Simple Solutions for Stain Removal

laundry room

This Summer I’ll be re-running some of my favorite Simple Kids posts as Summer ReRuns. Today’s post is one of the first ones I ever bookmarked from SK, way back from 2009 before I was the editor here.  Megan shares some tips on stain removal that are timely during the Summer when there are so many wonderfully messy opportunities for fun. – Kara

Nature is inviting all of us to come outside and play.

No one wants to interrupt a glorious game of tag or bring a delicious and juicy dessert of fresh strawberries to a premature end for fear of stained clothing, but we also want to be good stewards of the material possessions we have by taking good care of them.  Yesterday, Asha at Parent Hacks shared her Almost Sure-Fire Clothing Stain Removal tip, and it reminded me that I have a few ideas of my own to share on summer stains.

1) Whenever possible, set aside some of the summer wardrobe for “play clothes” – for children and adults alike.  If everyone is playing outside in clothes that have been purposed for play, no one (not even the grown-ups) will give a second thought to rolling in the grass or indulging in a drippy, melt-y chocolate ice cream cone.

2) Harness the power of the sun!  Did you know the sun can be effective, natural bleach?  I learned this when I started cloth diapering.  (I’ve mostly only used it one white or lightly colored items.)  Wash the item as you normally would, but do not allow it to dry.  Hang it on a clothesline or lay it on a blanket or towel in the grass or on pavement.  Allow to dry in the sun.  For tough stains,  you may need to add some lemon juice or a stain remover such as Bi-O-Kleen’s Bac-Out to boost the sun’s bleaching power.

treating laundry stains

3) Treat stains quickly.  As soon as you have run those kiddos through the bath, gather up the stained clothes and start your treatment.  The supermarket shelves offer lots of stain treating options, but if you don’t have any on hand or prefer a natural approach, check out these suggetions:

Make sure to read the comments on Asha’s stain remover idea where other Parent Hackers share their favorite stain banishers.

What is your most effective way of ridding clothes of stains?

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  1. I loved this article, thanks! I especially liked the idea of “play clothes” for grown ups. Often I find myself hesitant to play because of what I am wearing, what a great suggestion!

    Julia @ The Frugal Find’s last blog post..Kmart IS Doubling!!

  2. Great post and perfect timing! We’ve used oxy-clean in our white loads before, but I’m a big fan of the natural stain fighting power of the good ole sun 🙂

    Ang @ The Creative Mama’s last blog post..Helpful Info.

  3. you know…. we just leave the stains…. if the sun cant work its wonders.
    it is not worth all the toxins in the home, or the extra money used on sprays and what not-
    when stains just happen…. they are a fact that your child plays, and plays well….
    I personally think, who cares about a stain…. and why should we care?
    let the stains remain!

  4. Whenever we get a stain, the first thing I do is soak the shirt in the kitchen sink in very cold water. I will leave it there all day. Most times, the stain just disappears, watered down completely. This happens with blood, strawberries, mud, chocolate ice cream, all kinds of things.
    If some stain remains, I spray Charlie’s Soap on it, or I rub in a little dishsoap. I wash it once, and check it before it goes into the dryer to see if it needs another run.

    Visty’s last blog post..talented and gifted

  5. vermontmommy says:

    Citrasolve. I use it on everything. Works very well.

  6. Thanks for the link, Megan! 🙂 I’ve actually been experimenting more with Bac-Out lately, which is sort of ironic. I still like the other homemade one, too. Can’t quite decide between them.

    What has really helped me lately is that I bought a bunch of small spray bottles from the dollar store, filled them with stain remover, and put them in the bedrooms. Because our laundry room is downstairs, stains were often not being treated quickly enough and often just being tossed into the hamper and forgotten about. It was turning into a really big problem, actually. Now with a spray bottle in each room, I can just make sure I give each stain a good spray before tossing it in the hamper and I am having so much less trouble with stubborn stains!
    .-= Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home´s last blog ..Getting Organized in the Garden: Seed Starting and Planting Schedule =-.


  1. […] Simple Kids, Megan shares some great tips for stain removal. If you are anything like our family, you can use […]

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    Stain removal tips | Simple Kids