Ruining Clothes Is This a Stain Removal Issue?

Updated on January 22, 2012
V.M. asks from Conneaut, OH
18 answers

My 7 yo is driving me crazy ruining her clothes. I'm not dressing her in fancy stuff, but she either crawls around on a dirty floor, or dribbles everything she eats or drinks. When she comes home from school, i make her change. but by that time she usually has a stain that isn't fresh, CAn some one please break it down super simple for me. How do you treat this:

Spilled chocolate milk down the front of her pink long sleeve T shirt at lunch at 11 am, I am home by 4 pm, TAke it off of her, What stain remover?? What temp. And do i wash it by it'self? since waiting for even half a load would mean it sits aother day or two.

Unidentified grey grime all over the knees of her kakhi pants. again, no idea when this happens, this time i didn't notice until the next day when i took her laundry down to the washer. Again how to pretreat, what temp? can i wash it with others?

normally i would wash both the shirt and pants on warm. I do my whites on hot, do i through them in with my whites?

Would a colorsafe bleach help eitiher of them? If i use Oxyclean do i need to use 6-8 scoops for a full load of laundry?
Would you still let your kid were pants with discolored knees if there where clean?

i need really really specific info because I"m just not getting it and i'm getting frustrated.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

V M,
I use Tide with Bleach Alternative--the liquid.
Everything comes out really clean.
If there is something REALLY bad (like maybe the chocolate milk on the pink T-shirt, I might use a little of the Tide liquid directly on the stain & let it sit for 2-3 minutes before I toss it in with the rest of the load.
Everything comes out.
I normally wash everything on warm wash/cold rinse and use NO other pre-treaters or stain removers.
Simple but perfect because it works!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

A trick my mom taught me when my kids were babies is to treat a stain (especially food) with Dawn dishwahing liquid. I keep a small bottle by my laundry hamper and treat the stains with it as I put them in. They can sit a day or so and most of the time they come out looking good. It works great with greasy stains, too. It was a miracle on baby food and formula stains. My kids never had stained onesies.

Hope it helps! Good luck!

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answers from Colorado Springs on

You have two good answers already. If a stain is really bad, I would spray it, or I would pour laundry detergent on it and let it sit a while, or I would wash it right away by hand in the sink. I'd hang the piece to dry, and then put it in the next washload.

I had a last-ditch method I would use on stained clothing: I would soak them in the washer or a bucket, in a combination of non-chlorine powdered bleach and dishwasher (!) detergent in the hottest water I could get. Then I'd wash the item(s) with the next washload. Often it took the stains out. Sometimes it would ruin the clothes even further, but since they were already ruined, it wasn't a great loss.

Yes, I would let my kid wear pants with discolored knees to play in.

This sort of thing isn't unusual for seven-year-olds. They're often more interested in action than thought (for their clothes).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ONE scoop of Oxyclean will be enough in the wash.
You can use the Oxyclean stain remover and let it set.

You can also see if your grocery store carries Carbona stain removers - they are small yellow bottles that specialize in specific stains.

I would NOT throw the clothes out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I use spray n wash or oxi clean spray. Then wash in cold water. Always check the stain before you put it in the dryer. If it isnt out then use the oxi clean powder. One scoop to 2 gallons of water. Let it soak then for a day or so. Then wash again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In our house, I mix almost ALL of our clothes together. We all wear really dark clothes mostly. If I have a lot of pinks or reds though, I wash them in a separate load. Don't stress about keeping something that is stained that you have pretreated out of a load. It doesn't need to be washed separately just because it was stained. But never wash a stained garment in hot, all the heat will do is set the stain. Spray and Wash with Resolve is wonderful, its all I will ever use. 99 percent of our stains come out with that stuff. I don't even rub! I just spray it on the stain, fill the washer with clothes and throw the sprayed garment in last. When the cycle is done, I check the stains and once in a while a stain might still be there, so I spray again and wash it again. Usually, its out. Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

We use Tide Stain Release when we wash our son's clothes. We just throw all of his clothes in one or two loads with one of the little packets and detergent, then wash in cold. We have not had a problem with stains.



answers from Canton on

Yes, I'd let her wear slightly discolored pants. She's 7. If she keeps staining her clothes, she's still has to wear them. You'll go broke buying her new clothes. If they are REAL bad, then toss them.

Oxiclean spray works wonderful for me. My kids always have a chocolate milk stain. Spray the stain, rub in gently if it's really bad, and wash on cold. I was all my kids clothes on gentle cycle. I get out almost every stain the first time. I wait until I have a full load. You can always rinse the stained shirt with cold water and wash a different day. Good luck.



answers from Columbus on

Wash them in cold...with the stain removers people are suggesting. We cloth diaper and the first wash is always cold to remove stains. Then hot. So I do the same with clothes. If they have stains, I wash in cold to get the stain out. Good luck!



answers from Eugene on

All my kids' clothes had stains on them. That means they are out having fun. I wash, I use Clorox 2 bleach but not everything comes out. Even when the stains come out, the elbows, knees and fronts wear thin. Oh well. My girls liked wearing dresses every day, even for playing. I bought a bunch for cheap at the resale store. The colorful ones with bright flowers and patterns hide the dirt and stains very well.


answers from Dallas on

I use Shout spray and sometimes I will put straight laundry detergent on the stain and let it sit. Those 2 ways work for me. BUT, I no longer have a 7 yr old!! I have a 17 yr old and it does get better!



answers from Detroit on

Spray and Wash makes a stain stick that kind of looks like a deodorant stick (I get it at Walmart). Anyway, that can get anything out-you just treat the spot and wash as usual. You can even treat the stain with it and wash later-it always works for me even on grease. Good Luck.



answers from Indianapolis on

I use Shout. It is really good at getting stains even unidentifiable stains out. If its too bad I will soak it in oxyclean. My daughter got barbeque sauce all over her light blue dress in the summer and I just mixed oxyclean in a pail and let it soak for 2 days. The stains were still there after I took it out of the pail but after I washed the dress it looked brand new. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

I did use the Spray-n-Wash but it just wasn't cutting it. So now I use Zout which is totally amazing.



answers from Terre Haute on

Spray shout on the stain and wash in cold water do not put in dryer until you check to see if stain is out. sometimes it may take a little scrubbing iwth a soft brush or toothbrush
era and tide work ok on the stain too if you scrub with the brush



answers from Louisville on

That's where my Spray-n-Wash (now Resolve) comes in -- usually works, but sometimes will not totally get something out (usually a mixed mess).



answers from Chicago on

My kids are just as bad. My older ones wear khakis to school and my son will also wear them while goofing off in thae. Gray and green stains on the knees. My almost 4 yr old is a spill disaster. I have never had luck with spray and wash but Shout is my saving grace. I only wash in cold water. If the clothes still have a stain, then I soak in a dishpan with a scoop of Oxyclean. My daughter's clothes come out great 99.9 percent of the time. Unless it is a special outfit, I don't do a special load, wait until I have a full one. Except for tears, my d's clothes come out looking almost new.



answers from Seattle on

The only thing that worked for me so far is putting some detergent right on the stain.
If I have tried spray and wash, oxy clean, botox and those little stain remover bottles to no avail so I don't even try those anymore. If pretreating with detergent does not help my last option is to hang it in the sun, but that's not an option where I live in the winter.
Other than that I simply expect kids clothes to get ruined at lightning speed and I shop accordingly (cheap clothes for school and play: target , H&M, Costco and second hand).
And yes, if the stain is minor( in DD's case often the bottom of the sleevesand knees) I will let her still wear the outfit until it bothers me too much.

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