Banana Bean, being the brilliant genius baby that she is, has a particular talent for creating very difficult stains on her clothes. Seriously, she's a prodigy.
Needless to say, I've done some experimenting with the best ways to get out the various baby stains. Poop, puke, pumpkin puree...you name it, I've de-stained it. Here are some of the best ways I've found to battle the baby stains. I'd love to hear other mommy tricks if you've got them!
And for the non-mommas out there, these tips work great for regular clothes too :-).
1) Oxiclean powder - a scoopful in the wash cycle works great on the lighter stains and dirt.
2) Oxiclean Spray - this is a more recent discovery. I don't know how long they've been making this stuff, but it's fantastic.
3) Baking Soda and Vinegar - I actually discovered this one when the new deodorant that I bought Stevo for the sole reason that it smelled good actually rubbed bright blue all over the most expensive white dress shirt that he owned. Crap. I tried ALL of my old laundry tricks, including straight bleach, and it barely even touched that bright blue. A double round of this worked like magic and the shirt looks brand new.
Wet the stain, and rub baking soda into it. Spray it down with vinegar until it foams. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then launder as usual. You can repeat as needed, including a few rounds before the launder step.
I've tried this on many baby things and it's really crazy how well it works sometimes.
4) Dawn Dish Soap - you know those annoying greasy spots that you get on your clothes sometimes? Where the heck do those things even come from?? Well, Anna gets plenty on her clothes, but those are easily traced to the chunks of cheese, turkey, eggs, and other items that she likes to store under her bottom when she's eating.
Run some warm water into a sink or tub, and add some Dawn dish soap to it. You don't need a lot, just enough to get the water soapy. Soak the clothes up through overnight, and then launder. For extra tough spots, you can apply the Dawn directly. I've never had a problem with it affecting the color but you still might want to test it on a hidden spot if it's a particularly expensive or favorite outfit.
5) The Sun - I discovered this secret by researching laundry tips with the cloth diapers. Many cloth diapering parents love to dry their cloth diapers and inserts in the sun to help remove tough stains. I haven't really had a big problem with diaper stains, so I dry those indoors, but I have applied the same trick to some of the more stubborn stains on some of Anna's outfits. It's almost like magic, how well the sun works as a stain remover! I don't have a clothes line outside (yet), so I lay the clothes over the porch railing, so they get sun almost all day.
Hope this helps - happy laundry day!