Charlie's Corner

December 30, 2020

How to Get Poop Stains out of Baby Clothes

How to Get Poop Stains Out of Baby Clothes in 6 Steps

Your baby just had a diaper blowout and it’s a BIG one. You look at that tiny, adorable outfit, and that tiny, adorable baby — and think, “How on earth can something so tiny make such a big mess?” Then you look at the trash bin, and your heart sinks. Is this the end for another adorable ensemble? Although poop stains can be messy, quick action can save your baby’s clothes. Learn how to get poop stains out of baby clothes with these 6 steps. 

Scoop off the chunky poop

The first step is to get as much of the mess off the clothing as possible. Not only will this keep your washing machine cleaner (and your house smelling fresher), but it will make your laundry detergent work better, too. The less soil it needs to break down, the more it can work on the really tough stuck-on and staining bits.

You can do this first swipe with a baby wipe and toss it in the garbage, or use toilet paper and flush it down. A detachable toilet hose is also a great investment! However you do remove the soil, be careful to do so gently, so you don’t grind the mess into the fabric.

Rinse from the clean side

Once the bulk of the soil is gone, give the clothes a good, long rinse. Using cool water, run it against the clean side of the fabric to push the poop out of the cracks and crevices on the dirty side. Keep on being gentle, and avoid scrubbing.

Pre-treat the stain

Using a spray or soak, give the stain some treatment before you wash. This will start breaking down the proteins and greasy molecules to give your washing machine a fighting chance. If the stain is especially tough-looking or has had time to set, you can soak the garment in Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach,  making sure to check it for fading every 15-30 minutes (in the video above, we soaked the garment for over 4 hours with no fading). Some other pretreatments can only sit a short time and can’t dry on the fabric before you wash, but Charlie’s oxygen bleach powder won’t cause colors to bleed or leave harsh residues on your baby’s clothes.

Use products that break down proteins

The chemistry of stain removal — especially poop stains — is surprisingly complicated. It turns out there are a few different types of stains that each need a specific treatment. For poop stains, you want a product that breaks down proteins, like an enzymatic cleaner or a hydrogen peroxide-based (oxygen) bleach. Chlorine bleach is not your friend for poop stains. It’s great at dissolving pigments like ink, red wine, and even the dye in your fabrics, but not ideal for protein-based spots like blood, spit-up, or poop.

Avoid heat

You may be tempted to try to scald the poop out of the clothing, but for protein-based messes like poop, try to keep it cool. The experts at GoodHousekeeping say that hot water can permanently set these types of stains, as can the iron and even the dryer. With that in mind, after washing the soiled outfit in cool or warm water, give it a double check. If there are still traces of the stain, give it another wash to get it completely clean before you throw it into the hot dryer.

Extra rinse

The last thing to know about how to get poop stains out of baby clothes is that some stain treatments and detergents can leave a residue on the clothing. To protect baby’s tender skin, make sure to set an extra rinse cycle after using these products. If you use Charlie’s Soap, however, there’s no need for this extra step as all of our detergents are formulated to rinse completely, with no residue.

Charlie’s Soap is a parent’s best friend

Charlie’s Soap laundry detergent is a powerful, naturally derived formula that deep cleans all your fabrics. It breaks down even the nastiest messes and rinses away without leaving any residue. Whether you’re washing loads of cloth diapers every day or just trying to salvage your baby’s cutest outfit from the occasional blowout, you can trust Charlie’s to keep your baby’s clothes clean and bright.

Charlie’s Soap is also biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and safe for the environment. Take advantage of our subscription options to make sure you always have Charlie’s Soap in stock when accidents happen.