Dear Miss April,
Im very messy. A bit of a slob , actually, despite my attempts at appearing graceful and effortless. Inevitably at the end of the day I disrobe and discover I’ve been wearing something thats issued from within my body as well as some daily grime. Spit, sweat, semen, blood, you name it, I’ve ended up with these diaurnal emmisions somewhere on my person.
I enjoy laundry, which is fortunate, and have conquered most of these stains. One lingers however. How do you get blood out of a white shirt without rendering it a rag?
Dear E. Mission
I stand before you (self) accused of procrastination. The finger of God points down upon me, “It is she. She is the one who has neglected her flock. She is the one who shuns the needy. It is she.”
Oh dear, my Christmas holiday appears to have extended a little too long and I do confess that you are the victim of my irresponsibility. So let me start by humbly offering you my apology as your letter dated the 8th December 2012 might just mean that blood stain is a permanent fixture. But spit-spot no time for dreary maudlinism, let’s see what we can still accomplish.
At first I must say I was rather at a loss for words upon reading your predicament. Alas, I immediately assumed you were a man and quite possibly a serial killing psychopath, but I understand that’s sexist. You could very well be a lady of the night. If you are the latter I would like to also recommend a preventative measure – prophylactics and a lot of them (do they make complete body ones?). Considering the state of your dress, would you consider substituting your cotton fabrics for latex? One can then quickly clean with a damp soapy cloth.
If you are the former I’m afraid I’ll have to request you turn yourself in to the authorities without cleaning your shirt as this is vital evidence, good luck and may Justice herself prevail.
Of course you may very well be neither of these and be one of those creatures that exist beyond my sheltered domestic world. However, let it not be said that I have turned by back on offering good cleaning advice. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and it is my duty to offer you all I can in this regard because it sounds like you might be tipping in at second level demon.
Yes, it might be tempting to get violent with a washboard but you are quite right, it would quickly flay a delicate white shirt. You must be patient and use a step by step process beginning with a long soak overnight in cold water. Let the blood waft away as if a bad dream. The next day rinse, inspect, and soak further if needed. If it proves to be stubborn then you should ring it gently through a clothes ringer and allow to dry, rub lemon juice on the stain and place in the sun to dry. Rinse. Still the ghost of red? Then allow to dry again, then dab a bit of kerosene on the stain and gently rub. Obviously you will definitely have to rinse after this but I hope this solves the problem. If not a more harsher bleaching treatment might be required, in our day we used to put in (quite) a bit of urine in to the soaking water. Today of course one can just buy actual bleach in a bottle. I suspect you might be the kind of individual to try the urine method first. But for goodness sake please make sure you don’t eat asparagus beforehand. Other handy hints for spot bleaching is to use onion or even hog manure instead of lemon, but citrus perfume versus faecal stench? If you succeed in removing the stain you can freshen the whole shirt by adding a touch of blue dye to the rinsing water.
I do hope you enjoy your laundry.
Your fellow in lye soap,