Poop, Poop, Go Away: How to Remove Those Pesky Poop Stains
Have you ever been holding your precious new baby when her face suddenly turned red, and you felt a little explosion come from her bottom?
Has your baby ever had such a huge blowout that poop was all the way up their back and a diaper change quickly turned into bath time?
Of course, your baby had on those cute white jammies you love so much, and now they are covered in poop stains and you're wondering if there's anything you can do to save money on buying yet another pair.
We ended up with a ton of white baby clothes because we decided not find out baby’s gender. We also use cloth diapers, so I’ve done a lot of experimenting with removing stains to make the clothes and diapers last for our next kids.
Turns out, it is possible to remove those stubborn poop stains; even old ones. In no time at all, you can get your cloth diapers, baby clothes, and even your carpet (yes, this does happen) looking good as new.
In this guide, you will learn the most effective methods, the safest products, and the 6 simple steps I take to remove those pesky poop stains.
What is the Most Simple and Effective Way to Remove Poop Stains?
Sunning alone works wonders for most stains, as it works as a natural bleacher. However, this isn’t always an option if you live somewhere where the winters are dreadfully cold or if you live in an apartment with no place to hang clothes outside. Plus, there always seem to be those stubborn poop stains that need a little something extra.
How Can I Prevent Future Poop Stains?
With cloth diapers, you won’t have to change your baby’s whole outfit when she poops, you won’t have to get her in the bathtub after every poo explosion, and you’ll have less poop-stained clothes.
If you are already using cloth, you can cut up fleece liners to use in your diapers to help catch the poop and prevent stains. The poop comes off fleece liners really nicely, especially once your baby is on solid food.
You can buy a fleece blanket at WalMart for less than $3. You should be able to cut up around 30 liners from one blanket. You can use one of your cloth inserts to get the outline for the cut out.
You can also use Viva paper towels as liners, but that seems to go against the environmental nature of using cloth diapers. With the fleece liners, you can wash and reuse them, which will also save you a lot of money. Plus, if the poop really is that bad, you can always just throw the liner away.
More on Diapers: What are the Best Diaper Rash Creams?
Should I Use Natural or Synthetic Cleaning Products?
Before you get started you’ll need to decide if you would like to stick to natural methods or if you are okay with using synthetic products when needed. This is a personal choice, and each method has its own pros and cons.
Note About Natural Cleaning Products
One major reason why many moms choose natural products is because of the safety factor. Synthetic cleaning products could be harmful long term or if used inappropriately, as they often contain probable and known carcinogens, such as phthalates, phenols, and formaldehyde (source).
Natural products aren’t always easily accessible though, especially if you live in rural areas where natural grocers are nowhere near. You can always order off of Amazon, but that will take at least two days to get. If you’re dealing with a poop explosion today, you’ll probably want a stain remover now, and you can pick up synthetic cleaning products at any grocery store.
Are These Cleaning Products Safe for Cloth Diapers?
If you are trying to remove stains from cloth diapers, you’ll want to make sure that the stain remover and detergent you are using are considered cloth safe. Fluff Love University has a detergent index where you can check to see if the detergent you are using is safe for your cloth and for your baby. All of the stain removers listed in this article have been approved as cloth safe.
How Do I Remove Stubborn Poop Stains?
1. Remove the Poop
Rinse off the poop from cloth diapers and garments as soon as possible. A cloth diaper sprayer that hooks right up to the toilet saved our sanity. If you are dealing with poopy carpet, try to pick up as much as possible (using a plastic bag or rubber gloves), so you don’t mash anything into the floor.
2. Soak in Water
Soak the poop-stained garment with warm water. For cloth diapers and carpet, use a spray bottle to soak the stained stained area.
It’s probably a good idea to just invest in some spare spray bottles to have around the house if you haven’t already. You can usually find these for less than $1.
3. Use One of These Stain Removers
This is when your decision of whether to use natural or synthetic products comes into play. Pick one of these stain removers to use.
Natural Stain Removers
You can either rub the stain stick right on the wetted down stain, or you can take a spray bottle, fill it with hot water, and then use a fine grater to grate some of the stick into the bottle. Mix before spraying.
Either squirt a tiny bit directly on the wet stain, or combine ¼ cup lemon juice with 1 cup water in a spray bottle and spray the stained area.
Synthetic Stain Removers
Simply pour a little bit directly on the stain.
Spray directly on the stain.
Homemade Stain Removers
Dawn dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda:
Dawn isn’t natural, but this trio is sure effective. Combine two parts peroxide with one part Dawn and one part baking soda. Two cups peroxide and one cup each of Dawn and baking soda makes a large batch, and you can store it for future use.
4. Scrub the Area and Let Sit
Use a toothbrush to scrub the stained area after you have applied a stain remover. Old toothbrushes work just fine, or you can pick up a pack at the dollar store. After you’ve scrubbed the stain, be sure to let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes. For cloth diapers, you can either wash them after this time or you can just throw them in the diaper pail until the next wash.
5. Wash Thoroughly
Wash the garments or diapers like you normally would. Be sure that your laundry detergent is baby safe and cloth safe (if you are using cloth diapers). For carpet, give it a good rinse with a spray bottle filled with cool water then pat it dry with a cloth or towel or place a fan on it.
6. Dry in the Sun
If you have the option, hang the garments and/or diapers out to dry in the sun right after the main wash (while they are still wet). If you have colored clothes, or clothes with print on them, be sure to hang dry them inside out to prevent fading. For cloth diapers, be sure to hang dry them “hot dog style,” as to not stretch out the elastics.
Removing Poop Stains Doesn’t Need to Be Difficult
In summary, here’s how you remove stubborn poop stains:
Remove/rinse off poop
Soak the garment/diaper/carpet with water
Use stain remover of choice
Scrub the stained area with a toothbrush and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes. For cloth diapers, you can just throw them in your diaper pail until the next wash.
Wash like you normally would
Dry in the sun if possible
Motherhood is messy, and stains are there to remind us of that. But, it is indeed possible to remove even the most stubborn poop stains. With just a little work, you’ll have those baby clothes, cloth diapers, and maybe even your carpet, back to looking good as new.
Have you found a routine that works great for removing poop stains? Let’s hear what works for you in the comments. Share this with your mama friends that are also knee deep in poopy diapers.