Kids have a way of accomplishing the impossible. Whether it’s finding the perfect mud puddle to jump into or sliding through the dirt for every home run, if there’s a mess to be made they’ll find a way to make it.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common and difficult kid stains and the best ways to handle them. These easy solutions won’t make laundry day hassle free, but they will make it a whole lot easier.
Pretreat the stain by first soaking the garment in cold water then applying a stain remover and allowing to sit for 15–30 minutes. We recommend using eco-friendly products for all your laundry products; in this case, a solution made of one part white vinegar and two parts cold water will work well.
Once the item has been allowed to soak, gently scrub at the stain with a toothbrush or small sponge then wash in cold water. Don’t dry the garment until the stain is completely removed. Contact with heat will only cause the stain to set into the fibers of the fabric. This quick video from Real Simple is a great step-by-step guide as well.
Glue, Stickers, and other Gummy Gunk
Although this may seem counterintuitive, it’s best to wait until whatever gummy material is on the clothing dries. If you try to scrape the material off while still wet, it will just spread and work its way deeper into the fabric.
Once dried, scrape off as much as you can with a flat-bladed knife then soak in water to loosen the material’s grip. Wash in hot water to further loosen the material’s grip then, using a diluted stain remover, gently blot away at the stain. Remember to blot rather than scrub to ensure the stain doesn’t worsen and that the fabric remains undamaged.
Continue this process until the stain is completely removed then allow the garment to air dry.
Paint and Ink
While all stains are best removed as soon as they happen, this is especially true for paint and ink. Be sure to place a clean fabric or towel underneath the stain so none of the liquid bleeds through to the other side of the garment.
For ink and paint stains, it’s best to use an alcohol based product to counteract the stain. Products like hand sanitizer or non-aerosol hairspray are powerful solvents that fight the damaging effects of a pen or paint spill. Allow the products to soak for 10 minutes or so then wash in cold water. Repeat the process as necessary.
Similarly to glue, allow mud to dry then gently scrape off a flat-bladed knife. Remove as much dirt as possible then soak in a diluted laundry detergent or a homemade solution.
Take a toothbrush and gently scrub in a circular motion to remove the rest of the mud. Finally, soak in cold water or vinegar for 15–30 minutes before washing in cold water.
Remove all excess liquid then blot the area dry. It’s very important to blot gently and to not scrub the juice further into the fabric. Flush the stain with cold water then allow the garment to soak in white vinegar for 15–30 minutes before washing in the hottest temperature the fabric will allow.
Allow to dry overnight then examine the stain to see if it is still there. If so, soak again in vinegar and wash again in hot water.
Spots and stains are an annoying part of laundry but hopefully these tips will help make the process easier. If you really feel like saving yourself the time and stress, let 2ULaundry take care of those nasty stains for you!