Nothing ruins a dressy blouse or a perfectly lovely baby shirt quite like a milk stain. Crazy thing is, not all milk stains are created equal.
I’ve seen some milk stains that look greasy. I’m not sure if that’s to do with a colostrum to milk ratio, or if some moms just put out buttermilk. Other times the milk stain looks dingy. But greasy or dingy, the stain will eventually yellow. Yuck.
For new moms – yes, milk really does stain. No, it’s not going to blend in with a white top.
But guess what??? You don’t have to throw out sheets, shirts, or anything else stained with milk because I’m going to teach you how to banish those milky stains once and for all.
An Ounce of Prevention
Before we get to the good stuff, let me sound like your mother for a minute and insist that if you’d pre-treat the milked spot you wouldn’t get a stain to begin with.
Go ahead, roll your eyes. I know what you’re thinking. You can’t always whip off your shirt to begin a laundry presoak. But if you have the opportunity, go ahead and rinse the milk out with cold water. That’s important. Warm or hot water will sort of “cook” the milk into your fabric, so keep it cool and you probably won’t have to worry about removing any milk stain.
Next, use a laundry pre-treat solution or even your regular detergent on the spot and let it sit for a bit before you wash it, but not more than an hour if you can help it. Then wash it as usual and try to remember not to put it in the dryer if you can still see the stain. It’ll get just that much harder to remove next time.
Now pat yourself on the back, and go have some chocolate.
Removing the Stain Once the Damage Is Done
Now if you couldn’t pretreat, or you didn’t want to mess with it, or just plain forgot and now you have a stain taunting you, don’t give up. These four steps will get your fabric looking new in no time! (Always check your fabric labels first)
What an amazing cleaner! I love this stuff! For removing milk stains, just follow the packaging directions. I do prefer the gel sticks over the powdered stuff, but that’s just my own preference. Let your fabric soak in a solution of OxiClean and water for up to six hours, but at least for one hour. Truly, six hours would probably remove your stain completely.
Did I surprise you? Seriously, a toothbrush can be a stain removing BFF! After soaking the stain for at least 30 minutes, it will loosen up a bit. This is when that old toothbrush comes in handy. If you don’t have an old one lying around, any brush with soft bristles will do. Just add a detergent or stain remover, let it sit for five minutes, then give a few gentle brushes from varying directions. It’ll lift out the stain and loosen up what isn’t fully removed.
3 Enzyme stain remover
Enzyme stain removers such as Era Plus or Wisk are fabulous for removing milk stains! Regardless of brand, when you’re shopping for a stain remover or prewash, look for ingredients that end in “ase” (lipase, amylase, mannanase, protease). Those are the enzymes.
Remember learning about the digestive enzymes in your body that break down food? Well these aren’t the same enzymes, but the same principle applies here. They’ll gobble up your stain!
Okay maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the idea. These are powerful stain removers when it comes to food stains. They’ll make milk stain removal a cinch.
4 Good Ol’ Sunshine
So you’ve soaked, used OxiClean, scrubbed it till it cried, maybe even tried some Wisk, and you still have a stain? Stick that sucker in the sunshine. Seriously! The magic that is our sun amazes me with its ability to just dissolve stains.
Try it. Place your fabric in direct sunlight for at least an hour or two, but all day if you wish.
If you’ve done all four steps and you still have a stain, it’s at least much mush lighter, right? Well that’s progress! It sometimes takes two or three treatments to make fabric with stubborn stains look good as new. Now you have the tools to zap that bad boy and get on with looking fabulous!
What’s your favorite laundry trick? I’d love to know! Comment below and share the brilliance!