Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Live a Dirty Life ($200 Giveaway!)

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Arm & Hammer.




"Mom, why can't we have a dog?" My son begged.

I gave my standard answer. "Because between you, your two brothers and sister, I already have enough butts to clean up after."

"But mom," he beamed as if he'd solved cold fusion, "dogs totally lick their own butts!" It will speak to his faultless reasoning skills, or my exhaustion, that I actually considered it for a moment before remembering this is the same child who suggested I buy a box of cereal because "it only has 6 pounds of sugar in it."

Butt wiping aside, the mess promulgated by 4 tiny kids is astounding - it's like living in a frat house: underwear on the table, food on the floor and enough pee on the bathroom walls you'd think we'd have just installed wall-to-wall urinals and been done with it. Thankfully they're short so the pee stays below shoulder level. But by far their most high maintenance habit - after their 2,000 piece Lego minefield - is the amount of laundry they generate. So when Arm and Hammer asked if I'd try out their new stain fighting gel detergent I knew I'd have plenty to test it out on. They were particularly interested in seeing if their stain-fighting powers were up to my family's love of the great outdoors.

See, we're a sporty bunch (they get that from their father) but we're also a klutzy bunch (they get that from their mother, along with sneezing in bright sunlight and a deep love of musical theater) so there isn't an item of clothing they own that hasn't been marred by dirt, grass, blood, mud, bug juice and, yes, poo. Take for instance last Saturday, the first beautiful spring day we've had. This is the result of an afternoon outdoors:


FROM ONE CHILD.

His older brother insisted on wearing his nice white dress shirt (Why not? I'm sure I'll have time to clean it before his next State Dinner.) to deleterious results:


But my favorite stain of the day is this one:


See the streak up the back? That's from running so fast through the puddles that it got him coming and going. My child needs MUD FLAPS.

Of course the socks were coated in filth:

Even the baby got in on the action by soiling 5 burp cloths, 7 bibs and one washrag. See, sometimes she manages to barf other places than in my hair or down my cleavage! In one day:


But - and here's where my mother-of-the-year badge loses some of its nickel-plated shine - what I really cared about was how this fancy laundry detergent cleaned my clothes. You all know what a sweaty betty I am and the number 1 reason I have to get rid of my cute workout tops is because I pit them out. What that means is that I sweat so much I stain the pits that nasty yellow cruddy color to the point of embarrassment:


See, I love this shirt but it's from the Venus Williams line for the now-defunct Steve & Barry's. Which means it's pretty much a limited edition, albeit a limited edition that cost me two dollars. When these pits give out - and you can already see the yellow creeping up into the unacceptable zone (i.e. the place where you can see it when my arms aren't lifted) - I can't replace it. Same goes with this awesome-from-Target t-shirt:


All of you who lived through the '80's know what the front says, right?? It's accompanied by my sweat towel which the Gym Buddies and I used to do P90X towel pull-ups, mop up a water bottle spill on the weight floor and wipe my face. Not in that order.

So that was the challenge. Five loads of laundry later... success on all stain fronts! There wasn't a single item of clothing that didn't come out pristine - even the socks. As for my nasty pit stains, while they weren't completely removed they did seem lighter so at least Venus and I can have a few more months of good sweaty times together. I'm sure she's as stoked about that as I am. Unexpected bonus: The Arm & Hammer gel has no phosphates and is entirely biodegradable! It also smells yummy - every time I pick up the Jelly Bean I have to give her a good truffle-hunting snort.


Want to try out some detergent of your own? Well first you need to get outside and make some stains! And Arm & Hammer wants to help you out in all your healthy living pursuits by giving one reader of this blog a $200 Visa gift card! That would buy a lot of detergent. Or Venus Williams workout tees. Or whatever you want, really! All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me your number one outdoor-related laundry woe. Are your pits yellowed like mine? Are your fave running tights stained where you ate it on your last trail run? Does your tank top smell like poo too??

For 7 more chances to win a $200 Visa gift card, check out the other reviews at BlogHer.com special offers page

Official Rules



105 comments:

  1. My sons like to play in the mud outside, and it's hard to get dirt out of their clothes.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  2. Now that winter is over, my laundry pile will go down considerably. But now I just have to worry about getting grass stains out of the clothes of my five children!

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  3. i got an awesome rain/mud/general ick stain on my favorite jeans from nailing a tarp down during california's last rainpocalypse. is that dramatic enough? :o

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  4. Only one laundry woo? Gosh, I don't even know where to begin.

    Let's see. I'm a long distance runner living in South Carolina where even running before the sun comes up entails running in at least 70 degree weather. All of my clothes have runners stank!

