40 answers

Stain Removal Woes

I am having a huge problem trying to get stains out of my kids clothing. For a few years I have sworn by the Dawn dish soap and Oxyclean paste on a stain and that worked wonders! Now it seems that it doesn't work at all! I use Melaluca laundry soap and I tried using their stain removal product but I am so disappointed with it I am going to send it back! I have also tried Sol-u-Mel with the same results. Does anyone have a tried and true remedy that gets out dirt, spaghetti sauce, berry stains and all those other hard to dissolve stains? I am at my wits end and am tired of throwing away hopelessly stained clothes. Thank you!
****Edit -About the Pre-Spot.....how long do you have to let it sit? I have let it sit for at least 24 hours every time I have used it. I have put it directly on fresh stains, reapplied after 24 hours and let it soak again! Nothing works.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much! I have so many new things to try! I have to laugh because of the bib suggestions. I have huge bibs for my daughter and she still manages to get food under her bib. Funny thing, the bibs are cloth, some made from towels, and they always come clean even after days of "marinating" in the stain. Go figure!
Thank you all again and if you come up with another miracle cure let me know!

***EDIT*** Just to clarify....I know how to use the Melaluca products! I have used them for years and have become more and more disappointed in them. There are a few things that I really like but Pre-Spot and Sol-u-Mel have never worked for me. I DO use them properly. I have a very natural home and Melaluca is not as "green" as they claim. I tried the suggestion of Fels Naptha and it worked! Thank you all!

Featured Answers

Anytime I have had a stain that I can't remove, I take it to my mom. She seems to have this formula that works every time. And I'm not kidding. I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old, not to mention the axle grease that got on my winter coat one time! Anyway, she says the best stand alone stain remover is Zout, but on the rare occassion that doesn't work, she makes a paste out of Biz powder and Tide laundry detergent. She applies the paste to the stain, scrubs it in a bit, applies more paste if necessary and lets it sit for about a day, then she washes it like normal, letting it air dry in case the stain is not completely gone. Sometimes she has to repeat this process a couple times, but there has NEVER been a stain that she has not completely removed this way. Hope this helps...good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm in love with Savon de Marseille. It's French olive oil soap. I've gotten beets out of white cotton with it and it's completely non-toxic. It's not widely available but boutique shops have it. I have seen it at Garden of Eden at Grand and Victoria.

You wet the stain and scrub it with the soap (which comes in a cube.)

1 mom found this helpful

I know you said you've tried Oxyclean before. But, try the combo product of spray n wash and oxy. My sister told me about it and it works wonders. I don't think I've tried it on a stain that it hasn't tackled, including baby spitup that's been through the wash and the dryer already. Good Luck!

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I'm in love with Savon de Marseille. It's French olive oil soap. I've gotten beets out of white cotton with it and it's completely non-toxic. It's not widely available but boutique shops have it. I have seen it at Garden of Eden at Grand and Victoria.

You wet the stain and scrub it with the soap (which comes in a cube.)

1 mom found this helpful

There is a website called soapsgonebuy.com and it has all sorts of the old soaps that most people cannot find in stores. I swear by a big ole bar of Fells Naptha soap, and oxyclean spray. When my daughter gets food stains on her clothes, and dirt, pretty much anything, I treat it with Oxyclean then rub the Fells naptha bar on it too. I let it sit for awhile and then wash them adding the oxyclean laundry booster to it for extra measure. The other thing I know makes a HUGE diffrence is the washing machine. Ever since we got a high efficiency washer the stains don't stand a chance. So maybe take a look at the washer you are using.. it might need a tune up?..

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Anne-Marie,

I use Zout concentrate it works wonders. I used to use Simple Green which works good but I stand by Zout. Don't use the spray Zout needs to be the concentrate and I squeeze it out on the stain. Sometimes with Spaghetti sauce I have to wash it twice if I don't catch it in time. Then I will use oxy-clean paste on grease and let it set for 4-6 hours. Hopes this helps. L.

