How To Treat The Most Stubborn Stains

Keeping kids clothes free from stubborn stains is a huge challenge for many parents, myself included.

Three of my kids are puddle jumping champions and can be often found making mud pies in their millions so, as you can imagine, my washing machine never stops.

I try to avoid light coloured clothing at all costs when shopping for my five kids but with their constant need for messy play and of course the many slips and spills, stubborn stains are completely unavoidable. 

Over my nine years parenting, I have explored every possible way to remove stains from their clothes so if you're wondering how to remove the most common stains from both children and baby clothes, look no further:

How to treat the most stubborn stains:

  1. Grass.

    For quick results, massage a liquid laundry detergent into the problem area and leave it to sit for five to ten minutes before washing on a hot cycle.

  2. Mud.

    Wait for the mud to dry before brushing off any excess and dust. Pre-wash the clothing with your preferred stain remover and launder as normal. 

  3. Poop.

    Scrap as much of the faeces off before rinsing the fabric with cold water. Machine wash in the hottest water possible for the garment and repeat if necessary. 

  4. Blood.

    If the bloodstain is still fresh, rinse the garment under cold water immediately then machine wash as normal with your normal washing powder or liquid. 

  5. Ketchup and other condiments.

    Carefully scrape off any excess sauce from the garment before flushing the stain with cold water from the inside. Gently break up the stubborn stain by tapping liquid detergent into the piece of clothing with a toothbrush and launder as normal. How To Treat The Most Stubborn Stains

  6. Fruit juices.

    For juice stains, soak the problem area with water before flushing the stain with water until it lifts away. If the stain resists, launder at the hottest temperature allowed according to the label. 

  7. Berries.

    Throw it away. 
    Only joking! Stretch the piece of clothing over a basin and pour boiling hot water right through it. If this technique is shifting the smudge, repeat a couple of times before dabbing the stain with white vinegar and wash as normal. 

  8. Oil or butter.

    For oil-based stains, resist the urge to rinse the problem area. Instead, sprinkle the garment with flour and let it sit for an hour before gently rubbing the garment with washing powder and warm water. Repeat the process if necessary until the stain subsides. 

And if all else fails, never underestimate the power of direct sunlight. Warm sunshine is a well-known bleaching agent and our ancestors have been using it for decades. Used in the right way, doses of sunshine is a free and natural way to remove stubborn stains from your clothes and other household items, however, be mindful that prolonged exposure to bright sunlight will cause fading to delicate fabrics. 

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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