Should I feel badly about this - hand me down clothes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My SIL is done having kids. Both of hers were born in the fall/winter, and we figure the seasons will line up well for ours. She came by and dumped off a good 6 plastic tubs of JUST her daughter's clothes. (Birth-4 years)

I've just gone through the "little things" tub and put all of the stained things in a discard pile. I don't have kids yet, so maybe my priorities are skewed, so.... Am I being snotty? There's still almost half of the tub of "good" things, and these items are stained way way beyond what I would EVER even consider giving to salvation army or goodwill. With the addition of a handful of plain white onesies/shirts, I could probably keep two girls clothed for MONTHS on the things I saved.

I may just do an oxyclean soak in the washing machine and see if anything comes clean. And I'll give her a call to verify that she doesn't want anything back, but then I was just going to toss the rest of these stained things.

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#2 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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We are expecting handme downs from family and friends later this summer as well. Even my mom will bring some clothes from when me and my siblings were little. If I were you, I would sort it through, wash it, maybe line dry it in the sun. A lot of food and other stains go away with the "sunlight bleach".

If you have the space, just keep the things, you consider to stained in a box somewhere. Maybe later on you will feel like using them, maybe not. Sometimes it might be nice to have some dirty cloths for playing outside in the mud etc.

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#3 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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in her defense, as my 3 y.o. was outgrowing clothes, i only put away the non-stained stuff. then when i was getting ready for the new baby (now 4 months) a lot of it came out stained. i guess just from sitting. i have no idea. she probably doesn't even know there are stains on them.
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#4 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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Check that she doesn't want stuff before throwing it out, but if not, I agree that she was probably not aware of the stains (some stains really do get worse with sitting, and she may not have noticed some when folding and putting away), and I would not feel bad about pitching the stained stuff.
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#5 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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I'd try to clean them up but I wouldn't throw them out! Maybe post the stained ones on Freecycle. There are lots of families who wouldn't mind the stained clothes, especially if it's winter wear!

Carolina, tree hugging, treehugger.gif animal loving, backyard chicken keeping, Wife to Dh, homeschooling Mama to Ds1(Aug '06) and Ds2 (Nov '09)

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#6 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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before tossing, you might just want to find out if there's a pregnancy crisis center or women's shelter in the area that would want them. these people are usually in such bad shape they can't afford Goodwill.

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#7 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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I would try to wash stuff first and see if the marks come out at all.
Hang them outside to dry so they get lots of sun. It may be salvagable, if not for you than for a donation.
As the PP said sometimes stains appear after the clothes have been sitting for a bit that were not there when they were put away.

I also wanted to point out that you may go through alot more clothes than you might think.

I can remember running out to the store to get more sleepers and onesise because I couldn't keep up. Between spit up, overactive letdown, and leaky diapers especially at night I was running out of stuff to put on.

Sometimes it is nice to have a few junky outfits for messy fun. Especially with the bigger stuff.

ETA Even the most severly stain clotes and such can still do good.
Here we have a diabetes group that will take this stuff and sell anything usable. The rest gets cut into automotive and cleaning rags that they sell by the bag.

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#8 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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My sister has 4 huge bins of girl clothes, and I went through the first two (of just baby stuff). Lots of stuff was stained, but my mom soaked most of the clothes in oxyclean and the stains came right out, even after a few years in storage.

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#9 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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I would be tempted to hold on to them, personally. Just in case you need more than you think, or you have a really spitty baby, etc. You may not want to ruin all the 'good' clothes for home days, kwim??

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#10 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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For the first month or so, almost everything your child wears will get a stain. I would definitely keep these clothes.
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#11 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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ehh, it depends on the severity of the stain IMO. i wouldn't keep something that looked like an entire shirt-front of grody spit-up or spaghetti sauce...but smaller stains, those will happen anyhow!

I used to be very "snobby"--hated the idea of hand-me downs at all when i was a first-time mama

however, today i was thinking about it, and I doubt 10% of my 2yo's clothes were bought new by me--almost all of them are hand-me-downs from friends, goodwill/yardsale finds (also from friends who shop for me! ), etc. I think I've bought her exactly two non-clearance NEW outfits this year :

huzzah for hand-me-downs!

