Mother and toddler laundry

Stains to Get Used to When You Have Kids (And How to Clean Them)

As a new parent, you need to get used to things like not getting a full 8 hours of sleep to keep up with your baby’s needs, sacrificing a few hobbies, and washing off every stain known to man. Some parents just accept defeat and let their and their child’s perfectly good clothes get ruined by hard-to-wash blemishes. Get on top of these problems with these stain-busting hacks.

Clothes-Turned-Canvas

Your young artist can turn everything into a canvas, even your walls and clothes. Crayola suggests getting rid of crayon stains by scraping it off, leaving dish soap on it for a few minutes, and washing the fabric using bleach and the hottest setting on your washing machine. For water-based paint, scrape it off with a spoon and break the stain off with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol. Once you’re satisfied with the result, put it in the machine and let it wash normally. For oil-based stains, you’ll need to hand it over to a laundry shop for professional cleaning.

Playtime Stains

There’s no greater feeling as a parent as seeing your perfectly healthy toddler have the time of their life playing with their friends at a park in Springfield. However, a long game of tag can render a pair of khaki shorts unrecognizable after it’s been pelted by mud, grass, and sap stains.

  • Mud – Deal with this pesky blemish by scraping dry bits off with a spoon or a plastic card. Next, add a dollop of laundry detergent to the stains and leave it for about 10 to 20 minutes. Use this time to give your kid a thorough bath. Once you’re done, use a damp toothbrush to scrub the fabric until the stain fades significantly. Pop the clothes in the washing machine on your regular setting. They’ll be ready for the next adventure once the cycle finishes.
  • Grass – Green pants are best left for your child’s elf costume this Christmas. For now, get rid of those grass stains by spritzing them with rubbing alcohol. Let the blemish fade before soaking it in soapy water for about five minutes. Chuck it in the machine, and it’ll be good as new after it finishes the wash. This method is also effective for other food-based stains.
  • Sap – Being “it” during a hide-and-seek game often means your toddler has to lean on a pine tree for an intense count to ten exercise before finding their playmates. Sadly, this may also lead to sap being stuck on their clothes. This stain is as hard to remove as bubble gum, so don’t even try to pick it off while it’s gooey. You’ll only make a bigger mess. Leave it on to let it harden.

Once you get home, place the shirt in the freezer for about two hours. Use this time to teach your kids about hide-and-seek strategies, so they’re not always it. Once the sap is brittle, scrape it off with a spoon. If it left tiny bits of goo, use tape to lift them off the shirt. Rub the remaining stain with detergent and let it sit for 30 minutes before feeding it to the washing machine. You’ll have a goo-free shirt in no time.

Protein-Based Oopsies

Mother feeding her daughter
Your kid is bound to spill milk on themselves. And the yellow stain it leaves can ruin a perfectly white shirt. Soak the shirt in a tub of water for about 30 minutes to dilute the milk. Once half an hour has passed, throw away the old water and refill the tub. Add a drop of enzyme detergent like Tide Liquid Coldwater to it and let the shirt soak for an hour. These types of detergents break down fat, oil, and protein, making it easier to wash milk stains away with water. Give it a good scrub and let it hang dry.

As a parent, you want your child to explore as much as they can. However, they can’t do this without collecting a few stains on the way. Keep their (and your) clothes pristine by following these tips. Taking on the world is always better with a clean shirt.