How to Get Formula Stains Out of Baby Clothes

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When you have a baby, you quickly learn that formula stains are a part of life. You can do everything “right” and still be left with stained clothes. That’s because the formula is essentially milk powder mixed with water, so it has the same protein that causes milk stains. But before you toss those clothes into the trash, here’s how to get formula stains out of baby clothes.

To get formula stains out of baby clothes, try using a stain remover, vinegar, and water, or rubbing alcohol and water. For the best results, you should treat the stain as soon as possible. If the clothes are still stained with formula after a wash, you can use bleach or baking soda to help remove them.

Formula stains are very common when you have a baby. You will have to have a good laundry routine to keep your baby’s clothes looking clean. This article discusses how to get formula stains out of baby clothes.

What is Baby Formula? 

Baby formula is a liquid or powdered food designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of babies from birth to 12 months. It used to be that almost all babies were breastfed. Nowadays, most are fed some combination of breast milk and formula.

Does Formula Stain Clothes

Yes. The formula does stain clothes because it contains a high concentration of iron, which is a dark yellow color. If formula gets on your clothes, it may leave a yellowish mark that could require special treatment to get rid of. 

This is especially true for white clothes, which will show the stains more noticeably than colored clothing.

Why Does Baby Formula Stain Clothes

Baby Formula contains milk proteins and milk sugar known as lactose. When formula dries on fabric, these milk proteins and sugar crystals harden and become difficult to remove. 

However, if you treat the stains promptly and use the right cleaning methods and products, you can get them out of your baby’s clothing.

The type of stain that results from formula depends on the ingredients in the formula, including whether it is cow’s milk-based or soy-based. 

Soy-based formulas tend to be more prone to staining than cow’s milk-based formulas because soy contains more of the color-causing compounds known as chromophores than cow’s milk does. These compounds are responsible for giving food its color.

Does Formula Stains Come Out of Clothes

Yes, formula stains can be removed from clothes. If you get baby formula stains on baby clothes, use an enzyme laundry detergent to pre-treat the stained area before washing with a regular detergent. 

If you don’t have an enzyme laundry detergent on hand, you can use a bar soap instead (such as Fels Naptha). Rub the soap into the stain to help break it up and wash as usual. 

You might need to repeat this process before the stain is totally gone.

How to Get Formula Stains Out of Baby Clothes

Stains from the formula on baby’s clothes are one of the most common problems you’ll face as a new parent. Here’s how to remove them:

Use Liquid Dishwashing Detergent

Blot away access formula

 First, gently blot away any excess milk formula with an absorbent cloth, without rubbing it into the fabric.

Rinse with cold water

If there is still a lot of milk left on the fabric (and who could blame it?), then you’ll need to rinse it out in cold water before you can proceed.

Making sure that the stain has been fully rinsed out first is crucial because if you use warm or hot water on a fresh formula stain, it can set the stain even further into the fabric. 

Dab with detergent

Once you’ve made sure the fabric is cold and rinsed out, dab some detergent onto the formula stains and let it sit for about 30 minutes. 

You may also use an enzyme-based pre-soak product like OxiClean or Zout (which are great for all sorts of stains).

Wash as usual

After -Add the garment to your washing machine and wash as usual (you can use a regular amount of detergent). I almost always run my baby’s clothes through at least two cycles and yes, I do wash them separately from our other laundry. 

If there is still a faint yellowish mark after washing, soak it in oxygenated bleach (the kind safe for colors) for at least eight hours before rinsing or throwing it back into the wash.

Ammonia or Stain Remover Detergent

Removing formula stains from baby’s clothes can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

  1. Remove excess formula by blotting with a cloth or sponge. 
  2. Dab the area with one tablespoon of water mixed with one tablespoon of Dawn Ultra dish soap or ammonia. Gently rub this into the stain. Wait five minutes, then rinse the area with cold water. 
  3. Spray the area with white vinegar and rub it in gently. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  4. Apply either Dawn Ultra dish soap or OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover to the stain and gently rub it in, letting it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it out with cool water. 
  5. Wash according to care instructions, making sure to use plenty of detergents and an extra rinse cycle if there is still a trace of the stain visible after washing on a warm (but not hot) water setting. 
  6. If any trace of the stain remains, repeat Steps 3-5 until it disappears completely.

