Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites


A lovely word, that…stains. Really sums up the glamour of being a mother, I find. Anyway, I am most flattered to have been asked (by a real live person called Jenn who I don't even know) to start thinking about how to get food debris out of clothing, bibs and soft furnishings. Hmmmmm.

I can tell you what NOT to do, for a kick-off… under no circumstances spray Vanish onto sofas or carpets, as it bleaches the colour right out of them. I am now forced always to sit on the same cushion to conceal the fact that it is markedly paler than the rest of the couch. My husband has pointed out that it also affords the best view of the television but he is just being needlessly critical.

As far as I can make out, banana is indelible. You could use it to write protest graffitti  on council buildings and it would be there until your baby is old enough to vote. I tend to dunk banana bibs in water as soon as she's finished eating. In fact, I think that's perhaps the secret. Make sure that you scrape any actual food off the bib and dunk it in water. After a few days in the laundry bin they start to smell, which I find to be a handy reminder that I need to put another bloody  washing on.

And I do use Vanish for other things, such as peach and pear, with some success, but I'd be very interested to see if anyone has any tips which don't involve me burning my Fairy-soft hands with an industrial solvent.

So come on Mysterious Jenn, whoever you are, or anyone else… can anyone help?

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25 Responses to “Stains”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi there the Mysterious Jenn here. I have not had much luck with Ecover stain remover or nappy sanitiser (Boots boo hiss brand). That really upsets me actually. Am amazed though that sunlight on my stained nappies works like a treat. Still have a few ECO nappy sanitiser brands to try will keep you informed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    good luck, I'm sticking with the thermo-nuclear Vanish until such times as you report a success…

  3. Anonymous says:

    After nearly 8 months of experience, I can report that sunshine is the key. Closely followed by a scoop of oxy-action environmentally unfriendly stain removing stuff in with the non-bio (which is rather like ordering diet coke with one's four cheese pizza). But I have found that Snot Monster's clothes are much less stained now than in the winter. despite Snot Monster being no less messy. In fact, if anything, he now has a Much Longer Reach and a stronger feel for Comedy Timing… Oh, and if anybody's thinking that Autumn's bounty of blackberries would make an interesting BLW experiment, be warned. They take a LOT of sunshine to disappear. Ditto blueberries, which really do produce blue stains. This was news to me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    No success with anything here…everything has brown splodges on it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you want to boost the 'power' of your laundry detergent, add a 1/2 cup of Borax in with your detergent. I do this with my nappies and clothes and it seems to shift more dirt and stains.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I've found either naked baby(just washes off)or failing all else buy new bibs for best and use the old grotty ones for anything else.Works for me anyhow.

  7. Anonymous says:

    try white vinegar in a pre wash, i read this somewhere vinegar is biodegradable and cheap and apparently a wonder cure for almost everything….

  8. Anonymous says:

    do you know i meant to try that but i went to my local shops and all i could find was either malt vinegar or balsamic… the two extremes of the vinegar world. Must remember to look next time i'm in a big supermarket, thanks, Felicity.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sunshine is definitely the best, failing that, my mum's old faithful is rub washing-up liquid (any old kind) into the stain, just before it goes into the machine. But it has to be done on the first wash after staining or it gets ingrained.

  10. Anonymous says:

    i don't know what i'd do without plain old washing up liquid, lansgrim… it's a cure-all as far as i'm concerned.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I leave grotty bibs to soak in vanishoxywotsit overnight then wash with bio powder and soda crystals. Re banana I found that rubbing the stain with the vanish soapbar, rubbing with a lil nailbrush then washing twice with the soda crystals and bio powder did get the stain out. Damn my MIL who buys her posh outfits to ruin.
    White vinegar is excellent for washing machines as it cleans out all the internal soapscum etc so makes your washer work more effectively. I stick some in the prewash bit of the drawer occasionally when washing towels/nappies as it also helps keep them soft if you live in a hardwater area.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Just looking at photos of 9 month and older babies. One of the babes (little Gracie) is wearing the cutest bib!!! Where is it from? I love it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Gracie happens to be one of Babybear's best friends, Louby, i'll see if i can find out for you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Gracie's bib is from john Lewis. We got it last year, but I think they still have them and it cost about £5.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Lorna… off to JL tomorrow. Your Gracie is a little poppet by the way!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Asda do full arms bibs for £2 and I put the bibs in my buacket of napisan water after use, then when I load the washing machine I throw them in along with a generous scoop of Vanish powder.
    How did we get by before Vanish??

