You would think by baby number four I would be a diapering pro and know exactly how to prevent diaper blowouts and remove a poop stain. But, my fourth baby wanted to make sure I (finally) figured out the best method how to remove poop stains from baby clothes, so she frequently does things like this:I know that the best way to treat any stain is to treat them right away, run them under water, scrub them, pre-treat them with the proper baby stain remover solution, start them soaking, yadda yadda. But, despite my desire to keep my kids’ clothes free from stains, sometimes life happens.
Sometimes the baby oozes poop all over herself when we are at church and I can’t exactly leave them in the sink to soak.
Sometimes the diaper explosions happen right before we head out the door and I don’t have five minutes to rinse and scrub and treat the stain right that minute. Then I forget about it once we get back home.
Sometimes I am at home and change her diaper and clothes in the middle of about fifteen other things and I kinda forget about it. Especially if her messy diaper also left with the task of removing poop stains from carpeting (which I also now know how to remove thanks to her).
Sometimes I put them in our laundry room basket to be “pre-treated later” only to have my awesome husband throw in a load of laundry for me and not treat the stain beforehand. I forget it was in the load, and move them over to the dryer, and well, the poop stain is set in the clothes!
Even when I do have time to treat the baby stain right away, it doesn’t always like to come out with my go-to DIY method.
For years I have treated poop stains by running them under cold or warm water in the sink, adding some hand soap (especially if in a public restroom – that’s all they have, but even our upstairs bathrooms only have hand soap), and then scrub the soap into the stain by rubbing the fabric on itself, then rinse, and repeat as necessary until most of the stain is gone. For good measure, I spray a pre-treater like Shout or Resolve onto it and put it in with the next load of laundry.
A lot of times, this will do the trick. Or mostly. Sometimes I miss a little spot or a slight yellowing color remains. Despite its less than stellar results, this is the method I used for my last three babies. It’s not the best method if it really doesn’t work all the time, works less than perfectly, and doesn’t usually do much of anything on poop stains set into the fabric.
Thanks to the internet and some friends, I decided to test out some popularly recommended poop stain removal tips, document them for you all, and share what worked and what didn’t work so well. You are very welcome.
Poop Stain Removal Method #1 – Dish Soap
Very similar to the method I have been using for years, friends recommended using Dawn Blue Dish Soap. I, however, do not have any on hand. I have pink Ajax dish soap, so that is what I used. It’s a step up from just hand soap for sure.
I took a video of my go-to scrubbing and rinsing process for you. In all disclosure, though, I have found that fleece is the easiest fabric to remove poop stains from. It almost never sets in it. Don’t ask me why.
However, I did try it on a few more pieces, like a crib bed sheet (which has Wite-Out permanently stained on – that is something I have no clue how to remove from fabric! It’s been stuck on it for years now).Bonus Method: It was recommended to me to use Dawn Dish Soap with Hydrogen Peroxide (50/50 mix). Mix them together in a dark hydrogen peroxide bottle. Pout it on the stain and let it sit on the stain overnight then wash.
Poop Stain Removal Method #2 – Fels Naptha
I have heard about this miracle laundry bar for a very long time and was excited to finally buy myself my own bar of Fels Naptha from Walmart for all of about $1 (it’s on Amazon too). Simply get the stain wet, scrub the bar into the stain, scrubbing it on both sides, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it normally. It worked fairly well for me and it did for the Inspired Housewife too.
Poop Stain Removal Method #3 – Sunshine
I had several people tell me that sunshine was the answer. That it didn’t really matter how you treated or washed your poopy clothes as long as you dried them in the sun (well, so said this blogger). In fact, I was told that even set in stains could be removed with a little natural, free sunshine. If the stain was really bad you could add some lemon juice and then let it dry outside.
I was definitely a skeptic. The sun? Really?
So, I decided to really go for it. My husband had washed and dried a poop stain into our daughter’s Onesie and it was huge and ugly. So, I got it wet with water from the sink and added a little lemon juice from the fridge, because this stain seemed to call for a stain removing little boost. I didn’t scrub it all.
I set up my portable drying rack (I live in an apartment which is why I don’t usually think about using the sun to dry my clothes) outside and let it sit out there in the bright (January) Texas sunshine. Just a few hours later it was dry and this is how the Onesie looked:
Impressive right?! It was a little stiff from using the lemon juice so I ran it through the wash just to soften it up and remove the juice. There was still some slight yellowing, but I added a little water only this time, and stuck it back outside and it looked perfect. I tried it out on several other poop stains it continued to impress me with how well it really worked!
Poop Stain Removal Method #4 – OxiClean/Pre-Treaters
My friend Chelsea over at Life With My Littles recently posted her go-to baby stain remover formula which involves OxiClean and Clorox 2 Stain remover and color booster. Many others recommended soaking the stains in OxiClean for various amounts of time, with various ratios of OxiClean and water.
While I think these methods can be highly effective, I don’t have a laundry room, which means I have to use a spare bowl and soak items in them, and leave the bowl either on my kitchen counter or on top of my washer or dryer. And then not forget about them. As dumb as it sounds, it’s almost too much work for me.
I have added OxiClean powder to regular loads and still had some stubborn poop stains afterward, but it often helps. I wanted to harness the power of OxiClean, but easier, so to remove poop stains, I tried an OxiClean Pre-Treater Gel stick. You push down on the stick when it is on your stain, and it releases the OxiClean gel, and then you rub it into your baby stain with the little nubs on top.
It’s pretty smart. And easy. I don’t think it works as well as other methods, especially to remove set in stains, but I like using it, especially in conjunction with other methods.
Any of these methods are sure to help you know how to remove poop stains from clothes, even set in baby stains!
What baby poop stain removal method is your favorite?
Be sure to check out these other stain removal and laundry tutorials!