If you are wondering how to remove stains from baby clothes, look no further. While babies and toddlers are learning hand eye coordination, there are bound to be spills, slips, and stains.
Ahh, the little baby onesies!
They are so cute and fresh and only ever get stained with milk or spit up those first few months. This is an ease to wash and care for…
And then… they start eating solids.
I have always been intrigued by baby led weaning, but have never done it so I am always in puree
hell heaven for about 6 months, from 6 months – 12 months of age.
This is when keeping their clothes from being stained can become a nightmare.
Particularly if they eat orangey things…
With my oldest, she ate so may carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin right there together for a period that the nurse told me she might have some type of jaundice.
Which I googled and thought her liver didn’t work, nearly had a heart attack on our way to the pediatrician who immediately fit us in (which is always a bad sign), only to be given a knowing smile.
“She’s eating a lot of carrots, isn’t she?“
I like our laundry system to work for us, but sometimes I can get lax. I’ve gone in cycles where I did a load every single day (from wash to put away) and then gone to where I do multiple loads once a week.
Both when I’m cloth diapering, and when I have one in purees I need to do laundry more regularly, however, and need systems in place to stop stains from setting in.
Here’s How Keep Stains Out
It’s hard with little ones, but you can keep clothes looking nice! The following 6 methods are proven to be effective to remove stains:
1. Feed them naked / semi naked
Hahaha. Okay, but really. We all know that this is an option.
There are some places and times that feeding them naked does work, and some places that it doesn’t. I always try to be sure not to have them wear that outfit I want to keep perfect when there’s not an option to strip.
And, actually my 6 month old now has eczema. I have to put him in long sleeve and long pant onesies or he’ll scratch himself, so that isn’t an option.
My 4 year old daughter and 3 year old son are meticulously careful and clean eaters. Unless it’s melting chocolate ice cream, they won’t spill it. My 23 month old is and always has been messy…very messy. And, my baby…well, he’s a baby.
The moral of the story is that feeding them naked may be a great option in the summer and in some locations. But, it’s not one we can do always.
2. Use a bib
A bib won’t guarantee there’ll be no spills on the clothes, but it’ll help minimize it. If you get a plastic bib, that’s even better. I love using the ones with the pocket on the bottom. Find it Here.
This helps tremendously with saving food from the floor and keeping their clothes clean too.
Every child is different. Some of mine would abide the plastic tray bibs, others would not. My 6 month old takes the bib and shoves it in his mouth. So… really it’s just one more piece that needs de-staining. :)
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
3. Get stain soaker
You need to get a good stain soaker (I used and now use BIZ and so far it’s worked first wash every time) that’ll help the stain from setting in prior to washing.
I hadn’t yet bought a stain soaker since moving back to the States (since my baby hadn’t been eating solids and his brother had been eating sans shirt), but now we’re in puree heaven so I’ve been using the stain soaker BIZ sent me.
Tips for using stain soakers
- You’ll want to use the soaker as soon after the article of clothing gets stained.
- Leave it there for a while to soak prior to washing.
- I’ll admit I often soak clothes for a few days simply because I hadn’t planned on washing them yet.
- Unless it’s a delicate and fine fabric, this type of soaking won’t do any harm.
4. Use a soaking container.
When it comes to removing stains, this is the key here…
If I don’t have a soaking container in a set location that I can easily use, I forget (or don’t prioritize) soaking. The key is to have some type of bucket, sink, or container in a convenient location by the soaking agent in the laundry room.
Convenience when it comes to to soaking is so important. If it isn’t part of your laundry routine already, it’s not likely to happen.
I’ll create a small pile of clothes, if there are more than one stained, and then after there are a few I’ll soak them together in the container prior to washing.
Note: I don’t soak in bleach for long periods at all unless it’s all white and a really bad stain.
Often soaking in a stain fighter like Biz will do the trick without soaking for long periods in bleach which can break down the fabric of the article you’re soaking.
5. Boost your load.
After I’ve soaked the clothes that have pretty bad stains, I’ll add the stain fighter to the actual load of laundry itself in addition to the detergent.
In my experience, it helps get out less noticeable stains. It also seems to help keep the clothes a bit brighter.
Also, I’ve found this really necessary when getting out tougher stains, the soaking and then the washing both with an extra boost.
6. Wash with cold water.
I know common knowledge is to wash with warmer water to get out stains. However, for years now I’ve washed all loads (except super dirty white loads) in cold water.
I do this primarily to cut down on the power bill, and can attest to it working. With laundry for 5 kids, this is a big deal!
When I’ve used cloth diapers for certain periods and had to wash in hot, it increased our water bill enough to negate any savings gained by not buying disposables!
The point is…. washing with hot water can actually set the stain even more. If the stain isn’t gone and it’s washed with hot water for a long period, it’ll be extremely difficult to get out later.
Wash with cold. If needed, use the stain fighter again and there are very few stains that can withstand that.
Stain fighters target 4 types of stains:
- Protein Based Stains like milk, blood, grass, and baby formula,
- Ink and Dye Based Stains like wine, flavored juices, and spaghetti sauce (we are Italian eaters here, so this is big for us)
- Granular Based Stains like clay, dirt, and mud, and
- Stains that Require Whitening Agents to make whites whiter and colors brighter.
How To Get Blood Out Of Clothes
If your little one happens to get a skinned knee (or “skint” knee) and get some blood on their clothes, it is possible to get it out, but you do need to act fast.
- Remove the blood soaked clothing as soon as possible.
- Soak the item of clothing in cold water (NOT hot water) in a large laundry bucket or sink.
- If you have a lighter colored fabric or light denim you can put some hydrogen peroxide on the stained area.
- You can also use ammonia on the site of the blood stain as well to try and break it up so that it lifts during washing.
- Make sure your detergent is enzyme based (most are!) and then do the laundry cycle on cold to wash the blood soaked item.
- Don’t dry the item of clothing because heat can set in a stain.