Have you ever wondered what the best method to remove breast milk stains from clothes is? If you have, welcome to the club and take a seat on the front roll as we explore how to remove breast milk stains from Clothes!
Whether you do your laundry or you have someone do them for you, removing breast milk stains from clothes is something you will have to worry about at one time or the other.
As you may have noticed – or will notice, one of the most interesting things you will notice about breast milk stain is that it will only become evident after some time. What this means is that there are times when you will surprisingly find some yellowish stains on your clothes and that of your baby – stains that weren’t there when you placed the cloths in the laundry bag.
Sometimes, you may not even see these stains as at the time you were doing the laundry – if you are someone that washes immediately. More so, the longer the breast milk stains remain, the more difficult it becomes to get rid of – and sometimes, it never goes out!
But why is breast milk stains so difficult to remove and what are are the best methods to remove them? In this article, we have provided the answers to all your questions – and more.
[Also Read: Why Mothers Get Turned On By Breastfeeding And How You Can Prevent This]
Why Does Breast Milk Stain?
This was the exact same question I asked the first time I noticed breast milk stains on my clothes. Apart from why it stains, I was also worried about why the stains were so concentrated.
Trust me, I was not satisfied with the answers from friends, I had to make a thorough research into this because frankly, the yellowish patterns ruined one of my favorite tops – and I was pissed.
From our research, we found out that breast milk stains because of its content. As you may already know, breast milk is a concentrated balanced diet that is very rich in vitamins, fats, and proteins. So, imagine all the worst ‘strainers’ in the world infused in every drop!
Breast milk is classified in the same category as blood and feces, which are labeled as protein-based stains. These types of stains need special treatment and attention for them to be eradicated.
According to experts, one must have to treat the stains on time, be sure to keep them from heat to prevent drying on the material, and requires the application of enzyme-based materials to break the stains down, before they can be removed.
Interestingly, breast milk stains can appear after some months or even years, especially when the clothes were not exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time. So, in a couple of years, you may find breast milk stains on a piece of fabric or your baby’s clothes that may look all-good now.
[Also Read: Safety Tips for Going to Beach While Pregnant]
Which Cleaning Products Are Safe to Use for Breast Milk Stain Removal?
When you want to deal with breast milk stains, you will have to consider the best cleaning products for your specific fabrics. Do not make the mistake of picking just any cleaning product you find on the shelf of a shopping mall.
For instance, the type of cleaning product you will use on your polyester dress will be different from what you should use on your baby’s cotton tops. Whether you choose to use natural or synthetic cleaning products, always put your fabrics into consideration so that you do not destroy the clothes in the process of removing a breast milk stain.
According to expert advice, always pick the mildest products that can get the job done without affecting the color or quality of the material. Another important point of note is to use stain removers and detergents that contain enzymes that helps to break down the stubborn protein contained in the breast milk.
It is funny how enzymes work, but trust me when I say they do really work. Enzymes work on stains by eating up and digesting the proteins in the stains. After this is done, it becomes easy for the stain to go out because the proteins making the stains concentrated have been eaten up by the enzymes.
However, make sure not to use cleaning products with enzymes on wool or silk because it could damage the garment due to its soft nature. Cleaning materials with enzymes are best for stronger materials due to their active action ingredients.
Can I Use Bleach to Remove Breast Milk Stain?
When we talk about breast milk stains removal, like every other tough stain, we all wish we can just dip our clothes in bleach and have them come out without the stains. But no, do not do that!
There are special types of oxygen color-safe bleach available in the market today that are specially formulated for stains such as breast milk stain, but they can still be a serious threat to both you, children, and your fabrics.
Oxygen color-safe bleach has been helpful in removing protein-based stains, such as breast milk, but it comes with a serious health threat, especially when used within the reach of children.
Naturally, bleach contains very harsh chemicals that can cause severe irritation to a baby’s nose, eyes and skin when we use them to wash baby’s clothes. It could also cause skin burns and respiratory issues, so it is best to avoid them totally when removing stains from your baby’s clothes.
