How to remove tough stains from children’s clothing

It is not a very pleasant subject, but it is part of the daily life of parents. Time to talk about baby vomit. And on leftover porridge. On grass stains and colored marker and crayon stains on children’s clothing. But how do you go about removing all these stains from clothes?

“If the orange is given by carrots, it is advisable to wash the garment with solid multipurpose laundry detergent and at the maximum temperature allowed according to the label of the garment”, indicates Bernd Glassl, of the association of manufacturers and distributors of body hygiene products and detergents from Germany. He advises washing clothes at least 40 degrees or, if possible, even 60 degrees.

Baby clothes with mush stains are often piled up in the homes of young parents. Free Press Photo: Simone A. Mayer / dpa

She adds that it is important to use a powdered, granular or tablet laundry detergent, as they often contain bleaches that have a greater washing effect than liquid products.

“If there are still shadows of stains after washing, it can help to bleach the garments in the sun to destroy the traces of dye (beta-carotene),” says Glassl. He recommends the same for stool stains caused by a diaper that did not contain enough.

The problem of milk stains

Many babies burp and spit up milk. This is because the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus is often still too weakly developed to hold the contents of the stomach. This milk settles on clothes and is quite difficult to remove.

Milk stain is generally a fairly easy stain to remove. But when it is slightly fermented due to its passage through the baby’s digestive system, things are different, especially in the case of wool pullovers and other structured garments, in which the released milk can easily penetrate.

These stains are so stubborn that the washing machine’s wool wash program is usually not enough to remove them. For this reason, Glassl recommends giving the stain a quick pre-treatment when it is still wet: place liquid detergent or, failing that, hair shampoo on the stain and rinse well with plenty of water, if you are near a bathroom to do it.

Baby vomit
Stains on certain fabrics are so persistent that the washing machine’s wool wash program is usually not sufficient to remove them. Free Press Photo: Christin Klose

If not, this washing expert advises soaking the sweater in warm water with a little shampoo for about 30 minutes before washing it. Then, you have to treat the stains with a light tapping with your fingertips, but do not rub them, since you run the risk of damaging the wool.

Subsequently, you have to put some liquid wool detergent back on the stain and wash the garment in the washing machine with the wool program. The same product is used in the detergent compartment. If the garment is not suitable for the wool wash program, it can be rinsed in the sink.

The problem with bananas

Banana leftovers often get soaked in clothes in the form of brown stains, even after washing. And they are very complicated. “The banana stains are barely visible at first, but they become difficult when they dry,” says Glassl.

For this reason, they must be eliminated as soon as possible, with water and a liquid detergent, for example, or, failing that, shampoo. For less sensitive textiles, such as cotton or synthetic fibers, you can use dish detergent or soap.

The problem with the sand

In principle, the sand does not sound like a problem, but many parents who take their children to the sandbox probably have something to say about it. The sand doesn’t come out all the way, even in the washing machine. And especially if there was some water in the sandbox and the grains of sand managed to sneak into the structure of the clothes.

For this reason, Glassl recommends shaking clothes well and washing them in the washing machine on a program with lots of water, like the one used for delicate clothes.

“If necessary, do a pre-wash and an extra rinse cycle, so that the fabrics swim in water and are not just slightly damp,” he says. “This makes the sand come off the clothes and can be removed,” he explains.

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