What is the Best Stain Remover for Baby Clothes?

Oh baby! If you're a parent, you know the drill. Babies equal messes. From explosive diapers to spilled sweet potatoes, keeping your little one's clothes clean is a never-ending battle. But having the right stain remover makes it much easier to erase those stubborn stains for good.

Quick links:

What causes baby stains?

Spit up and grass stains—what should I do?

How do I fight set-in stains?

What should I look for?

What is the best remover for baby’s clothes?

Helpful tips and tricks

Let’s see the top stain removers recommended by parents for tackling blowouts, grass stains, and other baby-made messes. For something super easy, effective, and portable, buy our stain stick and say goodbye to permanent stains.

Stain stick

What Are the Main Causes of Baby Clothing Stains?

Baby clothing stains are an inevitable part of parenting. From messy meals to artistic endeavors, here are the key culprits behind those stubborn spots:

  • Food. Whether it's purees, formula, or your baby's first explorations into solids, food stains are a constant companion. Spills and smears of baby food can leave their mark on delicate fabrics.
  • Diaper leaks and blowouts. Dealing with unexpected diaper mishaps is a routine challenge. Baby poop and leaks can create hard-to-remove stains that require immediate attention.
  • Drool. Teething babies are champions at producing saliva, leading to damp collars and bibs. While drool might seem harmless, it can cause noticeable stains on clothing over time.
  • Grass, dirt, playground messes. As your little one starts to explore the world, outdoor adventures can lead to encounters with grass, dirt, and playground grime. These natural stains can be particularly tough to eliminate.
  • Ink, markers, arts, and crafts. Creative play is essential for your baby's development, but it can also result in stains from ink, markers, and arts and crafts materials. These stains require careful handling to avoid permanent damage.

To combat these stains and keep your baby's clothes looking fresh, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Treat stains promptly to prevent them from setting in.
  2. Wash stained clothes separately using a gentle baby laundry detergent suitable for sensitive skin.
  3. Keep a reliable laundry stain remover on hand. Look for one that's effective on a range of stains, including baby poop and food.
  4. For stubborn stains, pre-treat the affected area before washing.
  5. Check garment labels for washing instructions and fabric compatibility.

How to Remove Common Types of Baby Stains

Dealing with stains comes with the parenting territory, but you can tackle even the toughest ones with the right techniques. Here's how can you deal with the most common types of stains:

  1. Spit up
  2. Blowout poop
  3. Pured food
  4. Diaper rash
  5. Grass
  6. Ink
  7. Blood
  8. Fruit juice
  9. Chocolate
  10. Tomato sauce

Spit-Up Stains

Rinse the fabric under cold water to keep the stain from setting. For breastmilk or formula spit up, soak for 5-10 minutes in cool water with an enzyme-based detergent before washing.

Blowout Poop Stains

Scrape off any solid waste (fun times!). Spray the stain with an enzymatic cleaner or all-natural solution like diluted hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before laundering.

Pureed Food Stains

Blot gently with a damp cloth, avoid rubbing. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Apply stain pretreatment and let sit for 10-15 minutes before washing.

Diaper Rash Cream

Scrape off thick globs. Rub a small amount of dish soap on the stain and let sit briefly. Rinse and wash normally.

Grass Stains

Blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb moisture. Create a solution of mild dish soap and cold water and apply the solution to the stain and gently rub the fabric together.

Or, head outdoors! The sun's UV rays help break down grass stains. 

Ink Stains

Lightly spritz hairspray on the stain. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. The alcohol in the hairspray will start breaking down the ink. Then wash as usual.

Blood Stains

Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Rub meat tenderizer into the stain. Rinse again before washing.

Fruit Juice Stains

Blot the stain with a cloth dipped in a mixture of warm water and white vinegar. Pretreat with stain remover if needed before putting the garment into the washing machine.

Chocolate Stains

Carefully remove any excess chocolate without smearing the stain. Mix liquid laundry detergent with cold water and apply it to the stain. Then gently agitate the fabric to work in the solution.

Wash the garment in cold water with an enzyme-containing detergent, repeating the process if necessary.

Tomato Sauce Stains

Scrape off any excess sauce without rubbing it further into the fabric. Then flush cold water through the back of the stain to push it out of the fabric fibers.

Apply a baby safe stain remover or a mixture of cold water and mild detergent to the stain.

Launder the clothing in cold water with a detergent appropriate for sensitive skin and tough stains.

Act Fast On Stains

It is important to act quickly when treating stains. The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove it. It is also important to test the remover in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it does not damage the fabric.

Have our stain stick on the ready to quickly treat the toughest of stains.

Stain stick

Stain Removal Challenges

As any parent knows, babies and toddlers have a remarkable knack for magnetizing stains. From explosive diapers to upended sippy cups, little ones unleash more chaos on clothes than a platoon of wine-sipping adults. 

And don't even get us started on pureed peaches and avocados! While fat blobs of baby food look adorable on those round little cheeks, they're significantly less charming smeared all over a fresh onesie.

Here are the toughest stain challenges that parents face.

