To Read on the Journey

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i suffer from stainphobia.

stainphobia: an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause anxiety and panic when an item of clothing or a material good is soiled, spotted, or discolored.
this is no laughing matter.  it is very serious.  stains affects 2 out of 5 items of clothing.

there are many who suffer privately from stainphobia.  many who feel hopeless when clothing or material goods are soiled.

this is my story-

i have suffered privately from stainphobia for more than 12 years.
symptoms began when i was pregnant with my first child, during the nesting stage.

symptoms became increasingly worse when my first child, noah, began eating baby food.  he has been eating solid foods for 11 years, but i still cringe at the mention of gerber bananas, blueberry buckle, and butternut squash.

i learned early on to mask my tear stained responses. for example, though it appeared i was crying tears of motherly joy as my child experienced his first baby food.  the reality was that the floodgates flew open due to the devastation of his "i ♥ mommy" bib being destroyed!    

since then i have grown to be terrified of mustard, marinara sauce, butter, olive oil, and salad dressing. 

i. hate. stains.

just the other day, 3 hours of my life was consumed as i vigorously scrubbed a child's garment to remove a stain.  after beating the shirt into submission,  and wearing the top down to threads, the garment waved the white flag of defeat, and i proudly claimed victory over the stain.

in addition to hating stains, i'm cheap!

so cheap you'll often find my children wearing aprons over their $3 wal-mart shirts.

so cheap you'll find clothes pins in my purse (no, not so i can immediately battle freshly stained items of clothing, and then line dry when we're on the go... although that isn't a bad idea).  clothespins serve as makeshift restaurant bibs; take a cloth napkin, hang it around neck, and pin in the back.  it's genius really.

and just in case food is shoveled onto clothing instead of into a  mouth i've got a tide stain stick on hand   
(this is my tide stain stick testimonial- one sunday, while leading worship, communion grape juice missed my mouth and landed on my cotton candy pink shirt. between services (i still had one more service to lead) i ran off to the ladies room,  where i grabbed the tide stain stick and generously worked it into the stain.  i prayed fervently,   "please Jesus, please remove this stain." the stain was removed!) 

i told you, i. hate. stains.

so you can imagine the nausea i experienced this past week when one of my children got oil on not one, but TWO ITEMS OF CLOTHING!
i pretreated the clothing with a stain remover, washed, and lined dried both items, BUT THE OIL STAIN WAS STILL THERE!

i tried to control the feelings of anxiety and panic that rose up inside me! i attempted to hold back the tears, the hopelessness of feeling all was lost.

i accepted the reality that i would have to wave the white flag of defeat....UNTIL

YES, Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner!

"they work hard so you don't have to," and not only on your tubs and showers, but on your oil stains too!

simply apply to oil spot, let absorb for a few short minuets, wash, line dry, and voila, THE STAIN IS GONE! (insert the "Hallelujah" chorus here).

thanks to Scrubbing Bubbles, the cost for psychiatric care for my children has decreased... well, a little... i also suffer from germphobia (fear of germs), clutterphobia (fear of clutter), and wrinklephobia (fear of wrinkles. yes, i iron everything).

Do you have any stain removal cures?   

What are your phobias? 


Thea Nelson said...

Denise, I love you for the new stain tip. Scrubbing Bubbles...who knew?!? I have become so seriously stain-phobic since realizing that the only way to afford clothes for my kids is to consign the previous round of clothes. So every single stain means I can't consign the item which means money lost, and that is no good! The kids either strip down for messy stuff or I put long-sleeve art smocks on them. However, this only works when they're in my care. 99% of the stains my kids get occur when they're in the care of a non-stain-phobic individual! ;)

Simply Sara said...

ok. this post just made me laugh.
you are so awesome.
but, I want to know what caused you to even consider using scrubbing bubbles on oil stains?!?!?!
ha! you are a genius!

I don't suffer from stainphobia BUT (and it's a huge BUT) I suffer from clutterphobia in the worst way. clutter makes me cRaZy!

oh! and you are more than welcome to come on up here and do my ironing. I loath ironing. ugh. you just reminded me I have a huge laundry basket full of clothes needing to be ironed. thanks. thanks a lot.

Simply Sara said...

p.s I have to agree with you, your clothespin idea is in fact genius. I think I'm going to start keeping some in my purse too!

Linda Z said...

You are cracking me up!! :) Boiling hot water through berries stains works. And peroxide on blood. That's all I got!

I have snake-a-phobia. I am also scared by too many tchotchkes (I had to look that up... weird spelling!)

Home's Where My Heart Is said...

I'm so with you on the stains, I hate them!

I am a germophob. I cannot touch food I am about to eat unless I've washed my hands. Otherwise, I will go out of my way to find a utensil or something. And I cannot stand it when people grab ice from my freezer without washing their hands AND using the scoop that is so obviously for ice removal. And, not last, and certainly not least...I HATE it when people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom. The thought of the germs spreading...oh my gosh it sends me over the edge.

Clearly, I have issues. :)


Home's Where My Heart Is said...

Oh yes..forgot to say, I LOVE the clothespin idea. I love clothespins and use them to close bags of chips together. Love 'em!

Holly said...

Great post!!!

I don't have stainphobia, however I will not wear, or let my family wear, something with stains out in public!! (We're on 2 acres so stains happen!! I just make everyone continue wearing the stained clothes for chores!!)

My fav, and almost exclusive stain removal item is Goo Gone. Discovered this after child#1 left a chapstick in her jeans pocket! Key ingredient? petroleum!!! Got on everything. Goo gone has saved me many times! (Yes, this has happened more than once!)

Hope this helps!

Kerith said...

My kids are stain magnets and I love them in white t-shirts. So I've started using fabric scraps to make appliques on my kids t-shirts right over their stains. Flowers, hearts and butterflies for my girls, trains, cars & airplanes for my little man. But actually getting stains out??? I'll take your tip and try to scrubbing bubbles :)

deb said...

thanks for the almost bedtime laugh.

and may you find peace in your schooling decision.