If you have kids, then you know they get into all kinds of messy situations. In fact, it seems that even the best behaved kids attract stains like little magnets. It’s not really their fault – they’re still learning how to control their bodies in some cases. And they’re probably more concerned about exploring their environment than the concept of wasting money by damaging and staining their new outfits. The end result, of course, is that you’ll find yourself looking for ways to treat the many and varied stains that end up on their clothing. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate the toughest stains.
- Rinse with cold water. You might be surprised by what you can remove with nothing more than good old tap water. Blood, for example, can nearly always be removed in this manner, provided you get it under water quickly. What rinsing immediately with cold water can do is remove excess staining agents before they soak in and keep them from drying and setting until you can treat the affected area. For kids’ clothes, which are rarely comprised of delicate fabrics (unlike many items in your own closet), cold water is a great place to start.
- Pre-treat. This is an important step. Pre-treat solvents like Tide To Go pens and Shout can not only work to stop stains from penetrating textiles, ensuring that they’ll come out in the wash, but in some cases they can even remove stains completely before they set in. Considering the amount of stains kids tend to get on their clothing, it’s not a bad idea to keep a portable pre-treatment option with you at all times.
- Bleach. If you simply can’t pre-treat and a stain has time to set in, bleach is the number one way to eliminate stains from fabric. But what do you do if the garments in question aren’t white? That’s simple. All you have to do is get a color-safe bleach product. You probably don’t want to use it with every wash since it could cause colors to fade faster than normal over time. But for isolated incidents, these products can be a major boon to the busy mom who doesn’t have time to scrub at stains.
- OxiClean. Oxygen bleach products like OxiClean are designed to emulsify oils and make stains water soluble so that they dissolve and lift away from fibers when you wash your garments. This is a bit different than how regular laundry detergents work. And you’ll find that the OxiClean lineup offers options for pre-treatment, soaking, washing, and more to ensure that you have the best possible chance to remove even the toughest stains from your kids’ clothing.
- Consider professional help. You can do laundry for years and learn all the tricks out there for removing stains, but you probably don’t have access to the same commercial-grade solvents and machinery that professional cleaners like Time To Wash Laundromat and Organic Dry Cleaning can provide. So if you find yourself at your wit’s end when it comes to dealing with stained clothing, trundle your children’s garments off to the local cleaners for an assist.