Baby Stain Removal
How many times have you put on what you THOUGHT was a clean shirt, only to find the shadowy remains of last week's strained peas on your collar? Or grabbed a freshly-laundered onesie, just to see a sadly yellowed spit-up stain front and center? Babies create plenty of messes and quite a few of those end up as tough-to-remove stains. Fortunately, even the most stubborn stains can be banished with the right techniques.
First, a couple of all-purpose, stain-fighting tips: Invest in an enzyme-based stain remover and detergent. Check the label for proteases, amylases, lipases or cellulases. Many baby-related stains are “protein based” meaning they're related to various body functions -- something every parent knows well. An enzyme-based cleaner will break down those stain-causing proteins. Also, be sure that any stains have been washed out before you put clothes in the dryer. Once you've dried something, the stain is likely set in and will be very difficult, if not virtually impossible, to get out.
Here's how to remove the most common baby-related stains:
- Spit-Up: Rinse the spot with cool water and wash in warm water with an enzyme detergent and oxygen-based bleach.
- Baby Food: Start with a cold water rinse and soak in a 50-50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol for 15 minutes. If the stain is gone, go ahead and wash normally; if not, try soaking again in a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar before washing.
- Diaper Cream, Baby Oil or Petroleum Jelly: First, scrape off any leftover goop. Cover the spot with talcum powder, which should absorb the oil. Scrape the powder off, then treat the spot with your favorite stain remover before laundering as normal.
- Formula or Breast Milk: Start by soaking in warm water, then soak again with an enzyme wash. Spot still there? Treat with enzyme-based stain remover and wash as usual.
- Diaper-Related Stains: Get rid of any “evidence” by flushing it down the toilet. Then soak for a minimum of 15 minutes in an enzyme detergent. After soaking, add more enzyme detergent directly to the spot, then wash in cool water. If the stain remains after the first wash, soak in an oxygen bleach solution until it fades. Once the stain is gone, wash in sanitizing hot water.