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Home > Remove Summertime Food Stains

How to Remove Summertime Food Stains from Baby's Clothes

by:  Karen Sullen


Ah, the joys of summer-sunshine, the beach and the delicious foods!  You just can't make it through summer without enjoying ice cream and popsicles.  Yet, these fun foods can leave a stubborn stain that is hard to get out.  Although enjoyed by children of all ages, these foods often present a problem for young children who are just learning how to feed themselves.  Most moms will tell you that what goes in their mouths usually ends up on their shirts.  So here are some tips for getting common food stains out of baby's clothes.


Ketchup & Mustard

Taking a bite of that burger or hot dog can often cause these condiments to ooze out the other side.  Take care of the stain by applying spray stain removers and letting it sit for about 30 minutes.  Wash in cold water.  If the stain persists, applying a little diluted white vinegar and washing it again should do the trick.



Thankfully, popsicles are made of water, and water is the best thing to get the stain out.  Rinse immediately with cool water, and then let the clothes soak in cool water for about 30 minutes.  Washing as normal with regular detergent and a color-safe bleach should remove the stain.  If it's particularly stubborn, apply a small amount of ammonia and wash again.


Baby formula and foods

Whether eating adult food or baby food, kids can be messy.  Parents of little ones who haven't yet begun eating table foods know that baby food can leave an adult-size stain.  To loosen stain, rub in a liquid detergent.  Let it sit for about five minutes, and then soak for 10-15 minutes in cool water.  A combination of soaking and rubbing should be repeated until the stain is gone. 


Home remedies

According to some experienced moms, there are plenty of concoctions that seem to work well.  They suggest:  lemon juice (on all-white clothing), white vinegar, a 50:50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, and even lathering the stain with foam shaving cream (not gel) and letting it sit for 30 minutes.  For those who are little more daring, try creating a paste of meat tenderizer mixed with cool water.  Apply it to the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour.  Surprisingly, the enzymes in the meat tenderizer will break down the stain. 


Treating stains when at home is a lot easier because you can clean the spot on the spot.  However, taking care of stains away from home is not as simple.  Avoid these common mistakes:


-          Never rub a fresh stain with bar soap because it may set the stain.  Dab the stain with liquid hand soap, but don't rub it in.  Let is sit and wash the clothing as soon as possible.

-          Excessive rubbing can cause the stain to spread, ruin delicate fabrics or cause the colors to fade.

-          The heat from hot water, dryer or iron can set stains.  Do not put an item in the dryer until the stain has been lifted. 


Now that you're armed with this helpful information, getting tough stains out will be child's play.

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