Getting Baby Stains out of Your Laundry

Getting Baby Stains Out of Your LaundryIf you have had your baby home longer than, oh, five seconds, you have probably dealt with some baby stains. Blow-outs, spit-up, breast milk, drool…you may have also discovered this stuff doesn’t wash out of clothing very easily, either. If your regular laundry routine isn’t cutting it, try some of these tips for keeping your baby’s (and your) clothes looking like new. You can try them on old stains on hand-me-downs too.

No matter the source, the best thing you can do is treat the spot right away. Rinse in cool or warm water, then spray a pre-treater on the spot. Leave the item until you are ready to wash. Wash the item normally, then before tossing it in the dryer, inspect the item closely. If the stain is still there, don’t put it in the dryer! The high heat will bake it right in.

If the stain is still there, don’t fret. Try some of these tried-and-true ideas:

  • A long soak in Oxy-clean. Fill a sink or bucket with HOT water, swish the oxy-clean in to dissolve, and add the stained items. Then wash normally afterwards. I have a couple friends that swear by this and this, but there are many products on the market that should be easily accessible.
  • Blue Dawn is an excellent product to have around for a zillion reasons, and this is another one. Add dawn on the stain and gently work it into the fabric, with your hands or a soft toothbrush. Let it sit a bit and then wash.
  • Sunlight and lemon juice. This is especially useful on the bright yellow breastmilk poop. You can try just drying the item in the sun (if it’s cloudy or rainy, don’t worry; it will take longer but you can sun indoors from a window or even on your car dashboard). You should see a major difference, but if the stain is still there, spray some lemon juice on and sun again. Fresh lemon juice seems to work better than me vs. bottled, but they both work well.
  • Another friend’s husband is a chemist; he suggested she use Simple Green as a pre-treater. A similar tip that I have heard a ton of times is using automatic dishwasher detergent. Both would work in a way similar to the blue Dawn in that they are designed to break down proteins and fats, but I would personally save these as a last resort as they are not very natural and also hard on fabric.

No matter what method you choose, once the stain is gone, it’s good to do an extra rinse to make sure anything you have treated the garment with is truly washed out.

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two boys and a steady stream of foster dogs. She and her family currently live in Japan.

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