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  • How to Wash and Remove Food, Poop, and Milk Stains on Baby Clothes

    Keep your baby's clothes looking like they're bagong bili!
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
How to Wash and Remove Food, Poop, and Milk Stains on Baby Clothes
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • When there's a baby in the house, expect mess! Babies are good at attracting stains, whether it's on mom's shirt or theirs. Keep your little one's adorable (sometimes pricey) clothes looking brand new by keeping them stain- and dungis-free. It's a relentless job, but it is possible! Here are a few stain-buster tips. 

    1. Choose your detergent with care
    Some babies tend to be very sensitive to the regular detergent that we use, Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician from Parkview Children’s Clinic in Makati, told SmartParenting.com.ph. For your little one, look for a detergent that's less fragrant or fragrant-free and does not contain any dyes, she advised.  

    “Technically, you don’t need to use fabric softener,” added Dr. Isip-Cumpas, as some can be very harsh and can trigger some babies to develop rashes. “But if the fabric softener doesn’t have a strong scent, is very mild, and doesn’t irritate the baby’s skin then that should be fine.” 

    There are brands on the market that carry cleaning products specially designed for families with babies. These include Nature to Nurture, Little Tree, and Smart Steps. 

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    2. Don’t let the stain dry
    Try not to let stains sit on your baby’s clothes for too long that they dry on the fabric. Before chucking the garment in the washing machine, treat the stain as soon as you can so it doesn’t leave a mark on your baby’s adorable onesie. 

    The first thing to do for most cotton clothes is to remove any bits of the stain (like baby food or poop) and rinse the garment in cold water. Then, spray the stained area with a mild soap solution (see how to make one below). You also have the option of soaking the fabric in cold water overnight for tougher stains. 

    3. Have a DIY stain-treating spray at the ready
    Ayan na! Your baby has dribbled his fruit puree onto his shorts. Get him into a new pair and spritz the soiled ones with a DIY stain-treating spray before the stain sets. BabyCenter recommends this recipe: “1 tablespoon of fragrance- and dye-free dish soap and 9.5 ounces of water in a small spray bottle.” 

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    4. Know how to treat specific stains
    You can’t treat all stains the same way. For example, you shouldn’t use bleach or white vinegar on breast milk stains. According to BabyCenter, “Those can react with the milk's proteins and create a permanent brown stain.”

    Below is a quick how-to guide based on the assumption that you have already scraped away any bits and rinsed the garment in cold water. 

    Baby food
    “Apply a liquid laundry detergent to the stain, before submerging the item in cold water for about 15 minutes,” advised Grace Bueley Hunt, a writer for PureWow. If the stain remains, make a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and soak the garment in it before washing, said Parents.

    Milk and spit-up
    “Breast milk will stain fabric,” said Baby Center. “Soak the garment in clean water mixed with a powdered soaking solution until your next wash.” Don’t treat breast milk stains with bleach or white vinegar. These will only make the stain worse. For formula milk, place a tablespoon of detergent onto a wet washcloth and gently rub the stain away, Dan Miller, founder of Mulberry’s Garment Care, told Today

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    Baby cream and oil
    Don’t rinse the garment just yet. Scrape off any product first, then sprinkle talcum powder on the stain to absorb the oil, advised Parents. Let that sit for 10 minutes, scrape the powder off, and wash. 

    Poop and pee
    Treat the stain with detergent and wash immediately. “For both poop and pee, if you can't clean them right away, mix a powdered soaking solution in a bucket of cool water and let the garment soak until your next wash,” said BabyCenter

    5. Dry baby clothes in the sun
    Place your baby clothes sinampay in a spot that gets time in the sun. “An hour or two in the sun really works to make stains less noticeable, or helps them go away entirely,” said writer Heather Corley for The Spruce. It's very effective in removing milk stains and stains on cloth diapers, Corley said. 

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