Set-In Stains

Set-in stains, those that have been left untreated for a while, can be a tough nut to crack. They've had time to embed themselves deep within the fabric fibers, making them more resistant to traditional stain removal methods.

The key lies in patience and persistence. Begin with pre-treating the stain using a specialized spot remover formulated to tackle set-in stains.

Give the remover time to penetrate the stain before laundering the garment. Repeat the process if necessary, understanding that it might take multiple attempts to completely remove the stain.

Protein-Based Stains

Protein-based stains, like those from formula and baby poop, can be particularly challenging due to their composition and the potential for setting quickly.

Swift action is crucial. Rinse the stain with cold water as soon as possible to prevent the proteins from bonding to the fabric fibers.

Apply a stain remover specifically designed for protein-based stains. These removers contain enzymes that break down the proteins, making them easier to lift during the washing process.

Fabric Types

Different fabric types respond differently to stain removal techniques. Natural fibers like cotton are generally more forgiving, while synthetic fabrics can be less porous and more resistant to stain penetration.

For cotton fabrics, pre-treat the stain using a mixture of cold water and a gentle detergent before laundering.

With synthetic fabrics, opt for a stain remover that effectively removes stains without compromising the fabric's integrity.

Always refer to the garment's care label for washing and stain removal guidelines specific to the fabric type.

What to Look For in Effective Stain Removal

Obviously, you want the best stain remover; one that is gentle, hypoallergenic, but highly effective. Steer clear of harsh chemicals, dyes, perfumes, and other irritants.

Opt for plant-based, enzyme-powered removers that break down organic stains at a molecular level without chemicals. Protease, amylase, and lipase enzymes target protein, starch, and fat stains. Or choose oxygen-boosting cleaners with sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate to lift stains through oxidation.

Portable wipes, sticks, and pens allow for on-the-go pretreatment whenever stains strike. For larger messes at home, stain remover sprays work well to pretreat clothes before washing to avoid set-in stains. Avoid lung irritants like aerosols.

With the right natural laundry stain remover, you can erase stubborn clothes stains without worry.

Top Stain Removers for Baby Clothes

Whether you need to wipe up an impromptu food explosion, pretreat set-in formula spills, or combat grass stains head-on, these are the best of the best when it comes to removers safe and gentle enough for baby's delicate clothes and skin.

  1. Charlie’s
  2. Biokleen
  3. GrabGreen
  4. MamaSuds
  5. Arm & Hammer
  6. Seventh Generation
  7. Babyganics
  8. Puracy Natural
  9. Grandma’s Secret
  10. Smart Sheep

Let’s see how these baby stain removers can help you maintain your little one's wardrobe with ease.

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Stain Remover

This concentrated liquid formula taps into the cleaning power of plant-derived coconut oil and minerals. It penetrates deep to dissolve baby clothes stains at a molecular level.

The gentle yet potent formula is free of dyes, perfumes and residues that could irritate the baby's skin. Parents report success eliminating old, set-in stains.

Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover

Powerful enzymes in this remover digest stains and eliminate the bacteria causing odors. With frequent diaper changes, this can help banish unpleasant smells and messes.

The enzyme-powered cleaner is non-toxic, removing stains without chlorine or fragrances. Parents report success eliminating baby poop stains of all kinds with this safe yet effective formula.

Grab Greens Bleach Alternative Pods

GrabGreen's plant-based Bleach Alternative Pods safely remove stains and brighten whites on baby's delicate clothes. The non-toxic oxygen formula provides stain fighting power without harsh chemicals like bleach. Just toss a pod in the wash to lift stains and whiten baby clothes gently.

The biodegradable pods dissolve completely, leaving behind no harsh residues that could irritate sensitive skin. Parents love this effective, eco-friendly way to keep baby's clothes looking like new without hazardous chemicals. 

MamaSuds Laundry Stain Remover

Harnessing natural enzymes from sources like papaya and pineapple, this plant-based spray breaks down and lifts stains. The hypoallergenic formula is free of fragrances, safe for sensitive skin.

Parents love its versatility to pretreat stains on baby clothes before washing. The handy spray applicator makes it easy to target stains.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

This budget-friendly classic uses the natural cleaning power of sodium hypochlorite to lift stains. Simply dilute with water to make a solution that can soak clothes, soften water, and boost detergent.

It's safe enough for frequent stain-fighting yet powerful enough for tough messes.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Stain Remover

The popular Seventh Generation brand offers this fragrance-free, dye-free stain fighting stick. It's safe for the baby's delicate skin with no irritants or chemicals.

The solid stick applicator lets you target stains without mess or waste. It's the perfect gentle yet effective option.

Babyganics Stain Eraser Marker

This marker-style applicator allows you to precisely target stains, avoiding overspray on fabrics. The mess-free no-leak design is perfect for on-the-go stain removal.

The pediatrician-tested formula wipes out stains without irritants. It is convenient and safe.

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover

This plant-based formula harnesses natural enzymes to penetrate and lift stains without harsh chemicals. The biodegradable remover is free of irritants. 