1 mom found this helpful

Anytime I have had a stain that I can't remove, I take it to my mom. She seems to have this formula that works every time. And I'm not kidding. I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old, not to mention the axle grease that got on my winter coat one time! Anyway, she says the best stand alone stain remover is Zout, but on the rare occassion that doesn't work, she makes a paste out of Biz powder and Tide laundry detergent. She applies the paste to the stain, scrubs it in a bit, applies more paste if necessary and lets it sit for about a day, then she washes it like normal, letting it air dry in case the stain is not completely gone. Sometimes she has to repeat this process a couple times, but there has NEVER been a stain that she has not completely removed this way. Hope this helps...good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I use the Melaleuca products and had to get used to using the Prespot correctly. It needs to sit for a long time. The Sol U Mel I've had incredible results with things like ink, old stains from spit up and poop. Have not tried it on tomato and berry though.

I still prefer my old method the best. I grew up with a mom that was a nurse. She would use Zout. It needs to be rubbed into the stain though...I use a small brush. You can find it as a Spray at Target, but I swear the bottle form is better. I know it is at Rainbow stores. Possibly Cub as well. I also like OxyClean Spray and it also needs to be rubbed in. For the worst stains I use the Zout and Oxyclean spray together, rub in well, reapply, rub again, let sit for a few minutes, and then use a tough detergent like Tide...adding more than normal for my front loader. I've gotten berry, tomato, grass, grease, blood, poop, etc out that way...even when they've sat for days in the hamper.

Good luck.

A carpet cleaner told me about mixing equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia together and it works very well. Depending on how large the stain is, I usually mix 1 tablespoon at a time in a small cup and just pour in on the stain and rub it in with a tootbrush. For my sons football pants I put it in a spray bottle. I have also found 2 commercial stain removers Zout and Greased Lightening remove a lot. My last resort is to soak the item in Biz at least overnight. Sometimes longer.

Ok..I'm really bad about pre-treating, so I just wash everything. If I still have stains that didn't come out in a regular wash, I will soak in oxiclean. I just fill up a sink with warm water and put in a fairly large scoop of oxiclean. Then I let it soak for like 10 hours - sometimes overnight. You have to leave it for a while. It will remove pretty much anything. Even stains that have been there a long time. I've never had a problem with fading. But you would want to wash it right away after soaking.

use wd40-works great for stains-fish oil base-used it all the time for my kids clothes-just spray a bit on the stain rub it in and wash....good luck

I have used plain barbosol shaving cream on stains. My son threw up nacho doritos on our light tan carpet and I tried woolite and resolve and it didn't come out then I rememered the shaving cream and the entire stain came out. I put it on the stain that is damp and let sit overnight then wash works well. good luck

Basic oxi-clean spray on the stain as it goes into the hamper, then I add a scoop of the oxi-clean powder to every wash. This works on every stain, though a couple of times I have had to do it twice. (Like, when my son was sitting on a strawberry in his stroller and I didn't realize it until we took him out...it was so mashed up I think the fabric absorbed all the juice.)

This is an amazing treatment for fresh berry stains. All you need is to boil a pot of water and get a large bowl. Place the stain over the bowl and pour the boiling water over the stain from a high above it. The stain litterally vanishes. I have used it MANY times with my berry loving girls.

For any stain, get to treating as fast as possible.
For berry stains (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry), pour boiling water over the garment and let it soak. It should go away. Then launder as usual.
I use Shaklee laundry system, using the liquid detergent as a prespotter, and also Basic H2 for prespotting. Basic H2 is great to get out chocolate stains. I also use the booster/stain remover before washing. This works well and is also safe and natural.

Hi Anne Marie!

I use TOTALLY TODDLER.

I purchase it at Babies R Us. I LOVE IT!!!

