Friday, September 22, 2017

The Ballad of the Stinky Shirt

But first some real ballet-related stuff.

In the last few classes I've been having trouble with my pirouettes. They just didn't seem to be working as well as before. Last Sunday I realized that I'd gotten lazy about the placement of my working foot during the turn, getting it only to mid-calf and probably not well turned-out. Last night I found myself doing it again, and made a conscious effort to correct the placement, and it really helped.

Now on to the next verse of the Ballad of the Stinky Shirt.

I had high hopes for the borax treatment. I left the shirt soaking in a solution of 1/4 cup of borax in about a gallon of water for most of a day, mainly because I forgot about it until the following afternoon. I have a high-efficiency washer, and since those have been known to develop their own musty odors if you don't clean them regularly, I ran it through its self-clean cycle with the manufacturer's approved cleaning tablet. Then I washed the shirt in a fairly small load of other laundry. It smelled fine coming out of the washer, and I hung it up in my basement to dry.

Yesterday morning it still smelled fine, and I put it in my dance bag to wear in class last night. I also made sure I had another freshly-washed shirt, just in case. Through the first half of barre it smelled fine, but just before the end of barre... ugh! Clearly the borax hadn't had any effect on whatever bacteria is producing that ammonia smell. At the break I grabbed another shirt out of my bag, ran off to the changing room and swapped shirts.

My next attempt at rescuing this shirt is distilled white vinegar. It's been soaking in it since I got home last night. I plan to rinse it thoroughly, then toss it in with a small load of towels later this morning. I may wait a while before wearing it to class again, though. The Saturday morning class tends to be full and I don't think the classmates who would have to stand near me would appreciate it.

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