How to Remove Old Baby Formula Stains from Clothes

  1. Wet the stain with cold water. This will dilute the stain and help prevent it from spreading.
  2. Fill a bucket with about 4 gallons of warm water and add 2 cups of white vinegar (the cheaper kind will do) to it and mix well. 
  3. Gently dip your baby’s clothing into the bucket and let it soak for 30 minutes or so, without rubbing or wringing. 
  4. You can also use a toothbrush or wooden spoon to gently massage out any stubborn stains (make sure they are not too abrasive). 
  5. When you’re ready to rinse, lift one item at a time out of the bucket and squeeze out as much water as possible before you drop it into your washing machine. 
  6. Then turn on your washer’s spin cycle this will remove any remaining water from your clothes. 

How to Get Formula Stains Out of Couch

Your couch may be used as a feeding station for your baby. So, you can expect to see some stains from the formula on the fabric. Luckily, these formula stains can be removed with a few household ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done:

When a spill occurs, it’s important to act fast. 

  1. Mix two cups of cool water and one tablespoon of dish-washing detergent in a bowl. 
  2. Using clean white cloths, blot the stain with the detergent solution. 
  3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed. 
  4. Repeat until the stain disappears or is no longer absorbing into the cloth. 
  5. Once you’ve removed as much formula as possible, apply cool water to the area to rinse away any formula residue from the couch’s fabric. 
  6. Blot dry the area with a clean towel or cloth.

Sofa cleaning tip: For best results, always test an inconspicuous area of your couch for colorfastness before attempting this stain removal method on the entire piece of furniture.

How to Remove Similac Formula Stains

Similac is a popular brand of formula. If you have a baby, you may have had some Similac stains on your clothes at some point. If you have gotten formula stains on your clothing or linens, we can help you with some tips for getting them out.

  1. Mix dish-washing detergent and cool water to make a solution.
  2. Use a clean white cloth dipped in this solution to remove any bits of solid food left on the fabric. 
  3. Rinse well in cool water.
  4. Soak in a solution of warm water and liquid enzyme laundry detergent for 30 minutes.
  5. Launder with additional liquid enzyme detergent and warm water, using chlorine bleach if safe for fabric (check clothing label). If the stain remains, soak in an oxygen bleach solution such as OxiClean before washing again.

How Do You Get Yellow Milk Stains Out of Baby Clothes?

Yellow milk stains are some of the notoriously difficult to get out of, but if you take care of them quickly, you’ll have a better chance of removing the stain.

  1. Scrape or brush off any excess. 
  2. Mix enzyme heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent, such as Tide, with cold water. 
  3. Soak for at least 30 minutes. 
  4. Rinse well with cold water. 
  5. Launder the affected fabric immediately using the hottest water recommended for the item and using chlorine bleach, if safe for that fabric. 
  6. For white fabrics only, you can also try soaking in a solution of two parts bleach to one part water for five minutes, then rinsing well with cold water. 

How Do You Get Old Stains Out of Toddler Clothes?

If you have a toddler, then you probably have at least one toddler outfit that is covered in unidentified stains. Toddlers are tiny and quick, so when they get into a mess, it can be really hard to catch them in the act or identify exactly what’s on their clothes.

Luckily, there is a way to remove old stains from toddler clothes without having to know exactly what caused them.

Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing old stains from toddler clothes because it doesn’t bleach out the color and it also gets rid of odors.

  1. To use it, first, rinse the article of clothing under cool water. 
  2. Then apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and let sit for about an hour. This should be enough time for the peroxide to break up all those mysterious messes your little one got into. 
  3. Once you’re done letting the peroxide soak in, wash as usual with natural dish soap (because dish soap is formulated to break down grease).

How Do You Get Rid of Baby Drool Stains?

When your baby’s teeth are coming in, they drool a lot. This is a normal part of teething, and it can last for months. The constant dribbling can lead to drool stains on the baby’s clothes, especially around the chin area. Getting rid of these stains isn’t hard if you have the right tools.

  1. To remove baby drool stains from your baby’s clothing, rub the stain with a stain remover and pre-treat the fabric. 
  2. Then, pour some liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before washing the item in warm water.
  3. Scrub the stained area gently with a soft brush or toothbrush and then launder as usual. 
  4. Air-dry the garment rather than machine drying it until you’re sure that all traces of the drool stain have been removed.

Final Words

All of the above-listed methods are tried and tested. The one that works best with your child’s clothes and is hassle-free will be the one that you’ll end up using. So if you’re having issues getting the formula stains out of your baby’s clothes, try out any or all of these tips and see what works best for you.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Please be sure to read an important note about the cause of yellow stains on baby clothes before cleaning your garments. Also, please don’t forget to leave a comment below with your favorite stain-fighting tips. Thanks so much for reading.


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