How to remove milk stains and baby spit up stains

Whatever you’re feeding your baby – milk or formula – stains often occur. Learn how to tackle milk stains, spit up stains and baby formula stains here.

Updated 7 June 2022


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Whether you’re a breastfeeding mum or using formula, whenever you’re feeding your baby it’s likely that you’ll encounter some stains along the way. If you’re wondering how to remove milk stains or how to get formula stains out of baby clothes, don’t worry. There are some simple tips and tricks to follow which will help these stains come out with ease.

Here are our top tips on how to remove milk stains and spit up stains from any fabric:

Soak items as soon as a stain occurs to make washing easier. Afterwards, pre-treat it with a powerful detergent like Persil Non Bio.

What to do when you first notice baby milk stains on clothes

The first thing to know about how to remove milk stains is that it’s important to dab the stain with a clean cloth, sponge or piece of kitchen roll as soon as it occurs.

  • Avoid rubbing milk stains as this can make it harder to remove.

  • If the stain is dried there may be excess that can actually be picked off. Just scrape at it gently with the back of a spoon.

  • Soak the item in cold water for at least 5 minutes. Don’t use warm or hot water as this can bake the stain into the fabric.

It’s much easier to get out soaked milk stains than those that are dry so even if the stain isn’t new, still soak it! The older the stain the longer it needs to be left.

Pre-treating spit up stains, milk stains or baby formula stains

  • Once an item has been soaked, apply a small amount of detergent to help lift the stain before doing a full wash.

  • If you don’t have liquid detergent, make a paste from laundry powder by mixing it with a small amount of water before applying.

  • If you’re wondering how to get spit up stains out of baby clothes (as well as similar stains) it’s important to remember to use detergents specially designed for sensitive skin such as hypoallergenic formulations. This is because newborn baby skin doesn’t have the same defences as our own or that of older children. Persil Non-Bio Liquid is great for this and can be paired with a gentle fabric conditioner like Comfort Pure.

Completing the process with a full wash

  • After the pre-treatment, wash the item in your washing machine at the highest temperature permitted. This should be indicated on the clothing label.

  • Higher temperatures are better at this stage of removing tough stains as they help kill bacteria too.

  • Once washed, dry items naturally over 24 hours. If you can, leave in direct sunlight as this has a gentle bleaching effect.

Now you know how to get spit up stains out of baby clothes as well as how to get formula stains out of baby clothes you won’t have to worry about baby laundry again. Read our article on removing baby poo stains for other tips on getting the hang of washing clothes for newborns.

  • Soak the stained item in cold water to prevent baking in milk stains on clothes.

  • Pre-treat the stains with a powerful milk or baby formula stain remover.

  • Wash as normal according to the clothing label and using trusted products like Persil Non-Bio detergent and Comfort Pure fabric softener.

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