polymer, which is a fancy term for plastic in disguise. It resists wrinkles, fading, shrinking and is form fitting, durable and pretty darn comfortable. It's also troublesome for laundry-challenged folks like myself.

That's because oil and polyester do not mix.

Polyester is touted as an easy-to-care-for fabric. Unless you get an oil stain. My son got an oil stain.

Unfortunately, as the laundry guru I've already established myself to be, I did not notice the stain or pre-treat the stain or otherwise attend to the stain in any manner or fashion until after the (nearly new, favorite) shirt went through the entire laundry cycle - including the dryer. I can hear your gasps of horror and disbelief, and I do apologize.

That was two weeks ago. We've been at war ever since - me versus the shirt. What started as a small grease stain has morphed into a larger area, probably because of my attempts to remove the stain with any number of concoctions that were not Google-approved. (I started this fight as a lone soldier. I've since gone online for expert reinforcements, which have, regrettably, also proved unsuccessful.)

In the process, the shirt seems to have taken on a dingy, grayish tint that I'm determined to correct. I've tried every remedy outlined online by my allies - laundry kings and queens who actually blog about the topic. Right now the little bugger is soaking in a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and hot water. I think/hope it's looking whiter. The whole experience has left me exhausted and smelling like pickles.

I am tempted to take the shirt out of the soak and put it through another wash cycle, but I'm afraid of my adversary's next move. Still, I remain determined. Although the shirt has proven a worthy opponent, failure and defeat are not in this warrior's vocabulary.

A tiny grease spot on a favorite shirt has grown into something bigger than any shirt or stain or laundry-crusading mom. It is about relentless pursuit of the enemy, endurance during combat, conquering the opposition and claiming victory over the polyester. No surrender. No retreat.

Mark my words: The. Shirt. Will. Not. Win.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don't miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

 
 

 

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