    Add to that the fact that my husband, in his sleep deprived state, tried to wash our cloth diapers, not realizing that they get washed separately. Now, every step I take smells like baby poo and BO. I imagine I smell like that car from Seinfeld.

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  5. Umm, I have 4 boys- they are my laundry woes!! Weird sticky grass/plant stains are what I am coming across the most right now!

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  6. Well, my list starts off innocent enough: sidewalk chalk, dirt, grass stains and the like. The real mess begins at grandma's house where manure and dog poop seem to be the run of the mill knee stains. Ew. I know. If they didn't like the farm so much this wouldn't be an issue, but I need something that makes ME feel like they're clean!

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  7. Dirt from roto-tilling the garden tends be tough. Also, motor oil.

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  8. I'm with you on the pit stains. So frustrating! But my outdoor stain pet peeve is grease from bike chains. I don't know how my kids always get covered in it!

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  9. Mine is getting all the dirt and plant stains out since I am an avid gardener :)

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  10. Grass stains and ground in dirt are my worst outdoor activity stains.

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  11. grass stains are the worst for me!

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  12. I love going barefoot in summer, but when it's not summer I still go around in sock feet. And I don't hesitate to go outside in my socks. Getting them clean isn't easy!

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  13. My laundry stain nemesis is filthy, smelly chicken saddles. I know, you are thinking what is a chicken saddle. It is a fabric apron that fits on the hen's back, so the rooster doesn't tear all the hens back feathers off. Yeah, pretty cool, right? Anyway, I have to wash these weekly and let me tell you it is really gross, especially after a rainy week.

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  14. Hmm, I wouls say grass stains recently, or kids smearing their popscicles and other foods all over themseleves and me. Yuck. Oh, just a tip, want to get rid of pit stains? Don't use anti-perspirant, only use deoderant. I used to get pit stains, too, and my husband told me about the only using deoderant thing. It's been 9 years of using only deoderant, and I haven't had ONE pit stain since. It's one of the checicals in the anti-perspirant that causes the yellowing. Promise it will work!!! I use my husbands Old Spice Sport scent deoderant. I really like it, because it keeps the nastiest stink away plus I smell like him if I sniff my armpits. :)
    CourageousMother

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  15. My problem has always been tshirt armpits related to teen boys. They come out of the wash still stained and smelly

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  16. My problem would be the unknown stains. My son's shirts always have mystery stains on the front. Sometimes if I catch them, but when I don't it really stinks!

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  17. My number one outdoor-related laundry woe is when camping getting lamp oil and campfire ash stains in my camp clothes.

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  18. All the shirts I wear when gardening, doing yard work, and working out have huge yellow stains in the pits. I completely understand the embarrassment!
    mattschmunk at hotmail dot com

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  19. For sure the Pit stains. This is an awesome giveaway. I would love to try arm and hammer. kiki(at)hantla(dot)com

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  20. I have a four year old. Boy. Enough said.

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  21. I would have to say it's the seat of my pants and inner leg areas. I love to ride my horses bareback, and those areas really catch all. I pick up dirt from the arena, or from trail riding. The dirt sticks to my sweaty pants, not to mention horse hair that sticks to my pants as well. When the whole family goes riding there is a lot of dirty seats. Farming can be just dirty work too. Mucking horse stalls, and cleaning chicken poop off my clothes. Grass stains on my knees from gardening. Sweating pitts, and super dirty socks. Even my bra gets yellow from sweating. That doesn't look very sexy. lol.

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  22. My husband plays soccer and comes home really stinky! I need Arm & Hammer!

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  23. My daughter's socks smell like a swamp. A swamp filled with dead things! I can't believe an eight year old can have feet that smell that bad!

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  24. Three boys - grass stains and red clay dirt.

    chudleyhome (at) comcast (dot) net

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  25. Mud. It always seems to be mud!

    spcase@gmail.com

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  26. I'm a runner so I often have pit-stain issues. Gross!

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  27. My worst laundry challenges are my son’s clothes period- football, grass stains, food stains, marker, grease, paint, etc…. My husband’s work clothes, and on days when my second grader’s create art projects are a close second!
    bsadler (AT) wideopenwest (DOT) com

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  28. Grass stains! From when my son mows the lawn.

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  29. Our worsts tend to actually be food spills and drips, but we do get lots of dirt and some grass stains. So I have to tell you that my honey gets the pit stains like you and the only thing I have found to take care of those is powdered biz. Make a paste of the Biz and some water (it heats up) and put it on the pit stains. Let it sit a minute then wash as normal. You may have to do it a couple times to get it good...but then once you do get it back to pristine, you only need to do it every so often. His undershirts were a mess before he met me. :-)

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  30. A 3 year old is my worst woe for stains. LOL

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  31. My daughter loves wearing socks with her Crocs, so her socks end up getting really nasty. Grass stains are an issue too.

