How to Get Stains Out of Baby Clothes: From Spitups to Spills and More

Baby carried in blanket by woman in sweater

Yes, babies are adorable, even when they’re covered in all applesauce, chocolate milk, and grass stains. That doesn’t mean you can just let the dirt pile up—especially when it comes to their clothes!

Sure, it may seem like a waste to go through the hassle of getting those stubborn stains out when your little one will outgrow those outfits in the blink of an eye. But if you plan on handling those clothes down to a friend or family member, selling them, or simply want to get your money’s worth, you’ll want to know how to get all the stains out of baby clothes.

Whether you’re frantically scouring the internet on how to get poop stains out of baby clothes or just want to get a headstart, this guide has you covered!

What Stains Are Lurking on Baby Clothes?

The most important step in getting stains out is understanding what type of stain you’re dealing with and how long it’s been there.

This is all on you. After all, it’s not like you can ask your baby what shenanigans they’ve been up to!

The most common stains on baby clothes tend to be the obvious ones: poop, spit-up, pee, and milk. But there will be some that come out of nowhere, like grass stains, ink, or jelly.

Look around you. Ask yourself: what are the likeliest sources of baby stains in your home?

  • Does your baby have outdoor playdates?
  • What kind of food does your baby eat—and spill onto clothes?
  • Do you give your baby crafts to do in the house?

 

Having a sense of what can occur helps you babyproof your home and try to get ahead of any potential stain sources. It will also help you stock up on solutions in advance so that you’re prepared for whatever messes come your way!

Tackling the Tough Stuff: How to Get Stains Out of Baby Clothes

Removing as many possible sources of stains in your home is a great way to minimize mishaps, but even the most thorough babyproofing can’t possibly match a baby’s natural curiosity!

Let’s go over what you need to do as soon as your little genius manages to cover themselves in some new version of a Messy McMesserson masterpiece:

Ascertain the stain

Taking stock of the likely sources of stains in your home helps narrow down what type of stain you’re dealing with.

You also have to think about where your baby was before they got the stain, what they were doing, the fabric type of the clothing, and how long the stain has been there.

This can sometimes get confusing. Let’s say your baby has a fresh brown stain on their shirt. Is it mud, chocolate, or poop? Try to think back on what your baby has been up to lately and use your best judgment.

And if all else fails? Do what most parents do and just give it a quick sniff. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it—it works!

Do this first

For solid stains—think poop, mud, and food—you’ll want to start by taking an old butter knife to scrape off as much of the material as possible, before blotting the area with a damp paper towel.

For liquid stains such as coffee, milk, and vomit, you’ll want to start by blotting up as much of the liquid as you can with a damp paper towel. It’s important to always use a blotting motion instead of rubbing, which can spread the stain further into the fabric. Be gentle!

For stains that come from things like grease or baby oil, a cool trick is to sprinkle some cornstarch or talcum powder onto the stain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps absorb the oils and makes them easier to remove.

Break down the stain

You can weaken most stains by rinsing with cold water—warm or hot water can set the stain, so be careful!

For pee, poop, and spit-up stains, you may want to soak the fabric in a solution of white vinegar and cold water for a few minutes beforehand to disinfect the fabric and make stain removal easier later on. If you’re wondering how to remove set-in poop stains from baby clothes, this method is especially good. Be sure to check in on the fabric every few minutes and repeat this step if necessary.

If you’re dealing with oil stains, you can use dish detergent to start breaking them down. Simply massage a dollop of dish detergent into the stain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it with cold water.

Time to treat

Once your baby’s clothes are as stain-free as possible, it’s time to treat the fabric with a stain remover. When it comes to baby clothes, you should always opt for gentle products that are free of harsh chemicals and won’t cause any harm to your little one’s delicate skin.

You can use store-bought stain removal solutions or DIY mixtures such as hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice for natural stain removal.

Be sure to check the fabric type first before applying any cleaning solution, as some fabrics are more delicate than others and can be damaged by certain products. Brightly-colored jerseys, for example, might fade with stronger stuff, so watch out!

Laundering the clothes

The last step is to launder your baby’s clothes according to their fabric care instructions.

We like washing them at the highest temperature recommended for the particular fabric and using a laundry detergent that’s specifically designed for baby clothes.

Unless you’re dealing with poop, pee, or spit-up stains, you should be fine mixing your baby’s clothes with other laundry.

Once the cycle is completed, don’t be tempted to just dry the clothes without inspecting them first! You’ll want to be sure that all of the stains are gone before drying them, as heat can set in any lingering stain.

Or You Can Let Us Handle It!

Look, not everyone can be a laundry superhero. If you want only the best for your baby’s clothes (and your sanity), try out hampr!

Our vetted washrs use only detergents that are guaranteed to be gentle and safe for your baby’s delicate skin. Combined with our unbeatable flat-rate pricing, 24-hour turnaround times, and free pick-ups and deliveries, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy more cuddle time with your baby and less time dealing with laundry!

Download the hampr app on Google Play or the App Store to book your first wash today!

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