Laundry Care Guide for Breastmilk Stains

January 05, 2015

Laundry Care Guide for Breastmilk Stains

Welcome to motherhood and an endless cycle of washing!!

Right from the start of your breastfeeding journey, getting a dribble of milk or baby sick on your clothes will be a daily hazard. As will the risk of baby poo leaking onto baby vests/onesies (yellow and bitty for breastfed babies, sorry to be gross). And as your baby moves onto solids, you will find another host of messy laundry to deal with from fruit juices to pasta sauce. These stains - known as Protein Stains -  are notoriously hard to remove from clothing on a normal wash cycle. 

To keep your nursing and baby clothes in tip top condition and stain free, we’ve put together a helpful laundry guide for you.

Take preventative action
Keep a supply of muslin cloths handy for tucking alongside your baby’s check whilst they nurse and for placing under their chin or over your shoulder whilst you wind them. This should help catch the worst of any dribbles or baby sick that can stain clothes. A soft bib also works well if you don’t have a sicky baby, whilst other babies may require more mopping up after feeds! If you think your baby sick is not a result of releasing trapped wind, please seek immediate advice from your doctor. 

Change nappies regularly and swiftly when you hear your baby poo to avoid them over spilling into their clothing. Check that their nappies are snug against their legs and the ‘frilly’ part of the elasticated leg is not tucked in/under. Some nappies are better than others at containing their contents! 

Washing powder
Baby skin can be rather sensitive. To avoid irritation, it's generally advised to use a mild, fragrance free, non bio washing detergent for washing clothing, bedding & other items that come into contact with your newborn’s skin. A rash can be a sign of skin irritation or allergic reaction and should always be checked with your GP. 

The difference between bio and non bio washing detergents
Biological detergents contain enzymes that are good at breaking down stains. They work at much lower washing temperatures making them more eco friendly and cost effective for your laundry. However, the enzymes can irritate sensitive skin and may not be suitable for your baby.

Non biological detergents do not contain the enzymes which help break down protein stains such as baby spew and poo but are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Laundry will require using a hotter wash cycle to clean effectively. Some companies claim their non bio detergents work better than others at removing tough stains.

How to remove stains from clothing
1. When treating a protein stain such as breastmilk, formula, food, baby poo or milk sick you will need to soak the item in cold water to loosen the stain and any dried-on lumps.

For greasy stains from baby oils, nappy creams or lanolin based nipple creams you will need to apply cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb the oil. Scrape residue off after 10 minutes or so. 

2. Spray or treat the stain with a pre wash stain remover like Vanish Oxi Action Pre-Treat Spray or Ecover Stain Remover and use as directed, letting it soak if necessary. 

3. Use a soft bristled brush to gently work the stain remover into the fabric if required but do not scrub as this will damage the material.

4. Wash on a hot cycle using a non bio washing detergent but ensure you adhere to the temperatures stated on the garment wash labels.

5. Any remaining stains can be re-treated after a wash in the same manner as above or you could try lightening the stains au naturel, by hanging items on the washing line in the sunshine. 

As always, please check the wash labels on your garments before laundering.

Washing our clothing

Our nursing wear is made from a lovely soft and supple Viscose/Elastane blend that bounces back to it’s original shape after use. Viscose is a natural based, breathable fabric similar to cotton. It is made from the cellulose of wood pulp or cotton and then further processed to make Rayon/Viscose. We advise washing our garments at 30’ and ironing on a low heat. Some garments can be tumble dried on a low setting whilst others like our pointelle wrap cardi should be dried flat and other lace trim items like our PJ Bottoms & Lace Trim Soft Scoop Nursing Vest should not be tumble dried at all as the heat can shrink and damage the lace. Hanging items in something like a DriBuddy however is a good way to air dry our range of clothing quickly, reducing the need to iron an enabling you to get the top back in use quickly!

Our garments are designed in Britain and made in Portugal to achieve a high quality finish at affordable prices. If you care for your items well, our products will retain a good resale value when you no longer need them.

Disclaimer: Always check your wash label instructions prior to treating or washing your items to ensure you launder appropriately. 


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