Until you’ve had a baby, you don’t truly know stains.
That’s because sooner or later the likes of formula, spit-up and pureed veg, not to mention powders, lotions and oils, all come in contact with your baby’s clothes.
Stain-removal that’s suitable for delicate skin can be seriously tricky. But with our guide to the toughest stains – and how to get rid of them quickly, gently and effectively – you’ll be covered.
Grass stains on otherwise pristine white babygros generally results in a sinking heart, but an old toothbrush, rubbing alcohol (also called methylated spirits) and vinegar are your best friends here. First rub the alcohol on the stain with the toothbrush. (Try a 50:50 of alcohol and water to start with and if it’s a no-go, try it undiluted.) Rinse and use white vinegar to remove the last of the stain. Rinse again and pop into the wash – when it comes out your babygro should be grass-free!
2. Tomato sauce
Tomato stains are so tough they’re practically Hell’s Angels. One splatter of sauce and the first thing that runs through our heads is, “Well great, now that’s ruined!” But it doesn’t have to be. The key is to deal with the stain immediately. Scrape away at the sauce first with a knife, so it doesn’t embed further into the fabric, then pre-treat by running under a warm tap and sponging the stain away from the fabric using lemon juice. Next, rinse and pop it into the washing machine!
We might love the taste of chocolate, but we sure as heck don’t love the stubborn stains it melts into clothes! Step one here is the freezer trick: pop the garment into the freezer and after about an hour you should be able to scrape the chocolate off easily, preventing it from melting further into the garment. Then massage some detergent straight onto the stain and rub the material together until it disappears. Let it sit like that for 20 minutes and finish by rinsing and sticking into the washing machine.
4. Oily lotions
Oily stains are relatively easier to get out of clothes than many other substances. It’s all about the heat: pre-rinse the stain by rubbing with a 50:50 solution of water and lemon and pop into the machine one the highest heat setting. Just be sure to check the garment’s care label or your child’s doll might have a new outfit coming their way very soon!
5. Baby formula
Due to its ingredients of proteins, carbohydrates and supplements, baby formula is a toughie to remove. The most important thing to remember is that it should be treated with cold water – heat will ‘cook’ the protein, making it much more difficult to remove. We suggest soaking the clothes in a bucket of cold water with detergent for an hour or so to break down the stains. When you take them out, spot brush the stains with your trusty toothbrush and a mixture of equal parts white vinegar, water and bicarbonate of soda, rinse and wash in the machine.
Don't forget! Why a gentle and sensitive detergent is so important
While our tips should help get rid of the toughest stains gently and naturally, a sensitive detergent is also a must for keeping you baby's clothes fresh, soft and comfy against their skin. So we suggest using a specially-for-sensitive-skin detergent like Fairy Non Bio. It’s dermatologically tested and formulated to be kind to baby's skin – oh, and it smells divine!