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Quokka
    Do you wash them together with your nappies or do you have a special bibs bucket?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi Louby
    I'm afraid I'm a bad mummy and use disposables – I'm just a fan of Napisan for stains generally. I have a bucket I put in anything that is stained from food or pooey (rinsed first to remove the worst) until I do a load of washing then sling it all in the washing machine with a scoop of vanish powder. I am all for convenience and speed here!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hold on. You try and get stains out of the bibs you are using to prevent stains on clothes? You crazy lady? Only joking, I am a seriously slummy mummy now no. 2 has turned up ~~(3 weeks tomorrow). At the moment I'm just trying to keep outfit changes (his and mine) to just once a day. Muslin cloths as nappies and bibs rule.

  20. Anonymous says:

    oh my goodness, congratulations JennT, that's wonderful news. i remember when you announced you were pregnant… lucky you. is your baby a girl or a boy?

  21. Anonymous says:

    mmm, beetroot doesn't wash off skin too easily and Cheeky has had raspberry on her legs all day [bad mother] It took a 30 min soak in the tub to get it off heh! Its a tactic I've often tried to minimize washing lol.

  22. Anonymous says:

    mmm, beetroot doesn't wash off skin too easily and Cheeky has had raspberry on her legs all day [bad mother] It took a 30 min soak in the tub to get it off heh! Its a tactic I've often tried to minimise washing lol.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Reporting from the US, I'm not familiar with Vanish, but I use Shout stain remover, which so far has proved pretty effective on darn near everything (even removed a very large, set-in blood stain after soaking the item for four days–can't state as to whether it would have been as effective in less time).
    Also, not sure how it works over there, but when you sign up for a Consumer Reports subscription, not only do you get consumer satisfaction results on just about everything, they also give you a little guide called “How to Clean Practically Anything”. It has not failed me yet, and has earned me a few I-told-you-so's when my husband and I have tried to solve a problem his way vs. my way… hehehehehehe….(I'm fairly convinced that that's worth the price of the subscription all by itself).
    The guide's recommended treatment of fruit and vegetable juice stains:
    “Blot with detergent solution (1 tsp mild, clear dishwashing (washing up) liquid (not liquid dishwasher soap) and 1 cup warm water). If stain remains, try ammonia solution (1/2 tbsp ammonia in 1/2 cup water, and if that doesn't work, try a vinegar solution (1/2 cup vinegar in 2/3 cup water).”
    happy blotting!
    Of course, this was listed under the fabric and carpet stain removal section, so I'm sure the blotting was meant more for the carpet end of the spectrum…if you've got other things to do than fiddle around with blotting at a stain, I'm sure putting the offending bib/item of clothing in a soak of either the dish detergent or vinegar solutions would do just as well (I'm kind of leary of the ammonia, though..).

  24. […] Thank you so much, Siobhan, for agreeing to keep a diary of your baby-led weaning experiences as you go along. This week, some trepidation is to be expected, you’re just getting started. And we DID tell you about the banana stains! […]

  25. Anonymous says:

    I too was surprised to discover the nasty stains left by banana. I’ve had some success in removing dried banana stains using a mixture of 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup dish soap and 1/4 cup baking soda. The success of this concoction seems to depend on the type of fabric. It’s worked for your regular cotton T-shirt type material like for our daughter’s onsies and shirts.
    I basically apply the mixture and scrub quite a bit, then rinse. I then reapply and leave it on the clothing overnight. Then scrub again. Usually after sitting and the second scrub it’s looking pretty good.
    Her terry cloth face clothes is another story :(

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