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The Ecology Works’ Guide on How to Get Stains Out of Baby Clothes

There are two things that can’t be avoided when you have a little one in the house: mountains of dirty laundry and the endless variety of stains that come with it. Between the spit-up, mashed green peas, diaper blow-outs, and mystery messes, it can often feel like those stained baby clothes are impossible to salvage – especially without using bleach or harsh laundry whiteners that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here’s our how-to guide to removing all kinds of stains from your baby’s clothing. 

Here’s What You’ll Need For Removing Stains from Baby Clothing 

Make sure you’re ready for combating those pesky stains by keeping the following on hand in your laundry room: 

  • The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent 

Keeping your little one’s clothes and linens clean is no small feat. You’ll need a laundry detergent that gets the job done but that’s also gentle on baby’s skin and senses. Regular laundry detergents are too harsh and can cause skin irritation, diaper rash, allergic reactions, and more. Instead, wash your baby’s laundry with a plant- and mineral-based, fragrance-free detergent, like The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent. Our detergent is hypoallergenic and free from perfumes, dyes, optical brighteners, or enzymes that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. It’s also recommended by allergists and dermatologists, 100% biodegradable, and tough on grime and stains. 

  • Vital Oxide 

As you welcome a new baby into your home, now is a great time to become more aware of what’s in the products you buy and use around your baby, especially those used for cleaning and combating stains. Our product, Vital Oxide, effectively eliminates tough stains and grime – without harsh chemicals, noxious fumes, or harmful residues. This fragrance-free all-in-one product can also be used to clean, disinfect, eliminate odors (goodbye, diaper pail funk!), and more. It’s gentle enough to use around the laundry room, nursery, playroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, inside the car, or anywhere, really.

  • Cornstarch 

You’ll probably already have cornstarch powder in your kitchen cupboard, but it can really come in handy in the laundry room when you’ve got a greasy or oily stain to get rid of on your bundle of joy’s onesie. Talcum powder works as well. 

  • Soft-Bristled Brush 

An old toothbrush, laundry brush, or makeup brush will help to loosen residue on baby’s clothes. 

  • Soaking Container 

When it comes to removing stains, soaking is vital. By having some type of container, bowl, or bucket at the ready in the laundry room, it’ll be easier to jump on stains as soon as they happen. 

Preparing Clothing for Stain Removal

Fresh stains are always easier to remove than stains that have had time to set; always try to tackle stains as soon as possible. Start by scraping off any remnants of what has stained your baby’s clothes, for instance, spit-up or mashed sweet potatoes, and then rinse the garment under cold, running water. Avoid using hot water because it can set stains even deeper into the garment’s fibers. Next, soak the newly stained item in cold water for at least 15 minutes with some hypoallergenic laundry detergent mixed in to help lift the stain. Then, you’ll want to start working on the stain. The method you use will depend on the type of mess. 

NOTE: Keep in mind that the following should be used as a general guide for removing stains and washing baby laundry, but always double-check the fabric care instructions on the specific garment’s label, as some fabrics are delicate and may require extra care. 

Breast Milk & Baby Formula Stains 

After rinsing and soaking the garment that has a protein stain – like breast milk, formula, or spit-up, you’ll need Vital Oxide and a soft-bristled brush. Spray the stain liberally with Vital Oxide and gently scrub to lift any excess. If the stain lingers on your baby's clothes, rinse under cool water, soak the spot again with Vital Oxide and let sit for a few minutes, and then launder it in the regular wash cycle. 

Diaper Blow-out 

Start by shaking off any, er, solids into the toilet. Next, rinse the garment under cool water, spray the stain with Vital Oxide, then soak for at least 15 minutes in cold water with detergent. Launder in cool water. If the stain remains after the wash cycle, soak in Vital Oxide. When the stain is gone, wash the garment in very hot water and dry as usual. 

Fruit & Vegetable Stains 

Stains from fruits, vegetables, purees, sauces, juices, and jams can be challenging to conquer, but take heart; they can be removed in most cases. After rinsing and soaking the stained clothing, spray the spit liberally with Vital Oxide and let sit for 10 minutes, apply a dab of detergent directly to the stain, and then wash it in cold water. If the stain lifts in the first wash cycle, go ahead and dry it as usual. If it doesn’t, soak the spot again with Vital Oxide before washing it a second time. 

Greasy Stains (Baby Oils & Creams)

Remove any excess gloop, then sprinkle the spot with cornstarch powder to absorb the grease. Wait 15 minutes, scrape the area with a spoon, treat it with Vital Oxide and launder the garment in cold water. 

How to Remove Old or Dried Stains

For old or dried stains, start by scraping off dried matter, and rinse under cold, running water. Next, soak the garment in cold water and detergent for at least 30 minutes; stubborn stains may require soaking for 24 hours. Just remember to check the item’s fabric care label before treating and make sure the item remains fully submerged. After soaking, spray the spot with Vital Oxide and gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with cold water, apply detergent directly to the spot, and then launder in cold water. 

Have questions about cleaning, combating stains, or reducing allergens inside your home? We have answers! Please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We're here to help.
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