In essence, my simple answer to your question is ‘no, do not use bleach to remove breast milk stain from your baby’s clothes.
How to Avoid Breast Milk Stains?
Your baby is going to remove her mouth from your nipples without notice and milk will sometimes droll from her mouth during feeding, so you can basically not stop breast milk from getting onto your clothes – but you can decide which clothes it gets on.
You can avoid breast milk stains by using a blanket or towel when breastfeeding your baby. This way, the excess breast milk will be soaked up by the towel or blanket – which you will be happy to have all the breast milk stains it can.
But well, as we progress, you will see how you can also remove the breast milk stains even from the blanket or the towel.
How to Remove Breast Milk Stains
If you are planning to remove breast milk stains, you have to consider and pay more attention to your laundry process. The first point of note is the type of detergent you decide to use.
I can bet that until you become a Mom, you probably will not know that there are different types of detergents – each meant for specific purposes and with different pros and cons.
The two main types of detergents are:
1. Enzyme Detergents
This type of detergent is also known as biological detergent and it contains enzymes. It has a dual function; one, the enzymes break down the protein in the stains, and two, the soap base easily washes off the stains.
Enzyme-based detergents work best in cold water and are very effective; however, they are known to cause skin irritation – especially for the baby.
2. Traditional Detergents
This is the normal detergent we are all used to, also known as non-biological detergents. However, when choosing your non-biological detergents, make sure to select those specially formulated for babies – they are gentle and mild for the baby.
As expected, non-biological detergents do not work well in cold water and are not as effective for enzyme-based detergents. But they are very unlikely to cause any form of skin irritation.
If you chose to use traditional detergents, you could consider using a natural stain removal on the spots where you have breast milk stains.
Below are two of the most effective natural spot removers you can use for breast milk stains. They include;
Lemon Juice: Make a paste of lemon juice and a small scoop of cream, and apply to the affected areas. Allow it to rub in for about 30 minutes before washing with your detergent of choice in cold or lukewarm water.
Baking Soda: Create a paste made up of baking soda with about 1/8 cup of water and four tablespoons of baking soda. Apply the baking soda paste to the affected area and set it aside for two hours or more before washing.
Within the two hours, the baking soda will dry out the stain so that the detergent can easily wash off the stain. However, the disadvantage of using baking soda is that it can also draw out the dye or color of the fabric due to its hard concentration.
How to Remove Fresh Breast Milk Stains
Now, let’s get this straight. You may not be able to avoid breast milk getting on your baby’s clothes – or even yours, but you can prevent the stains from breast milk. There are ways you can prevent the stains because as I mentioned earlier, the stains do not appear immediately.
Below, I have listed a few tips to guide you when trying to prevent breast milk stain from a cloth that already has breast milk on it. If you follow these steps quickly and accurately, you will be able to wash off fresh breast milk stain.
Steps to Remove Fresh Breast Milk Stains
1. Rinse off the breast milk from the area with cold water
2. Soak the entire fabric in cold water for a minimum of 15 minutes; by doing this, you are preventing the stain from settling into the fabric.
3. Wash off the milk stain with your fingers or a soft brush so as not to damage the fabric. Make sure you pay attention to the washing instructions on the label of the cloth and follow suit.
4. Dry the fabric in the sun. The sun will help to naturally prevent the stains from settling into the fabric.
[Also Read: Happiness Tips to Enjoy Your Journey As a New Mom to Be]
How to remove breast milk stains is one of the many headaches you will face as a nursing mother. These stains can be very stubborn to remove and as we discussed earlier, they require special attention and application of enzymes.
As a new Mom, you will need some practice before you can fully master the art of breast milk stain removal. So, do not be too hard on yourself if you do not get it right the first time – or a couple of times.
If you are experienced in the art of breast milk stain removal and you have a few tips to share, kindly do so in the comment session.