It gets everything out of my kids clothes (seriously). Spray it on, a little rub, wait five minutes, toss it in the wash. Presto gone. My kiddies have sensitive skin and it does not bother them. It smells like baby when you spray it, but doesn't really leave a smell after wash.
Hope this helps!

G. H

I know you said you've tried Oxyclean before. But, try the combo product of spray n wash and oxy. My sister told me about it and it works wonders. I don't think I've tried it on a stain that it hasn't tackled, including baby spitup that's been through the wash and the dryer already. Good Luck!

You can order online - Soil love. It comes in a green bottle and it is amazing. I have gotten stains out of my clothes from years ago that have been washed/dried numberous times, and of course the poop/puke stains from my daughter. Hope it works. It has for me.

Hi, I saw many for oxiclean, which is good but is very hard on clothes and spray and wash with resolve power, which is good but I find almost "bleaches" clothes, leaving it faded where the stain was (sometimes). I saw one response for Fels-Naptha bar soap and that is what I was going to recommend. Not so hard on clothes, I have yet to see it fade clothes and have gotten everything out with it. I have a 2 year old and take care of my 20 month nephew and have a lab that goes into heat. I even use this on the dog's "diaper" during her heat and gets it out.
I guess my grandma used to wash floors with it back in the day, my mother in law recommended it and I have recommended it too many. You can pre treat stains well in advance of washing and no worries, days to week and I have not ruin any clothes and does seem to work better if it sits a couple hours before washing. Get the clothes wet the bar of soap wet and scrub a little. You don't have to scrub the whole stain out, it will come on in the wash, always has for me. Pretty cheap too.
Good luck,
M.

I swear by the Spray 'n Wash that comes in a double-barrelled bottle. (It says "Dual Power" on the bottle.) That stuff is awesome.

I Love spry and wash, it's always worked for me on everything, I'm not too happy with shout.

I grew up with Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap. It was always great for time of the month stains, blood, etc., but now with my daughter's messes we use it almost every day to get out stains and grime out of her outfits - even if it's been sitting all day.

I have found that any stain remover product can only work so much and I have also had to throw out a couple clothes this year because I treated to aggressively. This is the regimen I use now when my daughter stains her clothes. When I remove the article of clothing from her body, I spray it with the oxy clean stain remover spray. I make sure I rub it in and then let it dry.

Then when I'm ready to do the laundry, I use regular laundry soap and Oxy Clean Triple power stain fighter. If there are clothes in that batch that were still stained when putting them in, I soak the clothes for 30 minutes and then check to see if the stains are coming out. If they are gone or near gone, I let it wash on the Super Wash cycle.

If there is an article with a stubborn stain, I spray it with the OXy clean stain remover spray, rub it in some more and then let the clothes soak another 30 minutes. I check them again and if things are looking like the stains are coming out then I run it on the Super Wash cycle.

When the load is done, I check all the clothes before I put them in the dryer. Anything that is still stained, doesn't go in the dryer. My mom says once they are dried in the dryer, the stain will set in. Those clothes get sprayed some more and are left to air dry. Then the next time I do wash, they go through that process again. Generally, by the second run through they get pretty clean.

If it's just a small stain and it doesn't come out after the second run through, I just live with it.

Angie

My mother recommended a product called Goop--it's located in the automotive section of stores like Wal-Mart. I have both a 3- and 7-year old, and Goop has taken out stains that I believed were set for good, things that I'd washed and dried over and over. I highly recommend this product!

Good luck,
S.

I have never failed with PreSpot and Solumel as a cleaning booster. I may have to soak, and wash a couple times. I would caution you about all the advice in mixing cleaners. This is a recipe for disaster. Do you know how many chemicals you are dealing with here? I agree with the gal that wrote in about Melabrite also. Natural citric acid, Melaleuca oil as a natural solvent, and strong natural enzymes are the best option for stain removal and safer for your skin. Those chemicals take many washed to get rid of and they are hard on your skin. Using caustic chemicals causes cancer and the laundry system is FULL of them.

