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Stained Children's Clothes?

693 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  erikandgregsmom
I'm wondering what to do with my son's stained clothes once he outgrows them. Almost half his shirts have some sort of stain from paint or spaghetti sauce or whatever. He still wears them, but I don't know if they still have value to pass along. Should I still donate them to a thrift store? I'm just not sure what the protocol is for clothing with stains.
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People used to dump bags of used clothing on my front porch. The neighborhood knew my (now ex) husband and I were low income, and I guess they were only trying to help, but the one thing we didn't need was children's clothing (my family owns a few stores that sell childrens clothes)... and we said so on several occasions like "thankyou, but we don't actually need anymore hand-me-downs." People started leaving things anonymously on our porch instead of even asking if we needed or wanted any of it. The worst part of it was that MOST of the clothing was badly stained, enough that if I had found it in a thrift shop, I wouldn't have bought it no matter how cheap. I think people were using our financial situation as an excuse to not bother driving all the way to the donation place.

If it's so badly stained that you wouldn't buy it from a thrift store for your own kid, then don't donate it. Turn it into a cleaning rag or something.
Thanks ms.momi. I don't have any problem with my son wearing the stained clothes, but I probably wouldn't purchase them stained. Although, most are in better condition that what I see at the thrift stores. I have a hard time finding anything in good condition at the thrift store.
I found a 1-2day soak in oxi-clean gets out most stain (tomato, blood, berries,etc)

Originally Posted by chel
I found a 1-2day soak in oxi-clean gets out most stain (tomato, blood, berries,etc)
yup, oxiclean works well for us too. my younger dd is quite messy and almost everything she has gets stained. now i mostly buy her busy patterns that hide the stains, but for solid colored tops, i always give them a good soak before trying to find them a new home.
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I've never tried the oxy-clean! Sounds like a project for this weekend.

I hope I can get the neon-green paint that seems to have appeared on two of his favorite shirts.
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A friend of mine reverse dyes the shirts that are hopeless but are good quality or still have plenty of room to grow.

Something about tying them (the unstained places) like you do for tye-dye and putting them in some diluted bleach to bleach out of the stains.

Anyone done this?

Her son always has such cool tie-dyed clothes and this woman is not the crafty type so it has to be easy.
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I had pulled out a bunch of our kids clothes that were stained - and therefore we wouldn't be using on future children. Yesterday, I tried Oxi-Clean and it got out almost all of the stains (there were some tempera paint stains that didn't com eout). These clothes had been through the washer and dryer numerous times. Some had been sitting in the closet for several years. I am thoroughly impressed.
Yep, a $25 tie dye kit from Dharma has saved many many clothes (even mine!) here! We try to get stains out as best we can, and then they go in the dye bucket, and when I have a small load of clothes or another reason to use dye, they all get colored.. great way to rescue stuff!
I must be Oxi-Clean defficient. I tried it this weekend and none of the stains came out. Oh well. He tends to have tomato sauce or paint stains on his shirts.
I use a good quality oxygen bleach, the hottest water, Calgon, Tide w/Bleach. Soak the clothes in that all night.

I can get almost any stain out.
You could try Biz. I have used that with very good results. The other thing that works really well is from the Tightwad Gazette : Mix 1 cup Cascade dishwasher detergent, 1 cup Chlorox II powdered detergent, and 5 gallons of the hottest water to come from your tap. Soak several items in this mixture overnight and then launder as usual. Or you can make a paste out of the dishwasher detergent and spot treat... really good for greasy stains.

Usually I use Fels-Naptha soap though, rubbed right on to the stain before I put the item in the hamper.

if they are good quality, you may try freecycle. my dd wears a couple of gymboree (a real indulgence for us) outfits that we got from friend already stained to preschool on art days. This way she can wear something cute and trendy that i'm not worried about her messing up. we also soak in oxi, sun bleach and re-dye a lot.
I definitely ditto the tie-dying. I have been able to hide many stains on DD's clothes by tie-dying over them.
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I've used iron-on patches on some of my dd's shirts that had small stains. I just covered them with flower patches, and they turned out really cute!
i use oxiclean works wonders with old stained thrift store clothes.

but if they are that bad, i would turn them into rags. any clothes in our house that are to badly stained or have holes to be given away for charity or freecycle, they get turned into rags.
that Oxi-Clean really works on old stains?

We got socked because my son goes to parochial school and has light colored uniforms shirts (thanks, school!!). He also has ADHD and is not, shall we say, the most fastidious eater, when his mind is 6 plans ahead of what he's doing at the lunch table?
I've tried Shout and something else, forgot the name, but ended up tossing many shirts (can't feel good about sending him to school in stained things). Maybe my water wasn't hot enough.

Thanks for the ideas!
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