Defeating stains in 7 simple steps

As the mom of a GI kid, I know stains. When he was a baby, L’s vomits were of a color, volume, and velocity that visibly alarmed more than one ER nurse, and he pooped pure liquid 15-20 times a day. Other moms throw away onesies after “poopsplosions”; we lived the Poopocalypse daily. True story: once, during a diaper change, he let loose a poo-nami with such force that it deflected off the diaper I hastily held up in self defense and splattered a full six-foot stretch of wall above his changing pad.

I know stains.

If you have kids, stains are an inevitability. Six years and another puke-tastic kid later, it’s time I pass on what I have learned.

  1. Spray, spray, spray: Invest in a diaper sprayer. Your kids have done their share of spraying; now it’s your turn. Whether or not you use cloth diapers, a diaper sprayer will let you spray the chunks off of pukey, shit-covered clothes directly into the toilet. Do so as soon as possible after the “event.” This little gadget will be useful far beyond the diapering years.
  2. Spray, spray, spray: Find a good stain remover. I like OxiClean laundry spray, but whatever product you use, soak stains in a stain remover as soon as possible after the “incident.” Be liberal with the spray. Invest in stock in this company.
  3. Never let soiled clothing sit until the morning. Wash clothes before the stains set if you want to have any hope of salvaging them.
  4. Use club soda. Especially effective when cycling through those late-night loads that you shouldn’t let sit until morning; I recommend adding vodka and a few limes.
  5. Buy kids’ and baby clothing second hand. Most places have local buy-nothings and swap sites these days. Paying second-hand prices will allow you to care less about whether you actually get those stains out or not.
  6. Lower your expectations. Stains, much like shit, happen. Pro tip: Get your kids out the door quickly each day and allow them to play in the dirt a lot so people can assume the stains are the fresh products of joyful frolicking and are totally definitely not from bodily fluids that happened weeks ago because that would be gross, you animal.
  7. Consider nudism. Bare skin is much harder to stain. You know your kids would prefer this anyway.

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