Okay, so I was going to wait a while to post about this because its kind of a gross topic. But, Erin (my 5 month old) gave me a prime opportunity just a few days ago, so I figured I'd go ahead and write about it.
Poo happens and in many breastfed infants and some formula fed infants, poo explosions can happen quite regularly. For many people, this means hastily stripping your little one of their clothes and throwing the soiled items in the washing machine as quickly as you can in hopes that the poo does not stain the onesie and pants and whatever else the poo has touched. More often than not, I have seen that just washing the clothes immediately is not enough to completely remove the mustardy brown spots. Of course, you could go out and buy the expensive products made for stain removal (which incidentally are made mostly of water), or you could go to your kitchen...
Its amazing what a few kitchen staples can do. My favorites are baking soda and vinegar. :)
In order to remove the poo stains, you'll need to get out a large pot, some white vinegar and some baking soda. Using an old toothbrush is also helpful.
I've included the onesie (the floral one) and pants involved in today's poo explosion and I'm also experimenting with trying to remove drool stains from the neckline of one of my favorite onesies (the pink one).
To jump-start the last step before washing, pour some baking soda into the bottom of your pot. I used about enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Slowly add white vinegar to the pot. Pouring slowly is important because a small volcano will erupt. Once you've added enough vinegar to cover the bottom of the pot about 1/2 inch or so deep, add water, leaving enough room for the clothes you're going to add.
Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. You'll be heating up the liquid enough to reach a steady simmer. It is not important that the liquid is simmering before you add the clothes.
Next, in a small bowl (I use a small custard dish), add about 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Very slowly add the white vinegar. You're going to be making a paste out of this, so you'll need far less vinegar than you did before.
As you can see from this photo, the vinegar does tend to separate itself a little at the top. This is fine, because at the bottom of the bowl, you have a nice, medium-thickness paste.
Depending on the size of the stain, you may find it is best to rinse the clothes with water first. If the stain is small like the ones I've shown, there really isn't a need to rinse beforehand. Using your old toothbrush, generously add the baking soda/vinegar paste to your soiled clothes. Scrub with the toothbrush, adding paste as necessary, until you have generously coated the stain and you have seen the stain start to fade or smear a bit. The paste should be visible on the clothes.
Once you have treated all the soiled items, add them to the pot on the stove... seriously! Boiling them is very helpful in this process.
As shown in the next photo, the water in the pot will start to foam a little. This is fine, but keep an eye on the pot to make sure it doesn't overflow as it reaches its steady simmer point.
The foam will continue to increase during the simmering process.
Once the pot has simmered for a few minutes - I usually let it go for 3-5 minutes - remove it from the heat.
This can be a little tricky if your washer is on a different floor, but I usually just take the entire pot and dump the contents into the washer. It is okay to add this to any other laundry as the baking soda and vinegar will not damage other clothes. If you are taking it down stairs, be extremely cautious as the pot's contents are hot and could cause serious burns. You may want to make sure your children or pets are nowhere nearby when transferring this.
Add laundry detergent - I use homemade - as usual and run the cycle according to the directions on the clothes. If you like, white vinegar can be added to the liquid fabric softener dispenser for fabulously soft clothes. Seriously, it works!
Here are the results of my stain treatment. As I mentioned above, I was experimenting with how this treatment worked for drool stains. I'm not sure how visible it is in the photo, but the drool stains were minimized, but still there. I'm considering trying a borax paste as my stain fighter next time.