This isn’t going to be pleasant but as with many things in life, you just have to learn to get through it. Before I had my own children, I assumed that baby poop accidents would be few and far between and that the stain could easily be removed in washing machine. I was very wrong. We didn’t find out the sex of my firstborn so I accumulated a lot of lovely pure white clothing. I can assure you they weren’t white for long as babies do tend to spring poop explosions on you, or any other precious and sometimes costly items that are within reach. After the initial shock of the disaster, the clean-up operation can be equally mind boggling. Looking back, I did dispose of quite a few items in haste and wish I’d spent a little more time researching techniques to remove those stinky stains without leaving permanent mental scars.
- Act fast
Although you may go into a state of shock in the first instance, it’s important to step into action and prevent the poop from drying into the fibres of the item it has attacked. Wash out fresh poop with cold water (as hot water sets the stain). If you act fast enough, you may be able to wash out any trace of a stain by washing it on a warm setting in the washing machine.
- Launder dirtied items separately
It goes without saying that it’s traumatic enough soiling a handful of items, so you don’t want to spread faeces around in the drum of your washing machine to anoint other items that have thus been spared.
- Use the power of the sun
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate or if it’s the right time of year, after you’ve rinsed the offending item sunning alone may do the trick. It works as a natural bleacher and doesn’t cost a cent.
- Invest in spray bottles
Grab a couple of spray bottles that are easily available from the dollar store. Not only are they handy when watering household plants, but when there’s an emergency and you’re nowhere near the bathroom, you can use the water spray to remove any unsightly and stinky residue before moving onto a more thorough cleansing process.
- Recommended stain removers
There are quite a few good ones on the markets but the most well known are OxiClean White Revive and Shout Stain Remover. Remember that before you go in for the kill, you should try using a little old-fashioned dish soap first as it might be enough to do the trick. If you’d prefer to stick to something which is non-toxic and biodegradable, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. BunchaFarmers also do a good one. Alternatively, some people swear by lemon juice. Mix ¼ cup lemon juice with 1 cup water in a spray bottle and spray on the stain.
- Old toothbrushes have many purposes
After applying a stain remover, use an old toothbrush to scrub the area and leave it to work for about 15 minutes. If you don’t have any, pop to the dollar store to buy a pack and keep safe for the next time. There probably will be a next time (sorry!)
- Using cloth diapers? Try this
If you’re trying to remove poop from a cloth diaper, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe for your baby’s skin. Fluff Love University has created a detergent index where you can check which detergent will be best for the material you are washing.
- Don’t throw out your well-loved rug…just yet
Start by removing the poop by lifting as much off the surface as you can with a disposable spoon. Try your hardest to not push it deeper into the fibres. Then make a solution of dish soap, water and vinegar (to mask the smell) and sponge it onto the area. Use an old cotton or microfibre cloth to blot the rug until the liquid has been sufficiently absorbed. Repeat this process until the stain is out and lay the carpet outside in the sun (if possible) to air dry.
I do hope all the talk of your little one’s poop hasn’t set off your gag reflex. Parenthood is fun, but at times, gross so try reciting the ancient proverb, ‘This too shall Pass’ while wiping up your cherub’s mess.