How to Remove Specific Stains from Baby Clothing
Proteins — This includes breast milk, formula, spit-up, and most food stains. Soak the garment first in cool water and then carefully pre treat the stain with a dab of neat liquid detergent – just remember to follow the instructions on the label and test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure colour integrity. Then launder the clothes as usual, following the instructions provided by the garment care tags.
Leaky Nappies — Dirty nappies are never pleasant, but are inevitable with babies. Excrement should be treated in the same way as any protein stain – see above – but you can try adding a few tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to the water when pre-soaking. For a urine stain, dilute one tablespoon of ammonia in one cup of water. Once again, test this solution first on a small, inconspicuous part of the garment to make sure it’s colourfast. If so, saturate the stain with ammonia solution, apply either neat detergent or a specialised stain remover, and launder as usual. Never combine ammonia or vinegar with a product containing chlorine bleach as this can create toxic gas.
Oily, Greasy Stains — Baby oil, creams, and petroleum jelly can be easily treated. Once you remove any excess substance, cover the stained area with cornstarch, talcum powder, or baking soda. This will absorb the oil. After 15 minutes, scrape this off, pre treat as above, and launder as you usually would.
Fruit and Vegetable Stains — Spills involving juice or baby food often happen at the table. Flush these stains out of the cloth with cool water. If the mark remains, create a mixture of equal parts surgical spirit and water, and soak in this solution. Apply neat liquid detergent as a pre treatment or use a stain remover, and launder.
How to Bleach Baby Clothes: Natural bleaches and cleaning solutions
Can you bleach baby clothes? Many parents avoid using bleach for fear of irritating their baby’s sensitive skin. If you don’t want to use bleach on your baby’s white clothing, you can use a good quality OMO detergent, or one of the solutions below.
Ammonia solution — This is a milder alternative to bleach for baby clothes. Mix one tablespoon of ammonia per 230 ml of water for treating stains, or add 60 ml to laundry cycle. Make sure never to mix ammonia with anything containing chlorine bleach, as this can cause a deadly chemical reaction.
Baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) — Mix a few spoonfuls of baking soda with water to create a paste, which you can use on stains. It’ll also help eliminate odours.
White distilled vinegar — This natural cleaning agent is great at removing odours, so add it to a pre-soak or include in a laundry cycle. It’ll brighten your white clothing.
Being a new parent is both exciting and exhausting — but the above tips will lighten your load a bit, so you can keep your baby’s clothing fresh and clean, no matter how many spills occur.