Treating and removing stains in baby’s laundry

It’s been nine months in the making. All throughout your pregnancy, you’ve dreamed of this day. Excruciating hours of labor and worry have finally delivered into your anxious arms your very own little stain maker. Get ready to toss out your delicates and live in machine-washable clothing.

Babies are a wonderful blessing, but with our precious angels come unthinkable messes, wretched odors and impossible stains. New moms may feel overwhelmed with faced with a pile of laundry covered in spit-up, dirt, mashed peas and other unmentionable substances. Luckily today’s mom has an arsenal of cleaning supplies and stain-removing tricks up her sleeve. And why wouldn’t you want to save those precious bloomers and onesies? Babies grow so quickly – get the most out of their clothing by becoming proactive against unsightly stains.

The most important weapon in the fight against stubborn stains on baby’s garments is a quality detergent. Dreft is one of the few laundry detergents recommended by pediatricians. Its specially formulated cleaning solution is gentle enough for baby’s delicate skin, but powerful enough to cleanse the everyday mishaps on your child’s favorite jumper. Because baby stains come in a wide variety, it is recommended to use liquid Dreft for oil-based or food stains and powdered Dreft for dirt, mud and clay stains.

Food stains are most often oil-based. As parents begin to introduce solids, baby’s clothing will be bombarded with every color and variety stain imaginable. When faced with a particularly nasty food stain, try the following steps:

Rinse the garment as soon as possible in cold water to help loosen up and dilute the stain. Follow up by soaking the item for at least 30 minutes with a small dose of liquid detergent.

After rinsing and soaking, give the garment a second rinse and then toss in the washing machine. Wash with cold water and similar colors. Be sure to follow any special instructions for the particular garment.

After removing from the washer, air dry the garment. Do not place a stained item in the drying machine, the heat will cause the stain to set permanently. If the item is still stained after line drying, try repeating the process.

Because we often use oil-based products to protect our baby’s skin, many infant clothes are left with greasy or oil-based stains. The following steps are recommended:

Pre-treat the item by rubbing a small amount of liquid detergent into the stain.

Toss the garment into the washing machine and set the water temperature to the warmest setting allowed by the garment’s care instructions.

After removing from the washer, air dry the garment. If the item is still stained, try repeating the process.

Babies leak. There is no way to get around the occasional blow-out or “whoopsie!” To save your little one’s clothes, try the following steps:

Rinse the garment as soon as possible in cold water. After rinsing as thoroughly as possible, soak in cold water with a small amount of detergent for at least 30 minutes.

Ring out the item after soaking and examine the stain. If it is a particularly stubborn spot, rub a small amount of liquid detergent into the area and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.

Toss the garment into the washing machine and wash in cold water with similar colors. Take special care to follow all the care instructions for the particular item of clothing.

After removing from the washer, air dry to avoid setting the stain. Repeat the process if needed.

Occasionally your baby will have a boo-boo. After drying their tears and attending to the “mean ol’ ouchie,” remove the child’s stained clothing and treat the blood spots with hydrogen peroxide. If the blood spot is fairly fresh, dab a solution of salt water onto the stain and rinse with cold water.

Any stain involving baby food, milk, formula, mucous, blood, urine, feces or vomit are considered protein-based stains and should be soaked in cold water and a small amount of liquid detergent. If hot water is used, the proteins in the stain cook and coagulate, binding stubbornly to the fibers and making it considerably difficult to successfully remove the stain. After soaking in cold water and liquid detergent, wash the clothing in a cold water cycle in your washing machine and line dry to ensure the stain does not set.

Get to know your enemy by familiarizing yourself with the variety of stains and the proper techniques to banish the beasties and save your baby’s precious clothes.