What Causes Yellow Stains on Stored Baby Clothes?

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Baby clothes are meant to be soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. Sadly, stains can still mar their beauty. When you’re ready to pack up your baby’s clothes for storage, you might notice that some things look a little yellowed. Unfortunately, these stains are one of the most difficult types to remove from baby clothing. The good news is that there are several ways to remove the yellow stain.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Stored Baby Clothes?

 Yellow stains on white stored baby clothes are caused by a number of things.

Bacteria and mold

The culprits are bacteria and mold. As you know, babies are notorious for getting things dirty and wet, so it’s not uncommon for clothes to become exposed to some pretty nasty substances. 

While many of these stains will wash out easily with a little detergent, others can be much more stubborn and difficult to remove completely.

Soap Residue

Another common cause of yellow stains on baby clothes is excess soap residue. Baby products contain more detergent than adult laundry, so when you wash your child’s clothing with adult fabric softener or detergent, it can leave behind a residue that can turn yellow over time.

Dirt and Dust

If your baby’s clothes are stored in an area that is very dusty or dirty, some of the dust will likely cling to the fabric as it accumulates over time. This can lead to yellow stains on the clothing and other items stored there as well.

Sweat and Urine

Stored baby clothes that have been worn by babies who sweat profusely or have urinated in them may also develop yellow stains over time. This is because sweat contains some amount of salt in it, which can cause discoloration on fabrics over time. 

Also, if your child has a diaper rash and then wears those same clothes without washing them first, this can cause yellow stains because of the urine leaking out of their diapers onto their clothing during wear time.

Breast Milk Stains

If you breastfeed your baby while storing her clothes away in drawers or closets, there is a chance that they may become stained with breast milk over time due to contact with breast milk-stained garments or bedding materials.

Dirt and Dust

If your baby’s clothes are stored in an area that is very dusty or dirty, some of the dust will likely cling to the fabric as it accumulates over time. This can lead to yellow stains on the clothing and other items stored there as well.

Sweat and Urine

Stored baby clothes that have been worn by babies who sweat profusely or have urinated in them may also develop yellow stains over time. This is because sweat contains some amount of salt in it, which can cause discoloration on fabrics over time.

Also, if your child has a diaper rash and then wears those same clothes without washing them first, this can cause yellow stains because of the urine leaking out of their diapers onto their clothing during wear time.

How Do You Remove Yellow Stains from Baby Clothes That Have Been Stored?

Yellow stains are common in baby clothes, especially when your baby is teething. If you have a little one who chews on his or her clothes, the yellow stain can be a constant battle. Luckily, there are some ways to remove the yellow stains from baby clothes and keep them looking clean and white.

Use Oxiclean

OxiClean is a laundry detergent that can be used for all types of stains. If you have white baby clothes with yellow spots, follow these steps to remove the stains from your clothing:

  1. Mix one cup of OxiClean with one gallon of warm water in a bucket. 
  2. Pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle and shake well before each use.
  3. Spray the stained area lightly with the solution and let sit for 5 hours or overnight.
  4. Wash as usual using hot water if possible (not warm). The solution shouldn’t be too hot because it might set some stains permanently on the fabric (like blood stains).

 Vinegar

Because vinegar is such a strong acid, it can actually break down some of the dyes in your baby’s clothing. This will help get rid of the yellow stains that may have been caused by bodily fluids or food coloring. To use vinegar to remove yellow stains from clothes:

  1. Pour 2 cups of vinegar into a bowl and place it in the sink or bathtub (wherever you want to work). 
  2. Add warm water until it reaches the bottom of your clothing item. Soak
  3.  your stained garment for 30 minutes before washing as usual in warm water with detergent. The vinegar should remove most of the stain so that only faint traces remain after washing.

Baking Soda and Lemon

To get those stains out, all you need is some lemon juice and baking soda.

The combination of lemon juice and baking soda will lighten even the most stubborn stains. It works by breaking down the oils that cause yellowing in fabrics.

You can use this method on any type of fabric, including cotton, wool, silk, and rayon. 

  1. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of liquid (or 2 tablespoons if using a gallon). Shake well before each use.
  2. Spray onto the stain and rub gently with a soft cloth until the stain disappears or lightens significantly (allow time for full effect). You may have to repeat this process several times to remove all traces of stain from your baby’s clothing
  3. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

How to Get Yellow Stains Out of Old Baby Clothes

It’s hard to believe that a little one who used to wear your baby clothes could be so big they don’t fit anymore. If you have some old baby clothes sitting in storage, you might notice that they’ve yellowed over time. You can get rid of this discoloration with a few simple steps.

Step 1

Gather the supplies you need before you start. You will need white vinegar, baking soda, a large bowl, and distilled water.

Step 2

Pour 1 cup of distilled water into the bowl and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The mixture should be about as thick as milk.

Step 3

Add your dirty baby clothes to the bowl and mix them up until all of the stains are gone. Leave them in for about 30 minutes or until they are completely soaked through with the mixture.

Step 4

Place your stained baby clothes outside on a sunny day so that they can dry out naturally. This will help remove any remaining stains from your clothing as well as prevent any mold growth from occurring inside your home when it rains or snows later on down the road.

How Do You Keep White Clothes from Turning Yellow in Storage?

While you may think that white clothes will always be white, the truth is that white garments can turn yellow over time. This happens when dyes in the fabric degrade from exposure to light and heat.

Some fabrics are more prone to fading than others. For example, whites with a high level of polyester content tend to fade faster than those made from cotton or linen. The type of dye used in the fabric also makes a difference, some colors fade more quickly than others.

If you want your white clothes to stay fresh-looking for years to come, follow these tips:

Store them properly

Store them together so they’re not exposed to bright lights or heat sources such as radiators or dryers. Hang them on padded hangers or fold them neatly so they don’t crease (which can lead to permanent yellowing). If you must store whites in plastic bins, use clear plastic bins instead of opaque ones they allow more light through without letting heat build up inside the bin.

Avoid heat, sunlight, and chlorine

Clothes that are left in direct sunlight or near a heat source can fade, while chlorine bleach can damage the fibers.

Use cool water

Hot water can fade colors as well as set stains in clothing. Wash your whites with cold water and mild soap, then rinse thoroughly before placing them in the dryer on low heat or line-drying.

Don’t overdry your clothes in the dryer

Overdrying creates static electricity that attracts lint which will show up on even the whitest of fabrics and over time it breaks down fibers, causing them to pill and shrink. Line-dry whenever possible.


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