THE LAND OF (never-ending) MAMA LAUNDRY (full of every kind of stain but always lots of love)
We are here to help! You’ve landed on this page because your Latched Mama clothing has stained, oh no! Here’s a look into our clothing and staining.
Chemicals - Yuck!
We do not treat Latched Mama clothing to be stain resistant. We don’t treat it for a reason and that reason is your beautiful baby and you! Clothing that is stain resistant is coated in chemicals during manufacturing. They are chemicals we cannot pronounce and do not trust up against baby’s delicate skin. Because we want you and your baby to be safe, your clothing may stain more easily.
Breast Milk Magic
Also, let us consider breast milk for a moment. Your breast milk is unique in composition. Your milk is even unique to the baby you’re currently breastfeeding and will be completely different for all other babies you have. Some breast milk may stain everything it touches, and other breast milk may not due to the composition of your milk at the time. Some stains are sneaky and only show up after sitting on fabric for a long time (all those clothes you pulled out of storage for baby #2 couldn’t possibly have been put away stained could they?!) and some are an immediate greasy disaster. Here’s a brief look at what your awesome breast milk contains:
Breast milk is known to be a complete but complex food, perfect for your little one to help them grow and their brain develop. It is a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fat and nutrients. Breast milk is 3-5% fat and also contains a long list of minerals and vitamins. The carbohydrate in your breast milk is lactose, which provides the calories to fuel your baby’s continual growth (where did my little baby go?!). Your milk also contains 150 (or more) oligonucleotides which are complex chains of sugars only made in human milk (so cool). So, dependent on what you eat and what your baby communicates they need, your breast milk changes all the time and can either stain more easily or not stain at all.
For this reason, we have put together a couple of tips on removing stains from your Latched Mama clothing. Breast milk, spit-up, diaper leaks, and most food based stains are considered protein stains and the instructions below are geared toward that type of stain. While these methods should work for most types of staining, always do your research, and treat for the type of stain you have.
First, Take Preventative Action
Having burp cloths and/or bibs on hand while breastfeeding your baby will help reduce staining significantly. Tucking burp cloths next to your baby’s neck or chin while nursing and over your shoulder while burping your baby will catch any extra milk or spit up that could mistakenly land on your clothing!
Once a stain has occurred:
- Rinse the stain as soon as you are able with cool water. A little finger rubbing and maybe a drop of mild dish soap (such as Dawn) may be all you need. If the stain needs more treatment, consider whether or not you want to take further measures to remove the stain. If the fabric of your clothing where the stain occurred will be up against your baby’s skin, you may want to forgo any treatment that could potentially irritate delicate skin. Always keep an eye out for any rashes or irritation that occur after treatment.
- Should you wish to proceed further, you can try an enzyme cleaner. Common ones are Bac-Out, Whisk, Era Plus, or Biz. Enzyme cleaners are great because they attack the stain by literally digesting the proteins. Soak the stain in water first then spray the enzyme cleaner onto the stain and let it sit. If there is still stain remaining, use a combination solvent such as Spray ‘n Wash or Shout and launder as usual.
- Some mamas have also used Medela Breastmilk Removal Soap and Bunch of Farmers Stain Remover Stick with luck on their stains!
- Many of our customers have had a lot of success with Oxyclean or other similar oxygen cleaners, too. This can be used directly on the stain (mixed with enough water to form a paste) or as a presoak. Follow the directions provided on the box.
- For particularly greasy stains from baby oils, nipple oils, or lanolin-based nipple creams, try absorbing the excess grease first by covering the stain with cornstarch, chalk, or talc and letting it sit for about 15 minutes. Scrape everything off and spray with your combination solvent (Spray n’ Wash or Shout etc) before laundering as usual.
- After you have washed your item and BEFORE putting it in the dryer, check your stain to see if it needs further treatment. Once you put that stain through the dryer, it will be much harder to remove.
- If all else fails, any remaining stains can be treated with sunlight! That’s right! Good ol’ sunshine. Hang your items in the sun to dry after washing them and most stains will come right out! (this method is tested and approved by this cloth-diapering mama!)
Hopefully, this protocol helps keep your Latched Mama wardrobe in the best condition possible. Remember to always spot test any stain removing product you use (on a hidden corner of your clothing) first, to make sure it does not cause damage to your clothing as some cleaners can be harsh. Thank you for loving our clothes as much as we do and remember that you are doing a great job mama, stains or not.