Embarassing Question

jannieMay 9, 2008

I know someone here can give me a good answer. My husband has MS, a progressive incurable disease where his nerves and muscles don't function properly. One of the "symptoms" is bladder and bowel incontinence. Last week he cr@pped his pants, got mess on his jeans and some bathtowels. I have washed them all three times, in Charlies Soap and Oxyclean. Yet , while damp, they still smell. How can I get them really clean? Thanks in advance. this is quite embarassing to ask.

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I would use something like Tide and use plenty of it. From my experience I find that odor lingers especially when ironing if you don't use enough or the right kind of laundry soaps.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Some washers just don't rinse well, especially the front loaders. Don't put many things in the washer at once, give them plenty of room to slosh about and run them through an extra rinse.

This is going to keep happening, so don't be embarassed. It's understandable. I agree, a stronger soap might be the answer too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 5:56PM
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You might want to check out a local pet store for a product called Nature's miracle. It's purpose is for cleaning up animal mistakes, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work for humans too. It works with enzymes that actually eat away the offending odors & stains. It's best used on fresh stains, but it might work on your laundry.

Don't be embarrassed. This is all part of life and part of dealing with illness & disease. We have to clean up after all sorts of situations. I did it when my mom stayed with us last year, after my husband got home from a week in intensive care, and just last week when my two granddaughters stayed with me. One of the girls wet the bed & it went through to the mattress. Luckily, I had some of that Nature's Miracle left from dealing with a cat that liked to spray. It took care of the problem.

Here's another product that claims to deal effectively with organic stain & odor problems: Simple Solutions


Here is a link that might be useful: Nature's Miracle

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 5:58PM
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Thanks everyone who responded. I have a box of Tide with Bleach, I will take these items to my local laundromat, where they have really good machines that rinse like gangbusters. I have some Natures Miracle because I have an elderly cat with health problems. She throws up and does her business outside the box sometimes. Thanks for all the good advice!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 7:29PM
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I just happened to think. There is a detergent that has baking soda in it. I can't think of the name. It's on the shelf right with Tide and Cheer.

Baking Soda was the old way of keeping baby diapers, etc. sweet smelling. Grandma just dumped some in with the soap!
It should work too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 9:34PM
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If you are hooked up with a melaleuca sales rep, there is a product called Solumel that is great at taking out odors. I've used it on mildewed clothes, I assume it would work on other things. You just add a capful to the washer with your detergent. I know it makes a great air freshener when someone's had a stinky BM and the odor lingers in the bathroom.

If you're not a melaleuca member, you can order directly from their web site but the prices are higher. If you only need a few things it is still a better deal. Or look on ebay for people selling individual items.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 10:10AM
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White Vinegar in the wash also helps. Have had to wash several "poopy" pants here, from my brother to my dad and the vinegar does help to take the smell out...........and no, your clothes do not smell like it! LOL!

One of the nursing homes my brother was in just took his pants, rolled them in a plastic bag and threw them in with his laundry. I had no idea when I picked up his dirty laundry just how dirty it was! I have to admit that time I just threw the clothes away 'cause they had been in there for about a week............eeeeewwwww!

Another tip, rinse them in the toilet really good before putting in washing machine, that will help also. Make sure you have several boxes of latex gloves in the home as you will need them more and more. MS is like Parkinson's in that the control gets worse and worse.........oh shoot, it happens to old people too, my dad is 86 and it just happens!

Linda J

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 5:45PM
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If you think those smell bad, bring home clothes from a care home and touch them with a hot iron.. They probably throw the soil in with the reg laundry.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Well,I've washed everything with Tide with Bleach, vinegar, and dried with a Downy fabric softener sheet. they don't smell at all when dry. As to degree, my younger sister loves horses, her first job was working in a horse stable. You can bew I know what H-RSESH-T smells like! fill in the vowels.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 9:21PM
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how safe is tide with bleach? can dark clothes be washed in it ??? just wondering

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 7:59AM
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I've used powder Tide with Bleach for years. It doesn't contain any chlorine, so it's good for both whites and colors. I bought two bags of Charlies Soap because I wanted to try it,I'm thinking of switching.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Get an enzyme product and soak for hours or overnight...long enough to let it work. Wash warmer than 105 F with more-than-usual detergent and rinse thoroughly.

