Gym Suds

A parent's job is never done, especially when it comes to laundry. Gym Suds promises to make that job easier, and provide some scrubbing bubbles to your stains.

Imagine lunch time at a home with four children. The Timpe house gets pretty active, and the kitchen table pretty messy. Two-year old Jayna is ready for her ravioli! And before four-year-old Emily digs in, she asks her Mom for a napkin. The problem is, tomato sauce stains. And that's something that Mom, Gail, knows all too well. With four kids and a husband, Gail does about 14 loads of laundry a week!

And Gail volunteers to wash some clothes for us. We're testing a product called Gym Suds, sold at Gymboree stores for $6 a bottle. It's a nursery prewash that promises to remove common stains and odors. But Gail will be surprised if it removes stains in just one wash.

"Most of the time I can't get them out with a pre-treatment," Gails admits. "So I end-up soaking them in Clorox 2 for 48 hours, usually."

She has a host of stains commonly found on her children's clothes, and lists them as she points out the stains. "This is dirt from the back yard. Baby food, carrots. This is spaghetti sauce.Chocolate. This is Kool-Aid. And this is a grass stain."

As per directions, we wash as usual after letting Gym Suds sit for five minutes. Then Gail gets her first glimpse at the work-out Gym Suds gave her stains. "It looks like it got the Kool-Aid out, and that's pretty good because the Kool-Aid sat there for a couple of days. But just the opposite story with the chocolate. Chocolate is one thing I have the most trouble getting out. It didn't touch that at all."

It also got rid of the grass stain. "Usually, when I pre-treat, I can't get the grass stain out, so that's pretty good," added Gail. But the backyard mud is more stubborn. And it did not get the spaghetti sauce out. Neither did it remove the carrot stain. "Which I consider a baby stain," says Gail. "It did not get the carrots out."

Bottom line, it worked about like any other pre-treater. If you catch the stains early, you have a better shot at getting them out. But Gails says she'll stick with pre-soaking in Clorox 2.

"I don't think it made that much of a difference," summarizes Gail. "In the most difficult stains, the chocolate and the spaghetti sauce, it really didn't do anything. So I probably wouldn't spend the money on it."

Gymboree gives a money back guarantee, if you aren't satisfied with the $6 Gym Suds. We would probably take them up on it. Overall, we give Gym Suds a C-.