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Options for recycling stained baby/toddler clothing

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering what options I may have for outgrown clothing that has stains in them that won't come out, no matter how much I've tried to get them out.

I do my best to take care of clothes when I get them, so they can be passed on or reused. Some clothes have been hand me downs from friends/relatives whose children have outgrown them. Some of them I've gotten have had stains, and I've just used them for around the house playwear.

I save outgrown things some as I'm hoping to have more children soon, and some are "gender neutral". I can't save all the clothes though. What I can't keep, I have either donated to others in need, and taken a few items to a local resale shop. There are things though that are stained that I can't resell, and most places that take donations don't want stained items either (I don't blame them, and normally I don't donate anything like that, unless it had something really small and pretty unnoticable).

I'm looking for alternative ideas for these items. I haven't done a lot of research, but are there organizations who would actually take this type of clothing as donations? I know some people will cut up some clothing items and use them for cleaning, etc. I'm not really crafty sewing wise, so it's not stuff I would use to make something else out of myself. I don't want the clutter, but I wonder if there is a better alternative than just tossing these clothes? Thanks for any suggestions!
post #2 of 38
I would either tie dye them or put them on freecycle for somebody else to redo them in whatever fashion need be to make them look ok. For instance, you can take a t-shirt that is stained on the belly and cut it at armpit level and sew a skirt to it and you have a comfy dress. Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freespiritedjem View Post
I'm wondering what options I may have for clothing that DD has outgrown, but has stains in them that won't come out, no matter how much I've tried to get them out.

I do my best to take care of all of DD's clothes when I get them, so they can be passed on or reused. Some clothes she has gotten have been hand me downs from friends/relatives whose children have outgrown them. Some of them I've gotten have had stains, and I've just used them for around the house playwear.

When DD outgrows things, I save some as I'm hoping to have more children soon, and some are "gender neutral". I can't save all the clothes she has gone through though (she gets a ton of new stuff from relatives and as well as hand me downs). What I can't keep, I have either donated to others in need, and taken a few items to a local resale shop. There are things though that are stained that I can't resell, and most places that take donations don't want stained items either (I don't blame them, and normally I don't donate anything like that, unless it had something really small and pretty unnoticable).

I'm looking for alternative ideas for these items. I haven't done a lot of research, but are there organizations who would actually take this type of clothing as donations? I know some people will cut up some clothing items and use them for cleaning, etc. I'm not really crafty sewing wise, so it's not stuff I would use to make something else out of myself. I don't want the clutter, but I wonder if there is a better alternative than just tossing these clothes? Thanks for any suggestions!
post #3 of 38
We use almost exclusively hand-me-downs and plenty of them are stained. Who cares? Unless it's a huge dark stain all over the middle of a shirt or a big dark stain on the butt, does it really matter if my child's shirt has a small spot on it? Usually new clothing ends up with a spot after the first time it's worn anyway! I'd list them on Freecycle. IME people who get clothes off Freecycle aren't expecting them to be in brand new condition.

If you can't find anyone with a child who will accept stained clothing (!) call around to donation places. I know the consignment shop where I bring a lot of our clothes has someone who bales the clothing they can't accept and it gets shipped overseas.
post #4 of 38

Cut them up!

I've never used swiffer in my life. What's wrong with having cleaning rags that you can then just toss?
post #5 of 38
My best friend's grandfather, who used to work in the textile industry, gave her a very long answer to her question about what is done with the clothing that is dropped into those clothing drop boxes you see in parking lots all over the place. The upshot is that almost every piece of fabric that goes in those boxes is reused or recycled in some way. If I have stuff that I can't hand down or Freecycle, I drop it in those boxes.
post #6 of 38
I second the pp who mentioned freecycle. It's a great way to avoid those clothes going into a landfill somewhere. We also use the really stained/ripped clothing for rags/cleaning.
I had also seen, I think on PBS/this old house, they were doing a house in Austin, TX, and some of the insulation they were using was made out of old,ripped denim jeans! I wish I had seen the whole episode.
post #7 of 38
rags. or cut out non stained squares to make a quilt from :
post #8 of 38
I give mine away on Freecycle. When I have a bunch of clothing with stains, I list them all together and am very clear about saying that they are stained and only good for play clothes, etc. People always take them. I actually got a really nice email back from one lady who said that she was able to get most of the stains out. I don't know what laundry magic she worked on them, but I'm glad I didn't just throw them away!
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanB View Post
I give mine away on Freecycle. When I have a bunch of clothing with stains, I list them all together and am very clear about saying that they are stained and only good for play clothes, etc. People always take them. I actually got a really nice email back from one lady who said that she was able to get most of the stains out. I don't know what laundry magic she worked on them, but I'm glad I didn't just throw them away!
I have a secret (but non-NFL) stain treatment recipe if anyone is interested. It's saved SO many articles of clothing for me, I can't even tell you : Both my girls hated bibs
post #10 of 38
I agree about freecycle, or the craigslist free section if you prefer.

Or, if you can find a charity that gives clothing directly to people rather than reselling it, they may be more willing to accept it.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post
I have a secret (but non-NFL) stain treatment recipe if anyone is interested. It's saved SO many articles of clothing for me, I can't even tell you : Both my girls hated bibs
do tell! i seem to have no luck with stains. :

sarah
post #12 of 38
I want the secret stain remover.

And I had no idea about those clothes being used/recycled, etc even with stains in those boxes in parking lots.

Wow, I could kick myself for throwing away all those clothes with holes.
post #13 of 38
I want the stain remover, too!

Looking at DS's outgrown clothes I can tell at exactly what size I had to start supplimenting with formula. Breastmilk doesn't stain nearly as much. Everything I packed away was stain-free. Now, a few months later that stains have all reappeared. :
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post
I have a secret (but non-NFL) stain treatment recipe if anyone is interested.
Do tell! :
post #15 of 38
I forgot to reply to the OP!

Some of DS's cute but stained clothes have gone to people I know who quilt. They don't want the really stretchy things like onesies, but the rest they cut up and use for quilt making. There's a group here that makes lap quilts for residents of the hospital and nursing homes.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freespiritedjem View Post
most places that take donations don't want stained items either
Places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill don't usually sell the stained items in their US thrift shops, BUT they do send them to other countries and/or recycle them as rags. I'd go ahead and donate.

I've also heard of people shredding them up to use to stuff homemade stuffed animals.
post #17 of 38
At the library last night I saw an idea for making a rug out of old t-shirts using a piece of burlap as the backing. I think I may do this with the scads of stained infant t-shirts and onesies we have. Shaggy and cute!
post #18 of 38

Shaklee nature Bright...

it's not cheap but a little $10 box lasts me for years and has gotten out some pretty tough clothing stains and diaper stains, even some that came out of being in storage for years.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplehaze View Post
it's not cheap but a little $10 box lasts me for years and has gotten out some pretty tough clothing stains and diaper stains, even some that came out of being in storage for years.
I think i may try that myself & save some of our clothes from donation, cleaning supplies THanks
post #20 of 38
where do you buy Shaklee Nature Bright?
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