For obviously concentrated spots on clothes or carpet I use Oreck's Pet Odor & Stain Remover. Same idea...give it time to work...as in several hours....before washing or cleaning normally.

Between my cat and my patients' accidents, I've found it works every time for me. I've found it removes 100% of stains, odors. I've noticed nothing left over.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:52PM
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My sister came home to visit, I watched her unpack and was awed at her white clothes. They were snow white, she said she used Tide with bleach and reg Tide for other clothes. It took a while for my clothes to get whiten, but my new whites stay white now. I had forgotten how white they should be. Also another thing I noticed my underwear was not longer stained.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 3:10PM
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Jannie, I think the enzyme products (like Nature's Miracle, Simple Solutions, etc.) are the best first treatments. Asolo gave good advice about a long pre-soak before even attempting washing. Perhaps you could buy a special plastic container just for soaking soiled clothing, sort of like the old fashioned diaper pails. And Linda's hints about rinsing out solids in the toilet and rinsing with vinegar are good ones too.

I'm wondering if after all the pre-soaking & laundering, perhaps it would be better to dry the "offending" clothes outside in the sun rather than in a drier. The heat of the sun, the fresh air, etc. might be just the thing to rid the fibers of lingering odors.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 3:24PM
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I agree with the suggestion to do the drying in fresh air and sunshine. They are the best de-odorizers in the world. My elementary school music teacher, Mrs. Hall. always opened the windows, even in winter.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 3:42PM
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You can't do line drying in our development. when I bought my first dryer I intended to line dry when the weather was nice, but one time and I went back to the dryer. Never had an odor problem even with diapers, until I tried to cut back on the amount of detergent I used.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 10:20PM
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My DH has MS also and now wears disposal underwear. When he gets it on his clothes I use tide and put in some borax and that seems to work.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:24AM
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Another idea, for future reference--I picked up this tip online where people were discussing how to get cloth diapers clean. Presoak, but with washing soda in cold water. I've used this method successfully after both pet and human accidents.

Washing soda isn't the easiest thing to find, but it isn't expensive. Arm & Hammer makes it, it's a tall yellow box and costs less than $3.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:03AM
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I found a great soap , called Charlie's Soap, that gets the smell out completely with just one washing.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:00AM
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The person my wife and I care for has had frequent bouts with incontinence, including while he's had a catheter in. It almost always involves explosive diarrhea and it's very difficult keeping one of those sterile when there's diarrhea all over it, but I digress. We've thrown away otherwise perfectly good jeans they were so completely engulfed in it.

When he goes through these periods, we stock up on disposable underwear and make sure we buy the "underwear" type with an elastic waistband and elastic around the leg openings. Depends are the name most are familiar with but we typically buy the store brand from the local drug store, in our case, Walgreen's. They generally keep the worst of it inside, so the main issue is cleaning him up, which needs to be done regardless. We also buy him less expensive sweats and flannel pajama pants to wear so if we have an episode where it's very bad, we're not tossing $30-$40 jeans.

Above all, don't be embarrassed. It's a fact of your life and something that is neither your or his fault. It's just a hand you and he have been dealt, something that life has given you to cope with. Caring for a loved one whose health is in decline and all the speed bumps it involves is something to be applauded(For lack of a better word), not to be ashamed of. It requires love and dedication that some can't bring themselves to deal with. The ones who can't cope or dedicate themselves are the ones that should be embarrassed.

Good luck to you both.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 3:33AM
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When I used to do my MIL's laundry from the nursing home
I bought a product called Odoban. It worked great.

Sadly, those of that make it to our twilight years will
have to face problems such as this. God Bless all caregivers, they are special people.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:11PM
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