Do you have a Wellness Guide. Is use mine all the time to reference how to treat issues like this. I can get you one at wholesale for $6 if you're interested.

Wishing you the best for your family,

A.

Bibs--many Mom's don't use bib's any more. Get a couple of plastic bibs that cover them past the waist. Wash them out in the sink with a little dish detergent. And hang (bottom up) over the bath tub to dry.
I have had really good luck with a spray stain remover and soaking in Woolite over night. I have also used a bar of Ivory soap rubbed on the stain, wet fabric first, rub the fabric together under cold water and air dry. It may take a few tries. Ivory soap is soap and not detergent so for some stains it works wonders.

You may want to try Spray & Wash with Resolve. I just used it for the first time on set in blood stains. I can hardly believe that they came out. Not a sign of them. I had another unknown stain on a top and it is gone now. Wow, I am impressed. You have nothing to lose by trying it.

put some peroxide on first and then some dawn dish soap...that has worked for us every time. Even set in stains such as red wine, ketchup, dirt, etc.
Good luck to you!
E.

There are not many stains I haven't gotten out with just a little time in the strong sunlight. It's amazing. I've used it for just about all stains from sweat stains to tomato stains. really try your other things and then just let them hang outside in the bright sun for a day. It's worth a try it doesn't cost anything. Try not to dry the clothing with stains in them though because that will set most stains, but even dried clothes have become clean with the suns help. I didn't believe it at first when I got the recommendation but I figured what the heck I'll give it a try I'm telling you the sun is a wonderful stain remover.

I've had good success with Stain Stick, Shout, and Clorox bleach pens. Also, I hang a lot of clothes out to dry and if the stain hasn't come out then , I can get it before it's made permanent by the drier.

My number one best tip is to get those stains under cold water as soon as possible and rub out as much of the stain as possible with your fingers, especially if the stain is banana or peaches. These are horrible because if left on to dry the stain will turn black, and after this is nearly impossible to remove.

I know stains usually happen away from the convenience of home, but I invested big time in bibs, and those portable stain towlettes and stain pens by TIDE and other detergent companies. I also would be sure to carry spare clothes on the road so that I could rinse and/or treat stains immediately. As soon as I got home, they'd go into the wash. Alot of work I know, but if you can get your little ones used to a bib during meals and snacks it helps alot.

Sometimes, while rinsing out a stain, if it is bad enough, I use a small scrub brush (like a finger nail brush) and rub in some Fels Naptha soap, or any basic lye soap bar (Ivory is good, even the very industrial and gritty Lava) to get as much of the stain out as possible. The key is to at all cost avoid letting the stain dry/set in. Be sure to rinse well.

If the items were whites, I'd use a Clorox bleach pen directly on the stained area, then wash. I avoid full-on liquid bleach because it will often yellow your items. It's a tricky deal with that pure liquid bleach..so I really like those pens where you can target the area.

If it's a colored item, I'd rub in either Shout! stick or gel, and use colorsafe Clorox.

If the stains are very light, I have had good success with a scoop of Oxyclean powder. I always wash stained clothes in cold water. It's better for keeping the integrity of the fabric and colors in tact, and more effective in getting stains out.

If your little one has sensitive skin, Dreft makes a mighty good stain spray that does a good job on breaking up the usuals like peaches, bananas, chocolate etc.

I hope this helps. This is alot of work, but I had great success in preserving all of our baby clothes. Most have been laundered many times, worn by more than one child, and are in pristine and in like new condition.

I use the spray and wash that has two different kinds of cleaners in one bottle. They are separate until you pour it onto the clothes. I love it. I use it on stains that have already gone through the washer and the dryer. I get the clothes damp then squeeze some of the sray and wash on it, rub it a little and then let it sit. If the stain has been there for awhile I let it sit for most of the day before putting it in the wash. That usually does the trick.

