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Top 6 Common Stains in Baby Clothes—and How to Gently Remove Them

September 25, 2018

Top 6 Common Stains in Baby Clothes—and How to Gently Remove Them

For being such tiny individuals, babies sure can produce a lot of mess. Between spit-up and potty spills, dropped bottles, and a baffling amount of food flinging, some days it seems baby's wardrobe just doesn't stand a chance. But those little onesies are way too cute to part with—even after unfortunate run-ins with yet another mashed carrot that found its way onto the high chair seat.

While conventional wisdom may suggest reaching for bleach to zap whatever stain has set in, ammonia is on our list of harsh chemicals to avoid (in fact, we've written an entire article on how to whiten clothes naturally without using bleach). Instead, we recommend tackling spills with gentle alternatives that won’t irritate baby's sensitive skin. The next time a spill happens, use these natural methods to prevent it from becoming a permanent stain:

1. How to remove milk stains from baby clothes

They say not to cry over spilled milk, but try telling that to the sleep-deprived parents who've spilled precious bottled breast milk for the umpteenth time—all over baby's new white shirt. Worse, after a day or two waiting in the laundry basket, milk can harden into a sour, yellow mess.

To prevent milk from staining in the first place, immediately rinse off the affected area with cold water. If you're out (and without a change of clothes for baby), try to at least blot the spill with a clean cloth or paper towel. Work from the outside edge of the stain toward the center.

As soon as you're able, soak the garment in cold (not warm, as this effectively cooks the milk in further) water for five minutes. Let it sit longer if the stain is dry, then remove.

If some time has passed since the spill—and/or you need an extra stain-removing boost—treat the milk spot with Puracy Natural Stain Remover. Spray onto the stained area and agitate with a soft brush (e.g., a paint brush, or soft makeup brush) or by rubbing the fabric together. Wait at least 8 hours (the longer the better). Launder normally with an 'Extra Rinse' setting or rinse thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.

Word of caution: Some fabrics are delicate and require special care. Before treating any stain, please make sure to read and follow the care instructions located on each article of clothing.

2. How to remove formula stains from baby clothes

As with breast milk, the trick to removing formula from clothes is to tackle the spill ASAP.

First, soak the garment in cold water for at least 15 minutes. After it's soaked through, use a soft brush to scrub away as much of the formula as possible. If the stain persists, treat with our natural stain remover, following the steps from #1 above.

Since most baby formulas consist primarily of milk, their stains are animal-based—meaning they are high in protein and need to be treated with a stain remover that uses an enzyme called protease. Here at Puracy, our stain remover is the only product on the market that contains all six plant-based enzymes, including protease, and it's extremely effective at tacking and lifting hardened milk proteins.

3. How to remove spit-up stains from baby clothes

If possible, deal with the spit-up immediately by blotting it. If you can't get around to it till later, when the stain is dry, try to remove any crusty bits with a soft brush.

Coat the spit-up stain with a generous pour of baking soda. Add club soda and let the duo fizz for a minute or two. Pre-treat the stain with stain remover, then wash on a warm cycle with a natural laundry detergent.  (In a head-to-head test involving a full month of research, Puracy was rated the "top choice for baby laundry detergent" by YourBestDigs.)

4. How to remove food stains from baby clothes

Once baby is on solids, food stains are bound to happen regularly.

To tackle the most common types of food stains, rinse the garment under cold water ASAP. Dab with a bit of laundry detergent and let sit for 30 minutes. Run as normal in the washing machine. Double up with our natural stain remover if necessary.

5. How to remove poop stains from baby clothes

The way to remove #2 stains from clothing may surprise you—the tried-and-true technique is dish soap.

While the stain is still fresh (and after you've deposited any solids), rinse the garment in cold, running water from the outside of the fabric. Apply natural dish soap directly to the stain, rub it in super well, then rinse with more cold water. Repeat as often as necessary, then apply our stain remover before running the garment in the washing machine.

6. How to remove pee stains from baby clothes

If dealt with immediately, pee is actually fairly easy to remove—just rinse in cold water and toss in the wash.

For any set-in urine stains, soak for 15 minutes in equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. If that removes the stain, simply wash on a hot cycle; if not, soak the garment again in equal parts water and vinegar before running in the wash.

Additional tips for removing set-in stains

With everything that comes along with parenting a baby, you're bound to miss a few fresh spills. For any stains that have set in, you have your secret weapon: Puracy Natural Stain Remover. This eco-friendly powerhouse treats over 800 stains per bottle—a blessing in itself for anyone accustomed to stick removers that seem to work for fewer than 10 spills.

Our proprietary formula, developed by our team of PhD chemists, works wonders on eliminating every type of stain, including food, body, grass, grease, and oil stains. (No need to take our word for it—it's not only an Amazon best-seller with more than 1,000 five-star reviews, but it was also recently featured in Real Simple as one of the top five game-changers for laundry day.)

We also recommend using a hypoallergenic, kid-friendly natural laundry detergent that's safe for baby skincare. If you're concerned about any lingering detergent residue, run baby's load on the extra rinse cycle, or simply run a second cycle, without any product.

And as with other laundry, sometimes the best cure for baby clothing stains is sunlight. The fading power of the sun may just be the extra boost those little onesies need. Happy washing!