Baby clothes with their tiny stripes and ruffles are the cutest! But nothing ruins a romper faster than a stain you can’t lift off. Throwing away a favorite bib or sleeper is heart-wrenching. Plus, if you’re planning on having more than one child, reusing clothes that already have a short shelf life is a huge cost saver. Luckily most baby stains are organic so cleaning them just takes a little elbow grease and a dash of know-how.
Scrape and Soak.
Before pre-treating or scrubbing any stain, be sure to remove as much solid matter as possible – i.e., peas, carrots, poop. Don’t let the stain sit. If you don’t have time to treat it right away, start soaking it in cold water until you can give it your full attention. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stain before soaking, making sure not to press too hard as to ruin the fabric.
The best tool for protein-based baby stains (breast milk, formula, spit-up, egg, poop) is to use an enzyme-based cleaner. Enzymes digest the proteins in the stain to help break it down. After soaking the article of clothing, spray the cleaner, completely covering the stain. Rub the cleaner in and then allow it to go to work for a couple of minutes or however long the manufacturer recommends. Wash in the warmest water possible for the fabric.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas can all leave a permanent mark on your baby’s clothes. If possible, allow the garment to soak overnight in cold water to really loosen the stain. Apply a pre-treater or even a little dish soap directly to the stain. Rub the pre-treater in and let it sit for a minute or two. Wash the item as normal but if the stain isn’t gone, don’t dry it! Repeat the process. Hang to dry only once the stain is removed.
Oily and Greasy Stains.
Baby oil, petroleum jelly, and creams can leave their greasy mark. Blot as much of the product off of the garment as possible, then sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb any leftover oil. Apply a pre-treater then wash as usual.
Use Bleach When Necessary.
Bleach is the ultimate weapon for removing stubborn or downright unsanitary stains, but it should be used with caution. Delicate baby clothes may not be able to take the harshness of bleach. Always check the garment’s laundering label and test a spot inside a hem to see how the bleach will react to the fabric. Color-safe bleach is a good option as well.
Add a Laundry Booster.
Natural laundry supplies (you know the kind your grandma had) can help boost your machine’s cleaning power. Borax, washing soda, and vinegar all boost the cleaning power of your detergent and have excellent softening and de-greasing properties. And adding Borax to your poop stain pre-soak helps eliminate bacteria lurking in the stain.
If you’ve got a new baby, chances are you’re so busy with feedings, diapers and giving cuddles that you probably don’t have time for much else. Savor these precious moments with your baby and let The Maids pick up the cleaning slack. Our professional cleaning teams can swoop and tackle the kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedrooms before you can stay, “Is it nap time yet?” Contact us today for a free estimate and peace of mind.