No matter what kind of setting they are in, kids end up with all kinds of stains on their clothes. It can be from dropping food, getting hurt on the playground, or creating art. Whatever the cause, getting stains out can be tough, especially once they’ve set in.
However, there are a few ways you can remove certain stains from their clothes, so it looks like nothing ever happened!
No matter how much you try to protect your child, somehow, they get hurt from playing on the playground, riding their bicycle, or exploring new things. When blood stains get on clothes, it can seem impossible to get out. However, when the stain is fresh, you can simply run it under cold water and scrub it out easily.
If the stain is already set, you can try soaking the area with hydrogen peroxide or an enzymatic cleaner. These two types break down the stain’s organic materials.
Like gum, melted chocolate on clothing can be frozen and scraped off. Put it into the freezer for two hours and then scrape off the stiff chocolate. Then apply stain remover and wash it like normal. If you see any chocolate oils left behind on the clothes after drying them, rub chalk or talcum powder on the stain, allow it to sit for an hour, and then wash and dry it again.
Using crayons during a hot day or keeping them in their pocket can create waxy stains on kids’ clothes. It can become pretty messy when it gets all over clothing. Though it may seem difficult to remove, you can use a paper towel and iron to get it off.
First, lay a paper towel over the area and press a hot iron on it for a few seconds. The crayon wax should transfer to the paper towel. When most of the crayon is gone, apply a stain remover to the area and soak the clothing in warm water for at least an hour.
Whether or not your child plays a sport like soccer or football, grass stains are inevitable on your child’s clothes. To get those pesky stains out, soak the stain in a 1-1 mixture of white vinegar and water. Then you can use a cleaner directly on the area by spraying or rubbing it on. Scrub the stain and then wash the clothing as usual.
Gum can easily be removed using the right technique, but it can become a permanent fixture if you attempt to get it off incorrectly. If the amount of gum is small, use an ice cube to freeze the area. Then you can scrape it off easily with a credit card or knife. If the gum is spread all over the clothing, put it into the freezer and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then scrape it off using the same method.
Once you’ve removed the gum, wash the clothes as you usually would. Alternatively, you can use a hot iron or steamer to remove gum.
The best way to get ink off is by blotting it profusely with a microfiber cloth. It’s crucial not to rub it because that will only spread the stain. After blotting it, apply stain remover and let it sit for about 10 minutes before throwing it into the washing machine. If it does not come out, blot it with rubbing alcohol and rewash it.
Painting clothes are always a good thing for children to have when they go to preschool or early elementary classrooms. However, when paint gets on their good clothes, it’s not too difficult to get out when it’s still wet. As soon as it happens, remove the clothing and run it under highly pressurized water, like a hose or a sprayer. As you spray the area, rub the fabric forcefully. Then you can throw it into the washing machine for your regular cycle.
To remove dried paint from clothes, you can spray it with an alcohol-based hairspray. The solution will liquefy it. Use a toothbrush to loosen up the paint, spraying more hairspray as necessary if it’s still dry. After you get it loose, run it under hot water to rinse it off.
Though you hide permanent markers or put them out of reach, somehow, children access Sharpies and end up making bold marks all over the place. To remove Sharpie marks from clothing, use an old towel as a buffer inside the clothing to prevent the stain from transferring through to the other side of the fabric. Then dab the stain using another cloth with rubbing alcohol until you see the stain disappearing.
Once the stain becomes faint, you can put it into the washing machine for complete removal.
Like slime, silly putty is a very difficult substance to remove from clothes because it is gooey and oily. The best way to remove it is to scrape off any material from the clothing, then apply a fabric stain remover to break down and dissolve any oily residue left behind. If the garment is washable, throw it in the washer like normal. You can soak up the leftover residue using powder or chalk and rewash it.
Emily currently lives in Orange County, California after spending four years in Illinois and half a year teaching in Florence, Italy. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Knox College and an M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Diego and has taught English to native speakers and ESL students for over three years. When she’s not working as a School Counselor or writing, she enjoys traveling the world, playing instruments, and blogging about Millennial experiences at Long Live the Twenties.