Thursday, September 8, 2016

DIY Stain Remover

I am admittedly the furthest thing from a laundry goddess. I wait till the last possible second to do a load of laundry (meaning the kids are out of clean pajamas or I'm out of undies or hubby's out of socks/work shirts). I need to be better about doing a load a day instead of trying to cram all the dirty laundry in the house into the machines on the same day. 

Naturally, I am also not very good at getting stains out of clothes unless they're super easy surface stains that a quick squirt of Shout can handle.  I've never had much luck with OxiClean either (perhaps I'm not doing it right???). My mother-in-law swears by the power of baby powder to get out greasy/oily stains but I still haven't had it work for me. I've even thrown away some of Max's old onesies if I couldn't get stains out easily.

Now that Max is eating all kinds of foods and making big messes while doing so (bibs can only protect so much), I'm not willing to throw out every single shirt of his when the stains won't come out, so I went searching for a DIY stain removal remedy. I've tried a few different ones, but this one I'm sharing today has been the most effective, especially at getting out breastfed-baby poop stains.

DIY Stain Remover

What you'll need:
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • Dawn dish soap (although I'm sure any would work)
  • bowl and spoon for mixing
  • soft bristle brush

What You'll Do:
  1. You will need to use one part baking soda and one part dish soap to two parts peroxide. You can adjust how much you make based on how many stains you need to treat. I generally do a tablespoon each of baking soda and Dawn with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and I have plenty for several articles of clothing.
  2. Measure and mix your ingredients until you have a smooth liquidy paste (no better way to describe it).
  3. Spoon out the mixture onto your stains. I always treat the side where the stain occurred, so for diaper stains, I treat the inside of the garment. You can use the spoon to rub the mixture into the stains, or use a soft bristle brush to pat the mixture into the stain (don't scrub or you'll cause the fabric to pill).
  4. Let sit for at least an hour (I feel that 2 hours is best), then wash normally. Your stains should have come out! If not, they will at least be faded considerably, and another treatment should remove them completely.

A little graphic but this is life with a baby!

I rinsed off the dried on stuff before treating this dress

A few leakage spots on this onesie

As mentioned before, I have had great luck with getting baby poo stains out of clothes. Louisa had a blowout all over both of us last week, but I wasn't worried because I knew this concoction would do the trick, and it did!

Some of you may be worried about using hydrogen peroxide on non-white clothing due to its bleaching effects. I have used this on many different colors of fabric (I believe they've all been cotton so I can't attest to other fabrics) and it has not compromised the color at all. That's not to say it won't in the future, but so far I haven't had any problems.

One type of clothing it wouldn't work on was a screen-printed beach scene on one of Max's shirts, The paint-like substance on the shirt made it tough to really get at the stain on the bits of exposed fabric, so the stain didn't come out well there.

I have used this on set-in stains, even clothes that have been washed and dried many times over, and it still worked to diminish the stain, if not removed it entirely!

It's not recommended to pre-mix this and store it for future use since the hydrogen peroxide breaks down once it's exposed to light (hence the brown bottles), which makes it less effective. I've found that if I just set aside clothing items that need to be stain-treated throughout the week, I can easily mix this up, treat them, let them sit, and then wash them all at once and it works great! 

Hope this helps bring your kids' clothes back to their original glory!

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