Being a new parent is a tough job. Between the lack of sleep, always running out of diapers, and making sure your little one is content, it can be a lot. The last thing you want to do is worry about is getting those tough stains out of your laundry.
These handy tips and tricks for getting any and every type of stain out of your family's clothing will breathe new life into those cute little threads and save you money. Don't run to the store to buy new baby clothing that isn't every color of the stain rainbow. Just make sure you have these products and knowledge at the ready.
Send Spit-Up Stains Away
If there's one thing babies know how to do, it's how to spit-up. Whether it's on themselves, on you, or on an unsuspecting relative who wants to hold them for the first time, they're always ready to share what they consumed earlier that day — much to you and your laundry's chagrin.
For removing spit-up, look for a stain remover with enzymes like proteases, amylases, lipases, or cellulases in the ingredients. Those will eat away at the spit-up, and if you wash it in warm water with the stain remover and bleach, the stain will completely vanish.
Don't Scream Over Baby Cream, Oil, Or Petroleum Jelly Anymore
Baby oil, baby cream, and petroleum jelly are total superstars in the childcare world for beating diaper rash and making your baby's skin stay soft as well, a baby's skin. But they can often leave dark grease splotches or lines on your baby's clothing that can be hard to remove.
All you have to do is scrape off the excess and then sprinkle a little talcum powder over the stain. The talc will absorb the oil, so all you have to do after is treat the clothing with a regular stain remover and a wash cycle.
Make Milk Or Formula Disappear
Giving a baby a bottle is often a surefire way to get them to calm down, but it's also a great way to get tough, white milk stains on their clothing—it's pretty much unavoidable. These ones start to smell funky after a while if they're not cleaned right away, so here's an easy way to make sure your baby's clothes don't smell like dairy.
Milk is a protein stain, so you want to soak your laundry in warm water and an enzyme presoak treatment like Biz or Amway prewash liquid found in your local laundry detergent aisle.
Say Goodbye To The Brown
Babies are eating, sleeping, and well... you know what other kinds of machines they are. This is one stain that you're going to want to get started on cleaning right away, or else you're going to want to toss that stinky piece of clothing right in the garbage.
Grab that handy dandy enzyme detergent again and soak the stain for 15 minutes in cold water with it. When you wash it, add more enzyme detergent and wash in cold water. If these two fail, soak it in bleach. Make sure you wash it all after in hot water after the stain is gone to make sure no bacteria is left behind.
Don't Buy The Special Detergents And Stain Removers Marketed Towards Babies
Babies are near and dear to us, but they're also big money makers for laundry detergent companies. Companies often brand and release special detergents as "baby safe" and advertise that they won't irritate a baby's skin. But in reality, most detergents won't (unless of course your child has an allergy).
Don't reach for the expensive scent-free, hypoallergenic, organic detergent at the store. Instead, just wash the baby's clothing with the detergent your family regularly uses. Stains and dirt will curse your name, but your baby and your wallet will thank you for it.
Fight Baby Food
Switching your baby from formula or milk to solids is a huge milestone for your child... but it also comes with many, many, many stains. Babies aren't exactly on board with standard table manners and the whole concept of keeping food inside their mouths, so you've got to be prepared.
To fight baby food, simply let the clothing soak in equal parts of cold water and alcohol for 15 minutes. That should lift the stain, but if it doesn't, soak the clothes again in equal parts of water and vinegar. Make sure you wash the clothing after you've removed that stain.
One Of The Biggest Stain Removers Is Right Above You
Maybe you experimented with dying your hair when you were younger by soaking a few strands in lemon juice and letting it dry out in the sun. Well, those days are back because the sun is also a natural stain remover.
After you've washed your baby clothes, simply hang them out in the sun for a couple of hours and let it work its magic. The sun will fade the stains and even make them disappear completely. The only downside is it has to be sunny out for this hack to work.
Bring The Fight To Fruit Stains
Giving your child berries, jams, or juice is a huge treat for them. It's so nice to see them enjoy a meal so whole-heartedly, but when your child is absolutely covered in red, pink, or purple stains, you might be feeling a little in over your head.
Don't worry though, all you need to do is create a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water and dab it on the stain and let it soak for 15 minutes. Apply a combination solvent like Shout and give it a regular wash.
Practice Stain Prevention
The easiest stain to clean is one that never even happened. A great tip to keep your baby's clothes clean is to grab a plastic bib that fastens around their neck for when they're eating.
The best kinds of these bibs have pockets to catch any excess drippage so you and your child don't have to worry about where crumbs and drips are landing. These are super handy too because they're easily cleaned and laundered. Unfortunately, they don't protect against diaper blowouts. Sorry.
