As I have discussed many times on this blog, children’s clothing is expensive. Not only that, but you have to replace it often, even if it’s in good condition, simply because children grow so quickly.
Because of this, spending money on children’s clothing is an ongoing expense for a lot of parents. I’ve discussed a few ways to save on clothing for children, and smart parents will find as many ways to save as possible. Of course, one way to maximize the life you get out of your child’s clothes is to ensure that they last as long as they possibly can.
That means keeping them clean, which can often be difficult, as children seem to specialize in keeping their clothes dirty. Still, if you can get common stains out of clothes that you might otherwise have to discard, then you’ve saved them to be worn another day and you’ve saved a bit of money by not having to replace them.
Here are some tips for removing stains from a few of the most common types of clothing damage:
- Mud. Start by letting the mud completely dry and then using your fingers or a brush to get as much of the dirt out as possible by simply rubbing it. Apply a small amount of water and laundry detergent into the clothing to create a lather. Rinse that, and then add a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wash normally.
- Soft drinks and juices are among the most common stains you’ll find on your child’s clothes. Fortunately, they’re also fairly easy to remove. First of all, soak the clothing in cold water to get as much of the stain out as possible right away. Add a small amount of liquid detergent and rub the fabric together to work it in before letting the clothing rest for 20 minutes or so. You can then wash normally; preferably in hot water (see label to be sure hot water is OK.)
- Markers, especially permanent marketers, can be quite difficult. Most markers used in schools are washable, and you can test that by blotting the stain with a damp cloth. If some of the stain blots up, you can wash normally. If the marker stain is from a permanent marketer, you can add hairspray or rubbing alcohol and blot with a paper towel. You may have to repeat this several times. When the stain has come off to a degree that suits you, you can wash normally.
- Grass stains – Grass stains can be treated by rubbing the clothing with stain remover before washing normally. Should the stain survive the wash, soak the clothing in a mixture of vinegar and water (as above) for 20 minutes and then wash again.
Children are hard on clothes, and clothing is hard on the pocketbook. You are going to have to buy clothes often if you have children, but anything you can do to get a bit more life out of the clothing you have will save you the trouble and expense of having to buy more.
Taking the time to properly remove stains can go a long way towards helping preserve your precious clothing budget.