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How to remove some of the most common stains you’ll encounter as a parent

Posted by Benedict Chude on

Stain removal is a specialized skill. You practically need a graduate-level course to treat the range of stains that will present themselves during your tenure as a parent.

What makes dealing with stains so difficult is that removal often depends on the material that has been stained, as well as the stain-causer. Take a wrong step, like drying or ironing clothing before the stain is removed, or using a stain remover that reacts with the staining agent, and it might look like you’re doomed.

Never fear. We’ve rounded up some of the best stain removal advice for parents here. Many will help you deal with stains that have already set. Learn techniques that take you well beyond “scrape off the excess” and “dab gently” and find products that have earned the stamp of removal from other parents who have gone before you.

Stains you probably only have to remove if you’re a parent

Desitin or diaper creams – Baking powder is a key step in getting this greasy stuff out of clothing and fabrics.

Crayon stains – It depends on the surface or material. Start here and then choose the surface type to see what you should do to remove crayons from things like grout, porcelain, carpet, wallpaper, wood, leather and even non-washable surfaces.

Permanent marker – It’s surprising the number of things you probably already have around the house that will take permanent marker right off. Cooking spray? Who knew! See more specific help for marker on upholstery or carpet here

Baby poop

Leaked diapers are the bane of new parents everywhere. Many a cute baby outfit has been lost to this seemingly impervious substance. Don’t let poop stains hold hostage your child’s onesies or cloth diapers! See this mom’s guaranteed steps to stain-free baby clothes, and these more gentle steps for fabrics you don’t want to scrub.  OxiClean seems to be a favorite product for a lot of moms, and another environmentally friendly method of removing poop stains is the SUN! See more here if you’re looking to avoid bleach and such.


See how to remove stains from formula and baby food, soy sauce, mustard (and turmeric), and the ubiquitous ketchup.

My favorites: general stain removal tips

  1. If you can, treat quickly to keep the stain from setting (carry a Tide pen in your purse)
  2. Blot don’t rub (really hard to do when you’re frantic!)
  3. And keep a bucket in your bathroom for easy soaking.

That’s it! Any links you’ve found really useful for help removing stains?


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