I just started using spray n' wash with resolve power, it works very good! I put it on let it soak in for a bit then rub it together to work the stain out under some water and the stains come out! Good luck stains are hard I know with kids but you have lots of things here to try:) L.

Some stains like Spaghetti sauce, you need to rub in the paste, oxi clean and dawn would work, or just some of the detergent. I rub it together and run it under cold water. Greasy stains need warmer water and dawn. Dirt seems to come out better with cold and pretreating it then rubbing laundry detergent into it, run cold water through the stain. Kids clothes are so hard to get clean so hope that helps. Remember blood and a lot of juices will only come clean in cold water and heat sets in stains. I pre-spot as soon as there is a stain and again before I put them in the wash. I always check the clothes to make sure they came out clean before the dryer.

Hi,
I love Oxymagic. You can't find it everywhere though. They have it at Hyvee and Super Saver in Omaha. I tried Oxyclean, but this works much better. It has gotten out about 95% of the stains I've run across.

Good Luck!
S.

I haven't tried it, but a friend of mine swears by BIZ detergent for removing stains. She says soaking the kids clothes in a "bucket of Biz" will get out stains.

I have been having this issue lately, too, so I am curious to see what responses you get. :)

(Per my friends insistence, I do have a box of Biz on standby awaiting use!)

If you take a shirt full of blueberries and spray OxyClean on it they will disappear within minutes.
One thing that works great is sunlight. I have washed and washed things before and finally hung them over the railing outside and BAM stain gone. Make sure the stain is wet through and don't forget things because after a couple days, darker things will start to fade.
Hope this helps,
J.
Mom to 5

I use Melaleuca products too and I'm really impressed with the power of the Pre-Spot! It has gotten car grease stains out of my jeans before! Just make sure you wet the clothing before spraying it, for some reason it can make all the difference. I also spray the clothing as soon as I take it off, so that way it sits in the laundry basket a day or two before it gets washed. Also, I would suggest using the Mela-Bright in your children's laundry. That can really add some extra stain removing power to the wash. Oh one more thing..... try Melaleuca's antibacterial hand soap. Its great for tomato based stains, greasy stains and blood. If you need any more help with stain removal with the melaleuca's products let me know. With my two year old, I'm becoming an expert!

I never had much luck with stain treatments till I bought Totally Toddler on a whim at Babies R Us. I got to put it to the test when my daughter spilled grape juice all over a nice white shirt. Sprayed it on, rubbed it in, let set for 5 min., wash and perfecto! Love it! Also both my little ones have sensitive skin and this doesn't seem to bother them.

I have had really good luck with spraying Zout on the stain, scrubbing that, and then soaking the item in Oxyclean Baby. The Oxyclean Baby seems to work better than the regular Oxyclean. This has even taken out set-in stains! Good luck!

Oxidol I believe is the name works very very well. I have a daughter that is new to foods and she makes such a mess....simple green also works miracles. Oil, dirt, grass, coffee, wine, pets etc....and it is a house hold cleaner that is non toxic.

I have had success with peroxide and hair spray, especially on blood and spaghetti sauce. Also, I usually try to soak white things in Biz.

We use the Melaleuca products as well and we love them!

My hubby works on cars! He's always getting dirty and his clothes are atroshish!

The prespot gets out my husband's greasey pants. He swears by the stuff. (I won't wash his clothes. He says I don't do it right. He's half right, I just don't have the patience).

He sprays the dirt & grease with the prespot and lets them soak. Then he washes them the next day. His jeans look like new when he's done. It's the letting the prespot do it's job. You can't just spray them and put them directly in the wash. The product needs time to sit on the stain and work depending on how bad it is.

We also have a whitner that we use. We mix the Diamond brite, prespot, solumel and tub n tile together. We let the whites soak in that. My hubby loves the Melaleuca Whitner. I don't know how to use it. He does. The products work great for him.

I can get you the recipe he uses if you want.
J.

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