With two active kids, I had a growing pile of clothes with bad, yellow, set-in stains. Either the stain went through the washer and dryer and set in, or baby clothes magically yellowed with time while they were in storage even though they didn’t have stains when you put them away. I’ve tried many different stain removers over the years, and while they did a decent job with new stains, they were no match for stains that had already set in. I had a grand plan to dye some of Charlie’s onesies a darker color so I could reuse them for Olive, but I never got around to it. My pile of stained clothes just grew larger.

Then through the magical world of Pinterest, I discovered a way to get virtually any stain out, no matter how old or set in. Kids and stained clothing go hand in hand, so I use this method every time I do the laundry, whether it’s for white or color clothes, and I’ve never had any problems with fading.


For new stains:

1) Create a paste of Oxiclean and water.
2) Apply it to the stain using a toothbrush and let it sit for 5 minutes.
3) Wash clothing in washer as usual.
4) Inspect clothing before they go into the dryer to make sure the stain has been removed.

If the above method didn’t work or if I’m trying to remove an old, set in stain, I use the following method:

1) Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above.
2) Fill a bucket with hot water and a scoop of Oxiclean and soak the stained clothing for 24 hours.
3) Wash the clothes in your washer like usual. You can add vinegar to the fabric softener compartment (or use a fabric softener ball) to be sure you remove all the Oxiclean residue. I always do an extra rinse to make sure they’re clean.
4) Inspect clothing before they go into the dryer to make sure the stain has been removed.

I’ve been able to remove virtually every stain this way. But for the truly set in stains, I break out the big guns:

1) Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above.
2) Set the clothing out in the sun.
3) Inspect the clothing and reapply the Oxiclean solution every couple of hours until the stain is completely bleached out.

.  .  .  .  .

There are several other stain-fighting formulas I’ve since come across that I’d definitely like to try. This popular method uses hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dish soap and baking soda. Dawn is great at removing grease and oil stains (which is why they use it to clean birds in oil spills!).

1) Mix 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part regular blue Dawn dish soap and baking soda.
2) Apply to the stain and let it set for up to a day. Be careful on darker colors of certain fabrics because there is a chance of bleaching.
3) Wash clothing in washer like usual.
4) Store solution in a dark bottle (peroxide loses its efficacy if exposed to light) for future use.

Another product that has rave reviews is an old school stain fighter called Biz. It can be a little hard to find in local stores but you can purchase it through Amazon. Many people use it to remove stains from delicate items like christening gowns or vintage clothing and quilts.

1) Mix hot water and one scoop Biz bleach with Dawn dish soap.
2) Soak for as long as it takes to get the stain out…. up to a week!
3) Replace the soap/water solution if you are soaking for a very long time.

What is your go-to method for getting out the toughest of stains on clothes?