Recharge rituals in a busy season
Considering a second home in the Midwest – would love your input!

The best way to remove laundry stains


Kids and stains go together like...glitter and literally any surface. There just seems to be a universal law of attraction. And it's not just kids' clothes that get stained. Your clothes too will bear witness to whatever meal or messy crafts have occurred. Babies and toddlers are especially great stain-makers. From diaper blow outs to delightfully smearing a snack over their whole being, we are in a season with lots of laundry stains!

I wasn't always great about getting stains out of the boys' clothes when they were little. This time around I've perfected my laundry stain treatment and it's bringing me joy. There's something very satisfying about taking a stained little shirt and transforming it back to its clean, bright self. It's like a happy check mark next to a task.

Here's my stain-fighting method:



+ plastic washing tub

+ Zote laundry bar soap

+ OxiClean powder detergent




+ First I'll wet the stained area of the clothing. Then I scrub it with Zote soap. My friend swears by Zote and gifted a bar to me before Maeve was born. Now I'm hooked on it too! Other friends have recommended Fels Naptha soap which I bet is similar.

+ Next I run warm water and fill the washing tub with enough water to cover the clothes. I add in about 1/4 cup of Oxiclean detergent and mix it around with my hand. Then I drop in the stained clothes, swish them around, and let them sit for a while, usually a couple hours but sometimes overnight. How long they sit is more a function of how busy day is than any scientific method that I have.

+ After the clothes have soaked I wring them out and then run them through a normal wash cycle. And that's it! I've been surprised so many times at the stains that have come out of clothing.



A few other notes:

+ Until recently I would soak stained clothes in our bathroom sink since we don't have a utility sink. But when I was recently in Austin my mom had a small plastic tub that she uses for hand-washing and soaking clothes. Genius! I bought one when I got home and that $2 purchase has elevated my stain fighting regimen.

+ I put aside any stained clothing items on my bathroom counter where they wait to be treated. Sometimes it'll be a day or two before I'm able to treat them but I'm still usually able to get stains out.

+ I think the scrubbing with a stain-fighting soap followed by a stain-fighting soak is the trick. Previously I have tried just treating a stain with something like OxiClean spray, or just soaking clothes in OxiClean, and have not had consistently great results. Combining the two seems to work miracles!

+ The Zote bar soap is large and I couldn't find a soap container to fit it. So I cut the bar down to fit in a plastic container that I bought at the drugstore. The rest of the bar is in a ziplock bag on our laundry room shelf.

+ My sister is expecting a baby girl in November (!!!!) so recently my mom, sister, and I went through baby clothes that Maeve has outgrown. My mom remarked at how clean all of the clothes looked. It was a proud laundry moment.


So that's how I'm keeping laundry stain-free at our house. Do you have any stain-fighting tips or products to share? I would love to know!