How to Treat Common Baby Laundry Stains
It's always amazing to see how such little bodies can create SO MUCH laundry. If you have a newborn, infant or toddler you know exactly how challenging (and never-ending!) stain treatment and laundry can be. Here are a few tricks to keep your little ones clothes looking and smelling fresh!
Usually “fresh” breast milk stains can be removed by simply washing clothes as usual with a mild liquid detergent. Dried or “set in” milk stains are a bit more challenging. In this case, first gently scrape or brush off any crusted milk from the stain. Since milk is a protein-based stain, you need to use enzymatic stain removers such as Zout, Biz, or Puracy- available in most supermarkets. Soak the stain with the selected stain remover for 15-30 minutes, then rinse with warm water and wash as directed.
The ingredients found in most baby formulas can make these stains hard to remove if not treated right away right away. To get the job done, first remove any excess or crusted formula by scrubbing the area gently with a soft bristle brush. Sprinkle the stain with baking soda and place the clothes in a sink or tub filled with warm water. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and wash as directed. Air-dry the item and if the stain is still visible, repeat.
Generally, spit-up stains are relatively simple to remove. First fill a bucket with warm water, add dishwashing liquid detergent (such as Dawn or Palmolive) and swirl around to mix and create suds. Put the clothes in the bucket and leave it to soak overnight. After the clothes have soaked, wash the items as directed. For especially stubborn stains, apply 1-2 drops of liquid dish soap directly to stain, gently rub to help soap soak into stain fully. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, then wash as directed (without rinsing first).
Grease or oil-based stains (such as baby oil, creams, petroleum jelly, etc) can be especially tricky to remove because they are not water-soluble (cannot be dissolved in water). First, blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove excess grease. Then, apply a sprinkle of baking soda directly to stain and let it sit for several minutes. This step is helpful in 2 ways…the baking soda attracts and absorbs any remaining grease from the stain AND helps break down the lipids. Next, gently brush off the powder and simply toss into the washer with other items to wash as usual.
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Fruit/ Vegetable Stains
Turn the clothing garment inside out and run the stain directly under cold water to release remaining particles. DO NOT RUB stain directly as this might push the particles deeper into the fabric. Next, apply a mild detergent to the stain (still inside-out) and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse again and if stain persists, apply a small dab of dish washing liquid to the stain and wash as directed.
Now we get to the really “fun” stains! These are the ones you’ll want to bust out a pair of gloves to treat. For urine stains, you need to neutralize the stain to treat it properly. First, make a vinegar solution with two parts water and one part vinegar. Next, apply the solution to your stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then add a generous sprinkle of baking soda and let sit again for 10 minutes - then wash as directed on warm or hot. Alternatively, you can use a store-bought product such as Zout, Biz, or Puracy.
Now, for the most dreaded but also most inevitable baby laundry stains...poop. Definitely, grab those gloves before getting started. Rinse the stain inside out to loosen the yuck out of the fabric. Fill a bucket with hot water and ½ cup of a strong enzymatic cleaner such as Zout, Biz or Puracy. Soak the item overnight. Then, rinse under hot water. If stain is still present, let the item lay in the sunlight to further disinfect - then wash as directed in the highest recommended water temperature.