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#12 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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I loved hand me downs when my kids were little. Many of them did have stains, but I didn't worry about it much. The truth is that even if you buy new clothes, many of them will eventually get stained. That is just the reality of a baby and child. They are really messy--from the spit up to the poop to the dirt and grass stains--there is really no avoiding it.

Anyway, I wouldn't throw the clothes out. I would offer them back to her and then donate them if you don't want them. As far as not even Salvation Army wanting them, that is doubtful.

I really think your attitude will change after you have a child.
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#13 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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I would be tempted to hold on to them, personally. Just in case you need more than you think, or you have a really spitty baby, etc. You may not want to ruin all the 'good' clothes for home days, kwim??
DS was a super spitter upper when he was little- I am fully expecting that half his baby clothes will show stains when I pull them out again. If this baby is the same it will be nice to have him in already stained clothes when he spits up all over. Plus, as DS has gotten older his shirts get destroyed from playing outside. I would keep all the shirts so I could toss one on him for playtime and not have to worry about keeping the nice shirts nice.

If she doesn't want any back I would look into donating them elsewhere- someone will be able to use them.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#14 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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I would try washing it first as well. Also, please don't throw it away. Your trash is someone's treasure. Someone will want stained baby clothes. Please don't just toss it.
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#15 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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I'm in the minority...I'd wash them and try removing the stains, but if the stains are as bad as you say and don't come out, I wouldn't use them and I wouldn't feel bad about it. I'd certainly donate them instead of just tossing them in the trash. But personally, I just never liked seeing my new baby wearing something stained. (I'm not all Kate Gosselin on preventing stains or anything, but once something is noticeably stained, out it goes. Or, since DS is older now, they become play clothes.)

Then again, neither of my babies were spitter uppers. DS spit up a total of two times his entire life, so I guess I had a lot fewer stains than most people. If every single piece of clothing ended up stained, I suppose I'd have no choice but to use them.
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#16 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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If you're really set on getting rid of the clothes then do it. If you do, however, get rid of them put your notions of how badly they are stained aside and donate them to goodwill. There are people out there that really need those clothes at that super cheap price and don't care about stains.

I'm on the other side of things -- I get hand me downs that are pristine and I sometimes wonder if my niece sits quietly with her hands in her lap all day. My daughter's clothes are destroyed, stained, etc and I don't know how she does it!

BFARing mama to Haley (3/07) and Abigail (11/10/09)
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#17 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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I'm in the minority...I'd wash them and try removing the stains, but if the stains are as bad as you say and don't come out, I wouldn't use them and I wouldn't feel bad about it. I'd certainly donate them instead of just tossing them in the trash.
Yup, I'd probably try an oxyclean soak first but anything that didn't come clean I'd freecycle.
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#18 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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Super duper soak:
Bucket
Hot water
Oxiclean (a lot, more than just laundry amount)
Vinegar (A few good glugs)

Set outside overnight. Dump in washer and wash as usual.
This is my new miracle stain/stink remover. It makes a chemical reaction (there will be heat and bubbles) and the chemical it makes is used as a commercial disenfectant. It has gotten impossible stains out.

This has gotten out stuff that straight bleach has not, and it seems to be color safe.

What you don't want/use donate to Goodwill. Most of those places bundle and sell damaged/stained clothes as rags. I also buy stained damaged clothes super cheap at the as is Goodwill store to use to make cloth diapers and use wool sweaters to make lovely longies. Those baby knit tshirts make super cute diapers!

And put me in the loves hand me downs, yard sale and resale shop cloths camp, too. I get a LOT nicer stuff than I would if I was buying new and I'd rather have the money to spoil my kids or pay for their college with than having them wearing it. After a wash or two, the hand me down clothes look as nice as the new ones. And a lot of the time they outgrow stuff before it is hardly worn. (It gets MUCH harder to do with teenage boys!) I look for brands that wash well and stand up looking like new, kid after kid. My faves are Carters, Gymboree, and OshKosh for the wee ones. They look like new for a long time!

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
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#19 of 36 Old 07-10-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Honestly, I reached for the stained stuff more than the new clothes LOL I dont want the new things to get ruined LOL
Its really nice to, in those first few months, just throw the freakin thing away when you kid has the 234324 blow out diaper of the night and its 4 am. If something is super stained to begin with, I dont feel as bad!
Flame away for me throwing it away, but sometimes it just had to be done!
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#20 of 36 Old 07-11-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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i'm picky with clothes. i know it's silly since they wear things so little when they're so tiny ... btu it's one of my favorite things about babies - lol! i'd take what you liek and pass the rest along. don't feel guilty at all!

