Clean Up Stained Kids’ Clothes

by Amanda Hearn · 9 comments

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Each time I grab clothes for our youngest from storage I am faced with stains.  I put clothes away washed and clean, but they come out with these awful, yellowed stains.   They are protein stains that develop from proteins left in the fibers from drool and other things.  I use to think that there was no saving them.  I tried washing every which way and nothing worked.  So when our youngest was due and I was faced with a tub of stained newborn clothes, I put my cloth diaper knowledge to work.  I used the sun!

It worked beautifully!  All of our baby clothes were saved and it was easy.  I have since used this on just about any, and all, natural stains with great success.

Removing Stubborn Stains:

  • Fill a laundry tub, washer or other basin about half full with hot water and add 2 or 3 massive scoops of OxiClean Free or “Baby”.(I mean the big green scoop that it usually comes with.)
  • It’s best to use rubber gloves and dissolve the Oxiclean in the water.
  • Then add every piece of stained clothing, being sure to get each saturated. The objective is not to have it be a big pool of water, but just enough to get everything sopping wet, and just a little left over (You want that OxiClean Free super concentrated!).
  • If you are dealing with protein stains, let it all soak overnight (otherwise a few hours should be enough).
  • Wash the clothing as usual, using a normal amount of detergent.  Do not dry in the dryer!
  • Then comes the rest of the magic. Hang your laundry to dry in the sunshine.

Voila! Every stain will vanish and your clothing will like new! The first time I tried this, I couldn’t believe it. Some of the stains were awful. I even had a couple of outfits that were headed for the trash, but I thought I’d toss them in and give them a chance. They looked like new too!

This is great for getting clothes ready for donating or yard sales, for salvaging stained family favorites and more.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren March 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I think you should post some pics of your before and afters! I keep meaning to try this.

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holley family March 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

WOW! dang, just a few days too late though… we just got down all the baby clothes for our new baby coming in a few weeks… i washed some clothes 3 plus times using ALLLLLL sorts of "stain removers"…. the ones that didn't make it went out to the giveaways and already donated… nuts! but those were just the newborn clothes, so i'm excited to see how the rest turn out! thanks!

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The Eco-Friendly Family - Amanda March 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I'll try to get some photos next time I get some out.

holley – that's exactly when I found this method. I had pulled out all of our newborn clothes for our youngest and found half of the clothes covered in awful yellow stains. Nothing took it out until I tried this. I was thrilled to say the least!

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Marianna March 25, 2011 at 12:53 am

My youngest is 15 months now but when I brought down all those tubs of clothes when he was a newborn I could not believe all of those yellow stains that appeared out of nowhere. I did do a normal wash and hang in the sun, but to no avail. I never thought of an Oxiclean soak – brilliant! Great tip, thanks for sharing it. I only wish I knew this a year ago. :)

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Amy Marie March 26, 2011 at 2:01 am

I'm so glad I saw this, I just bought a bunch of new bibs because the others were covered with stains and looked awful. Worked like a charm.
And thankfully I still have the tags and receipt for the new bibs. :)

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Amy March 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm

For non-natural or particularly pesky stains/smells/whatnot, try Rockin' Green's Funk Rock- they are awesome and can get anything out!

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Ashley March 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I definitely have to try this! It's depressing after spending so much on clothing for the little ones and them only wearing them for a few times before they are essentially ruined! Do you use oxiclean for cloth diapers as well?

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The Eco-Friendly Family - Amanda March 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

So happy this was a help to you Amy Marie, and thank you Amy for the tip :)

Ashley, I do use oxiclean on my diapers but only a very minuscule amount, nothing like this soak. It is in the cloth diaper detergent recipe here:
http://www.theecofriendlyfamily.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-detergent.html

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Amanda Picado December 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm

This is great info. It’s too bad that a lot of people don’t realize that the sun will take out many stains – even in the winter. In the winter your clothes will come back slightly frozen if you hang them out a bit wet, but the stains still come out.

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