Thursday, October 17, 2013

How To Remove Set-In Stains

As I've been getting ready for baby's arrival, I've been pulling out a lot of my son's old clothing and toys and washing things in order for his soon-to-arrive little sister to use. Much to my dismay, many pieces of clothing had yellow set-in stains in them. I'm not sure how they got there - I washed everything before I put it all away and don't recall seeing it then, though it was a year or so ago. Either way, I went on a mission: to find a way to make those set-in stains go away. I started out by using Biz laundry detergent and followed the directions I found from a Pinterest link. To see the instructions, check it out here.

Here is what the shirt looked like before any treatment.

Honestly, I tried to take the easy way out and just scrubbed some Biz on the shirt and then put it in the wash, but it didn't take care of the problem, unfortunately. After a washing, it may have taken out a slight bit of the stain, but not enough to cut it by any means.

So, I went ahead with the directions suggested in the blog: I boiled some hot water and had the shirt in the sink for the entire day. Ehow recommends having the garment soak overnight, but since I did this in the morning, I jeopardized my sink throughout the day. So, I'd suggest soaking it overnight as well. The shirt soaked all day and then I washed and dried it.

Unfortunately, although the stain was mostly gone, it was still there and I really didn't want it there at all.

So, back to the Pinterest board I went. Next up, I tried something suggested in this blog. A little hydrogen peroxide, a little dawn dish soap and baking soda...I was intrigued. Hopefully this one would do the trick. I mixed up the ingredients, laid it on the stain and then scrubbed it up. As suggested in the blog, I let it set for an hour and into the wash it went.

 Fingers crossed...breath held...hoping that the stain would be removed and....

Eureka!!! It worked!!! So, to recap - try the hydrogen peroxide/dawn/baking soda mix. (PS - my mom informed me this is basically diluted bleach, so be sure to only use it on light colored clothing.) That seems to have done the trick. Biz laundry stain remover certainly made a difference, but it did not remove the stain like the other formula.

So, this is a combo tried and true and tried and semi-lied. Biz is a great stain remover, but may be better for stains that aren't so set in. Yay for salvaging old, stained baby clothing!


  1. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to give it a try.

  2. I'm sure a lot of moms will appreciate this one! And those stains just happen. I discovered the same thing when I got out baby clothes for my second. I think there's something about baby spit-up that stays in the fabric and yellows over time, even though it was washed and looked clean and white at first.