Make The Crayon Cray-off
If you have a small child while also having a baby, then this is the laundry stain hack you need to hear. You've got your hands full as a parent, and while your oldest child is running around paying in sand, coloring, and just having a grand old time, you're trying to keep all the play dirt off your infant. But crayons always seem to find a way onto baby clothes, don't they?
A handy trick to getting rid of crayon wax is to freeze the fabric. This will make it easy to peel away. If it's still not gone, lay cheesecloth over the stain and iron on low-heat over it because the cheesecloth will pick up the rest.
Get Past The Grass
Babies can be adventurous souls. Sometimes they don their little explorer hats and skip tummy-time in favor of crawling around the backyard at lightning speed (while you're there of course). They're the cutest little adventurer, but what's not cute are all the grass stains on their clothes.
Kick grass in the... root by soaking the stained clothing a mixture of cold water and laundry detergent for 15 minutes before you wash it. That way your baby can keep on finding lost civilizations in your backyard without you fearing the inevitable stains.
We Love Babies But We Don't Love Lipstick
This hack is perfect for anyone who's taken their new baby to a family or friend gathering to meet everyone. Their new friends and family shower them with lots of love and kisses, as they should, but sometimes they leave a little something behind for the baby to remember them by—it's usually a big red lipstick print on the baby's onesie.
Stop the stain, not the love, by blotting the stain marks with isopropyl alcohol and letting it sink in for 15 minutes before laundering.
Here's The Dirt On Dirt
Fun fact: babies get dirty. When there's a lot of people holding them and getting things for them, sometimes people don't realize that they've got some mud smudges on their hands. This is especially true for younger grabby children who always seem to have a thin layer of grime on them from constantly playing outside.
To make the mud disappear, all you have to do is soak the garment in cold water with a mixture of liquid dishwashing detergent and white vinegar before washing.
Deal With Deodorant
So, babies don't wear deodorant because they don't really sweat from their armpits yet, but everyone else around them is. Sometimes, if you're holding your child and you're wearing a tank top, you can accidentally trap one of their onesie feet in your armpit and get it, well, deodorant-y. It happens to the best and sweatiest of us all.
To get rid of stubborn deodorant stains that always seem to linger, rub a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water into the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before tossing it in the wash.
Shake Foundation To Its Core
Just like baby clothing gets covered in lipstick because of all the love and affection they're showered with, they also get covered in foundation. It's really bound to happen, especially when your aunt Carol who works for Avon insists on cuddling them constantly. We love you, Carol.
Deal with foundation stains by pretreating the stain with liquid dish soap. Make sure you really rub it into the stain before you rinse it with hot water. It's really that simple.
Don't Let Blood Linger
Not that your baby's going to be involved in any intense boxing matches, but sometimes a little blood does get on baby clothes. Maybe you had a little nick on your finger, but once it gets on the clothes it can be hard to get out.
All you have to do to get the stain out is soak it in cold water, spot treat it with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out. If those two don't make much of a difference, simply rub in some dish soap under cold water.
Think Around Ink
Ink is a weird thing to show up on your baby's clothing, but we've established that they're basically stain collectors, so it actually might not be. You may get ink on your baby's clothing if you're switching between writing things down to caring for your child.
To get rid of stubborn ink on your child's clothes, dab a little rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain, then flip the garment onto some paper towel and apply it to the other side. Let it sit before rinsing thoroughly and laundering.
Catch Up To Ketchup
Listen, ketchup gets on all of our clothing. We're all magnets for the stuff, and unfortunately, our cute little baby clothes also live by that rule. It almost doesn't even matter if you've even eaten ketchup that day if you're within a 10-mile radius of a bottle. It will get on you and your family.
Ketchup is a tricky stain because the more you treat it the worse it can get. All you have to do is remove the excess with a fork or knife and then run cold water through the back before laundering.
Peel Away Perfume
Perfume may smell great, but it can leave yellowish and dark marks on clothing if left for a long time without treating. It's great when your baby gets all the hugs and love it deserves, but those dark stains... not so much.
Stop stains in their tracks by pretreating them with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent and letting it sit. When you launder the clothing the stain should come right out and leave your baby smelling and looking like fresh laundry.
Don't Roll The Dice On Ice Cream
Ice cream is a tasty treat that every baby enjoys. Their faces when they eat it are nothing short of pure joy. But what doesn't bring joy to a parent's face is seeing all that ice cream dribble down a baby's chin onto their clothes.
All you have to do is soak the clothes in pretreating enzymes and water for 30 minutes and then launder with warm water. That way you and your child can enjoy ice cream without all that sticky aftermath.