How to wash clothes with poop on them Without Getting All Messy (7 Simple Steps)

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diaper with poop


Babies are cute, but cleaning up after them is no fun. Especially the daily soiled nappies can be real pain to get clean.

The trick is to clean up baby poop as soon as it’s happened.

Poop that is left to set will be more difficult to remove or may leave a bad stain.

The sooner you get to work on a poo stain, the better your chances of removing it altogether.

If you get to work immediately, you are more likely to recover the original pure white color of your baby’s diaper. It’s also the best chance to get your baby’s clothes spotless if some got onto it.

Here are some steps on how to get baby poop out of clothes.

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Step 1- Remove the excrement with a spoon or similar utensil to get the most of it off the material.

Don’t rub the spot. 

That will just embed the excrement in the cloth and make the stain worse.

Also, don’t use a brush – the brushing movements will rub remove a lot of the mess, but it will rub just as much of the mess into the material.

Step 2-Rinse under running water

Rinse clothes and diapers under running water. The water will dislodge a lot of the mess.

Use cold water. Warm or hot water will set the stain.

The best way to get rid of the poo is to let the water run through the fabric from the opposite side of where the poo is stuck. The water pressure will lift the excrement off the fabric. When you have got rid of all the solids, rinse the whole diaper thoroughly in the running water.

If you need more pressure and want to do the job quickly you can use a water jet which can be fixed next to your bathroom sink or any convenient location.

Step 3-Soak the stains

Once you have rinsed the clothes and diapers and gotten rid of the solids, you will be left with the stains that are very difficult to get rid of.

You will need to soak the washing in cold water for some time using a stain remover to get rid of the stains.

The best is to soak the stained washing overnight preferably in an eco-friendly laundry soaker and stain remover.

These products can be used to soak soiled washing because they have been specially developed for that purpose.

Choose a product that doesn’t contain any phosphates, optical brighteners, or synthetic perfumes. These ingredients tend to cause allergic reactions in babies with delicate skin. A product that is an oxygen-based stain remover is the best.

Step 4-Pre-wash the washing

Once the washing has soaked overnight or for a couple of hours during the day, rinse it thoroughly in cold water. The stains will probably still be visible.

At this stage, don’t be tempted to wash the clothes with warm water and soap.

Pre-wash it gently in cold water with a mild laundry detergent before you put it in the washing machine.

Washing stained clothes in hot or warm water will only set the stains, not remove them.

Remember to keep diapers and clothes that your baby has soiled separate from the rest of the laundry. Rinse it separately and wash it separately.

Step 5-Choose the right detergent

 Natural cleaning products are best for your baby’s delicate skin.

These products used to be inferior to general detergents, but the latest products are just as good as ordinary washing powders.

Consider using a natural detergent.

Most natural laundry detergents contain enzymes. Some of these enzymes work to break down fats and oils, while others break down protein chains. The ability of the enzymes to break down fats and proteins makes them prime stain removers. 

Don’t you need a special detergent for baby clothes? No, you don’t. You just need a product that is fragrance-free and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals.

Whatever washing powder you decide to use, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t use enough washing powder the washing won’t come out clean. If you use too much of it, some of the washing powder will be left on the clothes.

You can also use a fabric softener.

Step 6- To wash baby clothes in hot or cold water?

For baby clothes, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. For heavily soiled cloth nappies, set the washing machine to the highest temperature.

As we all know, doing laundry using cold water is preferable because it is environmentally friendly since no energy is used to heat the water. Most baby clothing is better off being washed in cold water, but if it is heavily soiled and the manufacturer’s label allows it, wash the baby clothes in warm water with a mild detergent.

People usually think that you have to wash clothes in hot water to get it clean, but that’s not true. Today’s washing machines agitate the washing in such a way that cold water is quite adequate to get the washing clean. Besides, today’s detergents are formulated for optimal performance in cold water.

Step 7- Remove Stains from clothes

Use a Chlorine bleach or white vinegar on the poopy clothes for the second rinse cycle.

Step 8-Use sun power

Dry your cleaned laundry in the sun. There are many advantages to hanging clothes in the sun.

  • It’s free.
  • It’s an eco-friendly method to dry clothes.
  • The sun disinfects clothes. Bacteria and microorganisms can’t survive the harshness of the sun’s UV rays.
  • The sun acts like a bleach, leaving white clothes and diapers whiter.
  • It bleaches out stains.
  • Clothes that have hung in the sun smells clean and fresh.
  • Clothes that are dried in the sun last longer than clothes that are dried in a dryer.

Don’t hang your colored clothes or prints out in the full sun as the sun will fade the colors. Turn them inside out and hang them outside but not in the full sun.

Extra tips for removing stubborn poo stains

TIP #1 You can add bleach to the washing powder to help clean the laundry that has poo stains. You can use chlorine bleach for whites and special bleach that is color-safe for colored laundry.

TIP #2 If you decide to use bleach on your baby’s clothes, make sure rinse them twice to get rid of any residues as bleach is harsh and can irritate your baby’s skin.

TIP #3 For a quick, temporary solution, use a stain removal pen on the stains. First, remove the poo and rinse the clothing out thoroughly. Then apply the stain removal pen. Rub the stain stick onto the stain or you can grate the stick and put it with water into a spray bottle. Then spray the mixture onto the stain.

