6 Easy Ways to Get Baby Food Stains Out of Clothes


It’s no secret that babies can make a big mess at mealtimes. No person, pet or object seems to be out of reach for an animated infant at dinner. It’s both impressive and puzzling that someone so small can launch food so far.

Even with the appropriate precautions, it’s only a matter of time until one or more of your favorite fashion pieces falls victim to a sweet potato smear, or a berry-stained hand. Here are 6 easy ways to remove baby food stains from your favorite clothing items.

1. Water & Soap

When a stain is fresh, run the item under cold water with a bit of detergent hand soap. Lightly dab or pat the food off your little one’s clothes, rather than set the stain in or let it spread. Let the item dry, then wash in the machine as usual.

2. Distilled White Vinegar

For stains that are already set in, pat the stain with distilled white vinegar until it’s fully damp. Then throw the item in the laundry. Don’t place it in the dryer if the stain persists. Instead, you might need to repeat the process. Vinegar can remove vomit, grass, and blood stains, too.

3. Baking Soda (or Powdered Detergent) & Water

For this method, you can use powdered detergent if you don’t have baking soda, though baking soda helps with smelly stains. Pour 4 tablespoons of baking soda (or powdered detergent) and ¼ cup of warm water in a bowl and stir together to make a paste. Rub the paste onto the affected area and let it sit before tossing it in the wash.

But wait! This method only works for clothing that is color fast (clothing that doesn’t transfer color in the wash). You can test for color fastness by rubbing the item onto a white washcloth and seeing if any color transfers.

4. Seltzer Water or Club Soda

Sparkling water has been known to remove red wine stains from carpets and can work for food stains, too. Simply pat the bubbly onto the stain, let it dry, then launder. While this method doesn’t always work as well as those above, it’s still worth a try.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide & Water

For more stubborn stains, this multi-purpose household staple comes in handy. And it's much gentler than chlorine bleach. Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water, gently scrubbing if necessary. Rinse and wash as normal.

6. Stain Removal Pens

These quick-fix pens work like magic—especially for parents on-the-go. All you have to do is shake the pen and press down on the stain until it’s damp.