Jenn, wife to John
Mama to Kayleigh (6), Ethan (4), Norah (1), & Charlotte coming 11.09
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#21 of 36 Old 07-11-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Even if you're going to give away what you don't want, please wash everything int he oxyclean/vinegar solution that was recommended. It's such a help to the folks that have to sort through things when they have been freshly laundered.

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#22 of 36 Old 07-11-2009, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You ladies are right. To be honest, it's really only the 0-6 month stuff that's got really bad stains, and even that would be fine for sick days or inside days where they're to get spit up on anyway.
Anything bigger than that is definitely "play clothes" worthy, I simply don't have the room to store it all. SIL reacted with a "don't you DARE give that back to me," (she lives in a very small house, smaller than ours) so I'll give what I can't keep to Goodwill after washing.

I checked up on women's shelters and crisis clinics in the area, but they all specifically do not accept any clothing. I'm sure they'd be overrun by it.

Thanks everyone!

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#23 of 36 Old 07-12-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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Thanks for the update. Just keep what you can store in this case.

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I checked up on women's shelters and crisis clinics in the area, but they all specifically do not accept any clothing. I'm sure they'd be overrun by it.
Have you tried freecycle? I see babyclothes coming and going on our local list all the time.

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#24 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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My husband and I have been very generously given a TON of hand-me-down clothes for our first, due in October. It's been wonderful, because we don't have a lot of money and have gotten so many clothes that we're not really going to have to buy much at all. I kind of freaked out about the stained stuff, too - I'm in MAJOR nesting mode and found myself thinking that I was NEVER going to put my new, clean, baby in something with gakky yellow stains all over it... I still feel that way, but what I did was put all the things I deemed "too nasty" in a big bag and set them aside. I'm going to try and get the stains out, but I figured that my squeamishness about this is something that will fade in time. I mean, I fully expect that once the hormones fade and I get (inevitably) jaded, that I won't care nearly so much!!! Maybe the OP could try that? I totally agree about not tossing them in the trash, though... Try Freecycling them or donating to a pregnancy crisis center or something... There ARE people out there who desperately need them.

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#25 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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We had some shirts with small stains as well. I took the time, to either paint over them with a textile marker or I stitched something over it. Now they are cuter than before

Mom since Oct'09. Wife to a loving husband. Expecting a little bean in May'12

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#26 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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I'd probably save them for a rainy day.

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#27 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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This is our first baby and unless it has been on major clearance, all of the baby clothes we've bought have been at consignment stores. Granted, DH is really picky about the stains but we've found, esp in the 0-6 mos range, that the clothes must've been rarely, if ever worn, because they are nearly new. Some of the sleep sacs I've bought are more worn, but as they are strictly for home use, to sleep in, I don't really care.

I'm sure Goodwill or Salvation Army will be glad to take the donation of whatever you don't want!

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#28 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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I have a few questions about the OxyClean solution for getting the stains out:

Is liquid OxyClean okay, or does it need to be the powdered stuff? And I know there are specific OxyClean Baby products...does that stuff just smell different, or is the formula gentler?

Thanks!

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#29 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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I've gotten loads of hand me downs from my sister and have even purchased some at yard sales and the like. I see nothing wrong with tossing whatever came your way that you dont think is to your standards. I've tossed (actually donated) things that I didn't thing were "in style" enough. If it were stained then I just toss it.

Because it's my sister I don't feel bad about it either.

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#30 of 36 Old 09-03-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I have a few questions about the OxyClean solution for getting the stains out:

Is liquid OxyClean okay, or does it need to be the powdered stuff? And I know there are specific OxyClean Baby products...does that stuff just smell different, or is the formula gentler?

Thanks!
I've only ever used the powder because I didn't know you could get liquid. I don't know about the baby formula, I just rewash it all with a gentle detergent after soaking to be on the safe side.

I've been given loads of secondhand stuff and I have a small pile of lightly stained items that I plan to dye as they're in otherwise good condition. I'm thinking hot pink or purple dungarees and vests will look fab. Shame I'm not more creative or I could tie dye.
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