Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: (Backwards Day) Baby Stain Fighting

So today is "Backwards Day" over at Rocks In My Dryer's Works-for-me Wednesday. What that means is that I ask for some wise and creative ideas to solve an issue all my own.

While I've seen others post on previous WFMWs on stain fighting, I have to say that I'm still struggling with this - not with my clothes or VNB's, always with AJ's. Specifically, bibs and the legs of onesies.

I think my biggest problem is that I'm in a small condo with communal laundry facilities (meaning that I do laundry at most once a week) and no place that I can really leave something to soak with any regularity that either the cat or the baby couldn't get into, other than outside on our porch...which kinda weirds me out, plus it's starting to get cold and things won't stay liquid out there for too many more weeks.

This is what I've tried and the results:

  • Dreft stain remover - worked pretty well, but not better than oxyclean stain remover, and neither got the entire stain out, even with leaving for longer than it recommended on the package. This would be a choice which would make me happy if someone could tell me how to make it work as Dreft is the cheapest of the stain removers by far ($3 at Walmart), and there are coupons for Dreft products, making it even cheaper!
  • Oxyclean stain remover (both sprayed on and poured in with the detergent) - didn't see much difference when poured in with the detergent, but worked the best of everything I'd tried when clothes had already been washed a couple of times, then I think I tried the dish soap and washed again, then sprayed with Oxyclean stain, then left to sit overnight, then washed and dried. I haven't tried just spraying them and letting them sit overnight by themselves though, so it could just be the combination.
  • Dish soap - maybe I did this one wrong - I put the soap on the dry clothes, rubbed it into the stains, then left them to soak in the sink for about 30 minutes. It worked some, but no better than anything else. I guess this would be the absolutely cheapest method, but it was _REALLY_ messy, and involved having a clean sink and work area around the sink (which doesn't usually happen in conjunction with laundry days).
  • Shout Advanced gel - I seem to recall this working really well, but it's also _REALLY_ expensive and I go through a bottle in about two laundry days. I'd much prefer something cheaper.
  • Bleach - other than to take color out of things that ought to be colored, I've never seen bleach make a difference on anything. And yet I keep buying it and using it with my whites.

I always wash the stained stuff in hot water, and usually wash them until I can't stand the effort anymore (or AJ no longer has clothes), then I dry them. I really don't care that much if colors fade (he's a baby, he doesn't care, and most of the issues are with bibs which are mostly white, or onesies - also mostly white, and usually worn under clothes).

Please help! Tell me a combination or a method or a product that works (worked) for you with baby stains! And if you're looking to help more people with your wisdom and creativity, then check out "Backwards Day!"


Jes said...

Hmm, I always use dawn dish soap. I do it similar to the way you said you tried, I normally get the clothes wet first then put some soap on it. Lots of times I rub the fabric together then just throw it in the hamper with the dish soap still on it. Other times I do like you did and let it soak in the sink full of water. It is the cheapest thing to use so I stick with it, plus like you I have never had anything else work.
I'm sorry it didn't work for you!

carrie said...


You may not want to try this as you said you don't want to set things outside, but I have had the best luck with good old sunshine. It works amazingly! I set out stained items on the porch with heavy books to weight them down, and a few hours later, the stains have really faded. For stubborn stains, I found it took a couple days. I usually use Oxiclean in the washer, but sunshine really works!

2boysmama said...

I can't say enough for oxyclean. I put a scoop of powder in with some warm water in a bucket and let it disolve. I soak the clothes for a few days. I did this with my older sons baby clothes when my younger came along. Would you believe 3 year old baby stains came out ??

Good luck!

Not the Queen said...

Zout works well, too. Be careful with the liquid oxyclean. I have bleached several pieces of my daughter's clothing because of that stuff. It works well, but on some colors it does more than you bargained for.

Kiy said...

M3 over at posted awhile back on this very thing. A ha! I found the article. Follow this link, the August 27th one:

I have to admit, I tried it. It works!

Cheers and good luck,


Kathryn said...

I used Shout gel when I really have to. Like you said, it REALLY works, but it's spendy. Right now, with my little one (he's 3 1/2 mos) I do have to treat a lot of onesie legs. I use my dish soap, It's Ajax with bleach alternative. I really scrub in into the stain and use hot water to rinse through. I also keep a toothbrush for scrubbing those little stains. I haven't had any clothes totally ruined yet, so it works for me. Hope you find something good.

SaraG said...

I will 2nd the Oxyclean comment - but I use HOT water, disolve the Oxyclean in it, then soak overnight - I depended on it with baby stains!

Amy said...

Spray N Wash has a new formula with Resolve (as in the carpet cleaner) that has been working really well for our family.

Amy @