According to parents, it effectively erases poop, food, and other organic stains from fabric. The convenient spray allows you to pretreat stains by applying directly to clothes before washing.

Grandma's Secret Spot Remover

This legendary stain fighter uses plant-derived solvents to dissolve stains without leaving toxic residues. The versatile remover can tackle stains on clothing, sheets, upholstery, and more.

Parents love its non-toxic, biodegradable formula that gets out even the toughest, set-in stains. 

Smart Sheep Stain Stick

This concentrated stain fighting stick from Smart Sheep uses plant-derived enzymes to penetrate and dissolve stains on baby's delicate clothes. The non-toxic, biodegradable formula is free of dyes, fragrances, and residues that could irritate sensitive skin. Just smooth on the clear, mess-free formula to target stains before washing.

Parents love keeping it in the diaper bag for pretreating stains on-the-go. This stain stick effectively erases food stains, formula spills, grass stains and more.

Stain stick

Removal Tips and Tricks

Dealing with baby stains doesn't have to be a daunting task. Here are some essential tips and tricks to ensure those stubborn marks don't stand a chance:

Treating Stains Promptly

Acting swiftly is key when it comes to baby stains. The longer a stain sets in, the tougher it becomes to remove. As soon as you notice a stain, gently blot or scrape off any excess material.

Avoid rubbing, as it can push the stain deeper into the fabric. The faster you address the stain, the better your chances of success.

Proper Laundry Sorting

If you sort your laundry before washing, you will make a significant difference in stain removal. Separate heavily soiled baby clothes from lightly soiled ones to prevent cross-contamination. 

Sort by color, fabric type, and stain type to ensure the most effective treatment. By washing like-items together, you can optimize stain removal results.

Stain Pretreatment

Consider pretreating stains before tossing clothes into the washing machine. Apply a small amount of your chosen stain treater directly onto the stain and gently rub it in. Let the pretreatment sit for a few minutes before washing as usual.

This extra step can significantly enhance stain removal, especially for stubborn marks like baby poop and food spills.

Washing Guidelines

Opt for a cold water wash for protein-based stains like baby poop, as hot water can set them. Follow care label instructions for temperature and cycle selection.

Additionally, consider using a baby-friendly laundry detergent that's tough on stains yet gentle on sensitive skin.

Remember, patience is key when dealing with stains. Some marks may require multiple treatments or washing cycles to completely vanish.

Stain Remover FAQ

What is the best stain remover for baby clothes?

The best stain remover for baby clothes often contains enzymes that effectively break down a variety of stains, including those caused by baby poop, formula, and food.

Look for a non-toxic, baby-safe stain remover that's gentle on fabrics and tough on stains, like our stain stick.

How do you get dried stains out of baby clothes?

To remove dried stains from baby clothes, start by gently scraping off any residue. Then, apply a remover directly to the stain, letting it sit for a few minutes. After pretreatment, wash the garment following care label instructions. For stubborn dried stains, repeat the process or consider soaking the garment before washing.

How do you get stubborn food stains out of baby clothes?

Stubborn food stains can be challenging, but pretreating them can help. Apply a stain remover or a mixture of water and liquid dish soap to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together to work in the solution. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing. 

What detergent removes stains from baby clothes?

Choose an eco-friendly baby laundry detergent free of dyes, fragrances, and chemicals. Look for options with natural stain fighting enzymes to help lift stains while washing. Smart Sheep detergent strips are a great choice!

Is it OK to use stain remover on baby clothes?

Yes, it's generally safe to use stain remover on baby clothes, especially if you choose a non-toxic, baby-safe one. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and rinse the garment thoroughly after stain removal to avoid any residue that could irritate your baby's skin.

Why do baby clothes stain so easily?

Baby clothes stain so easily because babies are constantly getting dirty. They are crawling around on the floor, eating messy foods, and getting their clothes wet. Additionally, baby's skin is more sensitive than adult skin, so they are more likely to develop skin irritation from stains.

How do you get yellow poop stains out of baby clothes?

To remove yellow poop stains from baby clothes, start by rinsing the stain under cold water to remove any excess poop. Then, apply a stain remover or a mixture of water and vinegar to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together to work in the solution. Wash the garment as usual, using a baby-friendly detergent.

What causes yellow stains on baby clothes?

Yellow stains on baby clothes are often caused by the breakdown of proteins in formula, breast milk, or baby food. When these substances interact with fabrics and heat during washing or drying, they can result in yellow stains. 

What are some of the best stain removers for baby clothes?

Apart from those we already mentioned, parents recommend the following products:

  1. Zout Triple enzyme formula laundry stain remover
  2. Miss Mouths messy eater stain treater
  3. Oxiclean versatile stain remover

Further Reading

How can I keep my sheets from balling up in the dryer?

How do I recharge wool dryer balls?

Do dryer balls work?

How to use dryer balls for down jackets

What are the benefits of natural clothing stain removers?

What are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin?

Is it safe to use dryer sheets on baby clothes?

Why is the dryer making my clothes smell burnt?