TIP #4 You can use dishwasher detergent to get soiled laundry clean. Mix equal parts of the powder with water to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the stain and allow it to sit for 15 – 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the paste off the clothing or diapers and then wash as usual.

TIP #5 Vinegar and lemon juice are both known for their cleaning qualities. First, rinse off the poo thoroughly. Then, mix 1 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup lemon juice and soak the soiled laundry in it for 30 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly and wash as usual. Hang the washing out in the sun to bleach clean some more.

TIP #6 Many people use baking soda in their general wash. Baking soda enhances the working of detergents so washing comes out even cleaner.

Baking soda also helps bleach to work better. You can use 1/2 cup of bleach and 1/2 cup of baking soda together to clean cloth diapers or white clothes.

Another reason to use baking soda for your laundry is its ability to get rid of smells. When you use baking soda with bleach, the bleach smell won’t be so strong.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get poop smell out of clothes

If you are worried about poop  smells in clothes, don’t let the clothes lie around with the poo on it.

Remove the poo from the clothes immediately and rinse out the clothing.

After you have soaked the stain and scrubbed it, you are ready to put the clothes in the washing machine. At this stage, fill the washing machine with water and add detergent.

Also, add one cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Stir the water and add the clothes.

Let it soak for about an hour and then do the washing cycle.

Once the cycle is finished, hang the clothes in the full sun. The sun has a way to make clothes smell fresh and clean.

How to get breastfed baby poop out of clothes

Exclusively breastfed baby poo is water-soluble, so it dissolves in water. This means it’s easy to wash out of diapers and baby clothing.

  • Immediately rinse the clothes in cold water. Do it as soon as you can. First, get rid of the poo by shaking it into the loo. Then, rinse the clothing in cold water.
  • Use dish soap to wash the clothing. Many people online recommend Dawn. Put the dish soap on the stained place and wash the clothes thoroughly. Then rinse the clothes in cold water. Wring out excess water.
  • Put the washing in with the rest of the laundry. For these baby poop stains you don’t special stain removers or harsh detergents.
  • Don’t use hot water. Hot water sets stains, especially protein-based stains like poo stains.
  • If there is still a slight stain when the washing is done, hanging it in the sun will probably take care of it. The sun naturally bleaches out stains and kills bacteria. If at all possible hang out your washing in the sun to dry. It will smell fresh and clean when you take it off the line.

How to get milk stains out of baby clothes

The key to removing this kind of stain successfully, is to treat it immediately. Breast milk stains contain fat and protein.

The best way to remove a stain that is protein- and fat-based, is to use a detergent that contains enzymes to break down the protein and fat.

Wash the clothes with the detergent in cool water. Don’t use hot water. You don’t need to soak the clothes first.

Use the same treatment for breast milk stains and formula stains. You will find that breast milk stains are easier to get out.

If you can’t treat a formula stain immediately, soak the stain in a bucket filled with cool water and add some oxygen-based bleach. You can leave the stained clothes soaking in the bucket for up to 24 hours.

After soaking the stained clothes, scrub them thoroughly, rinse, and wring any excess water out. Toss in the washing machine and wash with a fragrance-free detergent. Perfumes in washing powder can irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

If you have to clean an old formula stain that has dried out, first scrape off the dried formula before soaking the garment in cool water with the detergent. After soaking, give the stain a good scrub, then put the garment in the washing machine. Hang in the sun to dry.

How to get baby poop stains out of a mattress

If your baby mattress has a waterproof cover, the job is easy. Simply remove most of the solids, and then wash the cover under running water. Wipe clean and dry with a dry cloth.

If your mattress has a removable cover that is washable but not waterproof, treat it exactly as you would treat stained clothing, but also check the manufacturer’s care label. Basically, you can soak it in cool water with detergent. Scrub it thoroughly after soaking, rinse and toss in the washing machine.

If the actual mattress is soiled, the key is to get to the mess as soon as possible. The quicker you start treating the stain, the better your chance of removing it altogether.

First, scrape off any solids that might have landed on the mattress.  Use a cloth soaked in warm vinegar to wipe the stain. When you have removed as much stain as you can, put some bicarb on the stain and leave it for an hour or so.

After an hour or so, rub the stain again with a sponge and warm vinegar. Repeat this process several times until the stain is gone. The odor will have disappeared due to the bicarb which is a natural odor neutralizer.

Take the mattress out in the sun to dry and get disinfected by the sun.

What temperature water should you use to wash soiled baby clothes?

It is recommended that you use cold water to wash soiled baby clothes. There are several reasons for this recommendation.

First, it is an eco-friendly way to do washing as it doesn’t require energy to heat the water.

Second, hot water set stains. If you wash a stained garment in hot water the stain will set and you’ll struggle to get rid of it.

Third, today’s detergents are formulated to clean washing in cold water. Four, modern washing machines have an agitation motion  that is very effective at getting washing clean.

Are There Germs in Poop?

Yes, baby poop has a lot of germs.

Use gloves when you are cleaning the poop and then wash your hands with a proper disinfectant.

Does Poop leave Stubborn stains?

If you remove the poop immediately and soak the clothing items in cold water, then wash as explained above, the dirty clothes should be as good as new.

Carrie Walters
Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier. They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics