One of the toughest challenges parents face is stain removal – and babies make so very many stains, whether it’s from eating a meal or spitting it back up. Here’s a quick primer on getting rid of the worst offenders and keeping your little one’s clothes and bibs looking like new.
Never underestimate the power of a good soak in cold water (never hot – that might make the stain set!). Wet fibers expand, breaking up the surface of the stain and keeping it from sticking to the cloth as thoroughly. If you have Oxiclean or another pre-treating stain fighter, add a little of that to the soaking water. You can also use the powdered stain fighters to make a paste, which you apply to the stain before washing. It’s probably best to avoid bleach, especially if you don’t have color-safe bleach.
Before soaking, scrape off as much of the stain’s source as you can. The more food or spit-up you get off before you wash, the better the chances you have of getting baby’s clothes completely clean. Avoid rubbing as much as you can, since that’ll just grind the mess into the fibers. If you’re facing a particularly stubborn stain, your best friend in the pre-clean cleaning just might be your dish soap – don’t forget that it’s designed specifically to tackle food-related messes!
For stubborn spit-up stains, one clever solution involves coating the stain with baking soda, pouring club soda onto the baking soda, and letting the mix fizz away. The chemical reaction at work here should lift spit-up stains nicely; if it doesn’t, move on to the spot-treatment laundry products.
The dryer is hot, which means it’s more likely to set a stain in place than remove it – and once a stain is set, there’s virtually no hope of getting rid of it. Check your clothes and bibs over thoroughly before tossing them in the dryer, and give them a further soak and wash if they still need it.
On top of that, never underestimate the power of a good line dry out in the sun when it comes to getting rid of stains. The sun is a natural, gentle bleacher that won’t harm your clothes but will get rid of nasty stains – this method is especially effective on spit-up stains.
Many baby stains are wet, which means there’s a high risk of your little one’s clothes getting moldy while they wait to be washed. The surest way to prevent mold (and the associated stains and potential health problems) is to wash the messy clothes as soon as possible after the mess occurs. If your baby’s clothes do grow mold, a soak in either vinegar water or bleach water (NEVER MIX THE TWO) will kill the mold. Dry the clothes on high heat or out in the sun to make sure it’s gone for good.
Thank you for reading! Lil’ Oopsies is dedicated to bringing you high-quality baby bibs.