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  32. my husband's job requires that he work a great deal outside and my two hardest stains? Red Georgia Clay and Grass Stains

    teechbiz at gmail dot com

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  33. My number one outdoor related laundry challenge is definitely sweat - especially in the heat of summer, I inevitably end up with underarm stains on my shirts that won't come out even after repeated washings.
    Thanks!

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  34. Stains are hard, my toddler gets into everything! Food stains are the worst for me, especially chocolate and barbecue sauce.

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  35. My baby refuses to grow out of her "spit up" phase. It's exhausting trying to get all of the stains out!

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  36. The worst stains that I deal with are my daughters socks. They all turn black and the smell is enough to require a hazmat team. I don't know how it happens as she is not so athletic. Then I could understand it, but nope.

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  37. With 2 yr old quadruplets, i am drowning in mud!!!

    charityd AT centurytel DOT net

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  38. I live in NYC so I walk a lot to get to and from places. When it's rainy, the bottom of my pants or jeans get soaked and sometimes very dirty!

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  39. My kids socks. They change their shoes at school, and I think they walk around a lot in just their socks!!

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  40. stains are so irritating! ahh! we go hiking so we tend to get mud on the clothes or stains from eating snacks upright. additionally, we all play soccer so you can imagine that mess! haha

    dreamzz12{at}Aol{dot}com

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  41. As a Marine I am always exercising. So I am always needing a shower and I need my clothes wash. When you exercise like me you need to have your laundry done regularly.

    jeanette_huston@yahoo.com

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  42. Grass stains are the worst for me.

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  43. Grass and dirt stains on the knees of every - single - pair of lilttle boy pants in the house! ugh! dilem.mama{AT}gmail{DOT}com

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  44. Grass stains from my 2 yr old falling and sliding on the ground are the worst for me!

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

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  45. i hate spilling soda on my white clothes it seems blerach works though and of course oxi clean

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  46. My husband changing the oil on our car himself. While it saves us money, it certainly makes its share of stains that are almost impossible to get out of his t-shirts. Why is it that even when they're wearing shoes, all my kids white socks look embarrassing? It almost looks like they took them off and ran around in them outside all day.

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  47. My husband & son like working on greasy things. Nothing quite as impossible to get out like oil stains.

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  48. I always have grass stains from my dog jumping on me/playing with me! They are the worst. scg00387 at yahoo dot com

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  49. Muddy Football uniforms are a challenge.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  50. Mud and Grass are my worse outdoor messes. My daughters are not girly girls, and love to run all over outside and collect worms, and bugs. Which leads to muddy and grassy stains--UGH!!

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  51. My worst outdoor stains are grass and ballfield dirt! The boys love baseball and sliding into bases.

    Kim
    turtles8861(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. "Horses sweat, men perspire, women only glow." So I just have to be sure to get all the glow out. ;)

    lizriz217 AT earthlink DOT net

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  53. grass stains and dirt from working in the yard

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  54. My number one outdoor-related laundry woe is the clothes that came home from backpacking trips. Definitely have a stench after having been worn for a week.

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  55. It's definitely mud and grass stains. Kids just can't stay away with them.

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  56. my number one outdoor-related laundry woe would be grass stains....ugh


    bluegirl1423 at gmail dot com

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  57. I hate getting blood out of laundry - outdoor fun sometimes leads to scraped knees and elbows, it's just a fact of life.

    mjharvey26 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  58. Mud and Grass are my worse outdoor messes

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  59. For me it's dirt/mud stains

    seanm1999 at hotmail dot com

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  60. Grass stains or oil/grease stains from the car are the worst!

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  61. My outdoor laundry woe was the grass stains my son got on his pants as he was growing up...I just could not get them out...I wish this product had been available then. Now I am a grandma and only have to deal with stains my grandchildren get when they are visiting me.

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  62. My sons like to work on motorcycles, so we have lots of oil and grease stains!
    jedoggett@embarqmail.com

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  63. Definitely grass stains! hdhumrichouse AT gmail

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  64. Ohhh, my land. That is some dirty laundry!
    Our problem is definitely...

    G
    r
    a
    s
    s

    !!

