From Play-Doh to crayons: The best ways to remove stains from kids' clothing
VANCOUVER -- Back to school might look a little different this year, but some things never change – including kids' exceptional ability to get stuff on their clothes. Whether it's grass, gum, or a more artistic stain like crayon or Play-Doh, there are some things you can do to get them out.
If it stains, chances are it's going to end up on your kid's clothes. If you're lucky enough to be there when it happens, the most important thing to do is act fast.
"If the stain is still fresh, water alone may actually remove it," Consumer Reports' Sara Morrow Harcourt says. "But if you're a little too late and the stain has set, a few household items and a good detergent to pre-treat stains can help."
For crayon, fresh or melted, remove as many of the crayon pieces as possible. Then, use a dish detergent and work it into the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rub the fabric under warm water. After that, you can wash the clothing on the hottest water temperature that kind of fabric allows. Use regular laundry detergent and an oxygenated bleach like OxiClean, for example. Let me clothing air dry and if the stain is still there – do it all again.
Play-Doh, on the other hand, should not be treated with hot water. Instead, let the dough dry, and then use a stiff brush to loosen it from the fabric. You can also wash the garment by hand with detergent and cold water.
To tackle grass stains, work in some detergent with a toothbrush and let the clothing sit for five minutes. Then, toss it in the washing machine at the warmest temperature the fabric can stand. If the stain is still there, repeat the same steps until it disappears.
The same method also works for chocolate, provided you remove as much of the substance as you can before applying the detergent.
"Chocolate is surprisingly difficult to remove," Morrow Harcourt says. "Only four of the liquid detergents in our ratings aced our pre-treating and chocolate-removing tests."
For the best odds, try using OxiClean Max Force, a laundry pre-treater which earned top scores for removing stains like dirt, grass and chocolate ice cream – just to name a few.
With files from Consumer Reports