As a Mom of 5 Active Kids, These Are the Laundry Products I Swear By

published May 13, 2022
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Laundry consumes me but I also get sentimental about it. From the first time I wash those itty bitty baby clothes before a baby is born to folding my growing kids’ clothes, doing laundry inevitably makes me think about how small they still are or how big they’re getting. 

When my kids began going to school and doing sports, new laundry challenges arose. These days, making sure my boys’ soccer uniforms are clean at the right time is a weekly endeavor. And getting them clean is often a production: I need to address stains, whether it’s red Gatorade or streaks of mud, make sure stain remover doesn’t sit too long so it doesn’t whiten or weaken the fabric, and do it all in time to come out of the dryer before the next game! 

In addition to kids who participate in sports, I still have two kids five and under, who get all manner of stains on their clothes, from Nutella or spaghetti stains to grass stains, marker streaks, and smears of slime. (I once found my five-year-old asleep in bed, with an oozing glob of slime plastered on his pajamas and bedding.)

Laundry at our house is an adventure. To deal with all the variables (and still remain sane!), I need to keep my laundry products simple but reliable. Here’s what I always have on hand: 

All-purpose detergent pods

Using pods means I don’t have to fuss with measuring or cleaning up messy, sticky dribbles of liquid detergent. With the amount of laundry that has to get done at our house, pre-measured pods we can just toss in the washer are a game-changer, even if they cost a bit extra. 

Athletic wear detergent

There’s something about performance fabric that needs its own type of detergent. I find that this specialized detergent cleans better and also eliminates that dreaded athletic wear stink that can happen over time. I also use this detergent to pre-treat stains. I simply apply some directly to the affected area, rub gently, and let it sit before laundering as usual. It works really well. 

Shout stain spray

Shout spray is my go-to stain solution for most stains. I’ve found that it works well for all types of stains, whether they’re protein-based or not. To be honest, I rarely fuss with considering what type of stain I’m dealing with (do not follow my example), so a good all-around spray works best for me. 


For stains that don’t come out in the wash or for stains that I know will be hard to deal with, I turn to Oxiclean. I typically soak stained garments in a plastic tub in our laundry room sink with hot water (if that’s safe for the fabric) and a scoop or two of Oxiclean. I also add a scoop to particularly dirty loads of wash for that extra dirt-fighting power. 


I also keep cornstarch on hand for combating grease marks. A sprinkle of cornstarch, rubbed gently into the garment with a finger, absorbs oil, making it easier to remove. I follow the cornstarch treatment with Dawn, although sometimes I use Dawn by itself. 


I always have a bottle of Dawn in the laundry room for treating any grease stains. (This is the one type of stain I treat differently than others.) Dawn cuts through grease stains from things like oil splatters or butter smudges and it’s a lifesaver laundry room product.