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  65. Definitely muddy paw prints from my dog. We like to rough-house. :)

    urchiken at gmail dot com

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  66. Hands down, (I know this is gross), but it's my husband's clothes during hunting season...wood smoke, days of sweat and gunk and sometimes animal blood and fur.
    bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  67. grass and sweat and anything my 8 yr old can do to his clothes! amiedanny@msn.com

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  68. I love to free hand paint onto any surface and I paint and sell items to so even though I try the wear just certain clothes for painting I seem to get the paint on everything so I'm always having to pre treat to soak to get it out and arm & hammer power jel always does the job for me, thanks
    sewitupjulie at gmail dot com

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  69. My number one outdoor related laundry woe is my 10 yr old son. He loves playing near a shallow creek that runs through our neighborhood, which means mud, grass and dirty water stains all over the hems of his pants. Arm & Hammer w/oxyclean is a lifesaver!

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  70. Grass stains. And the dirty bottom of socks because my daughter likes to take her shoes off. But keep her socks on.

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  71. My husband's yard work jeans are the worst.

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  72. Grass stains! No matter how many companies tell me they can get them out, none work.

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  73. cdziuba@aol.com

    It has to be grass stains from my sons' athletic activities!

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  74. I have 3 boys....need I say more? The mud/mess seems to find them!

    jillk77 at aol dot com

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  75. We live near the beach so Sunscreen stains seem to turn all our fabrics yellow and dingy....

    mikkipiglet at gmail dot com

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  76. Getting stains out of clothing has to be one of my challenges, I can't seem to do it! I know that when I notice a stain, I drop it in cold water right away to wash.

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  77. Deodorant stains are my laundry bane. Pretreating helps but...

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  78. Grass stains ~ As a Mom to 4, this is my nemesis. Try as I may, I cannot ever seem to completely remove grass stains. And somehow everyday, at least 2 of my kids come home with a grass stain somewhere on their clothing.

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  79. Deep embedded grass stains! So hard to get out!

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  80. Yes! Those yellow arm pit stains. YUCK!

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  81. cleaning up grass stains after we mow the lawn is a challenge.

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  82. Grass stains. Oh how those stains haunt me. Hubby loves to mow the lawn and work in the yard and his clothes pay for it. It is the toughest thing I battle.

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  83. I love Arm & Hammer anyway & use them all the time. Sweat & grease seem to be hard to get out to me.

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  84. I have deodorant build up on shirts...it is gross and I've tried everything. So far NOTHING has worked....I need a miracle

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  85. We own a landscaping business so my biggest outdoor laundry woe is all the grass clippings that stick to my husbands socks. The are very hard to shake out and make a mess of my washer if I can't get them all out before washing.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

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  86. Well my mother in law has a 106 acre farm.Well my husband,son and daughter love to take their red Honda three-wheeler and dirt bikes thru the mud and swamps. Of course, to them-the muddier it is-the more "fun" ;) which makes for horrendously muddy clothes :

    aunteegem@yahoo.com

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  87. My biggest problem is pit stains and animal accident stains (I'm not really sure why my cat likes to sit next to me and hack up a furball on me!) Best way to make things smell fresh is add a little baking soda or white vinegar to the load of laundry. Works every time!

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  88. For me it would be gardening hands down. I always come in with a grass green bum! LOL
    Angie
    one 4 earth at aol dot com

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  89. There are so many stains! haha But one of my biggest is just plain dirt! I am always working in my gardens, both flower and veggie/fruit, and our earth here is like clay orange and just stains everything!
    Scott
    nynekats at aol dot com

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  90. It's my son's loving to play in the sand, dirt & grass at the park. Or maybe his dad's fishing clothes. They're both pretty bad!

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  91. I think that deoderant build up on those hot sweaty days outside is the worst for me.

    ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

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  92. The worst one is mud from when it rains. It is so hard to wash from pants

    shopgurl101 AT gmail DOT com

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  93. Yellowed under-arm pits on my husband's undershirts (and some of his "regular" shirts) are THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE laundry task I have.
    roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

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  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  95. Mine is grass stains on the knees from weeding. Thanks for the contest. (wasn't logged in to blogher when I clicked the link before and want to make sure it counts)

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  96. Grass stains are my biggest problem. My son likes to practice sliding into 2nd base all the time, so he gets very stained.
    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

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  97. Probably the worst culprit has to be black socks. For some reason they seem to hold onto stains and odor more than white ones.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

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  98. My biggest outdoor stain culprit would probably be grass and dirt stains on my jeans!

    mammabear06 at gmail dot com

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  99. Tar. I hate tar. They resurfaced the roads in our neighborhood. And tar, tar, tar tar. Tar on the sneaks, tar on the pants, tar on the shirts, tar tracked in the house. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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  100. wow,
    so many giveaways,
    lovely items.

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