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How to Get Breast Milk Stains Out of Clothing

Here’s a little secret nursing moms need to know: Breast milk tends to end up in places you’d never expect. And it can leave quite a mess on fabrics if you don’t wash them properly.

Does Breast Milk Stain Fabrics?

Absolutely. Breast milk contains proteins your growing baby needs. Those same proteins leave a yellowish stain on baby clothes, blankets, and burp cloths.

How to Get Breast Milk Out of Clothing

Breast milk stains are pretty stubborn once they’ve set in, so you want to get to them quickly if you can. Here’s how to treat a fresh breast milk stain on baby clothes.

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Step 1: Soak in cold water

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: soak in cold water

Soak baby’s clothes in cold water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Do not use hot water. It will cook the protein, and the stain will set.

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: soak in cold water
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Step 2: Pre-treat

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: pre-treat

Spray the clothes with a stain remover like Dreft Stain Remover Spray and rub it into the fabric using a washcloth or sponge. Let the stain remover sit for the maximum time the manufacturer recommends.

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: pre-treat
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Step 3: Wash

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: wash

Just like with a fresh breast milk stain, you’ll want to wash a set-in stain using the coldest water possible.

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: wash
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Step 4: Sun-Dry (if you can)

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: sun-dry

If you can dry the clothes in the sunshine, you give yourself a good chance at preventing a permanent yellowish stain.

How to get breast milk stains out of clothing: sun-dry

How to Remove Set-in Breast Milk Stains.

You’re not going to be able to get to every breast milk stain right away. That’s life with a newborn. Here’s what you should do to remove a set-in breast milk stain.

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Step 1: Scrape

The more dried milk you can remove from baby’s clothing, the better your chances of getting the stain out. Be careful not to scrape too hard, or you’ll stretch out the fabric.

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Step 2: Pre-treat

Spray the clothes with a stain remover like Dreft Stain Remover Spray and rub it into the fabric using a washcloth or sponge. Let the stain remover sit for the maximum time the manufacturer recommends.

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Step 3: Wash

Just like with a fresh breast milk stain, you’ll want to wash a set-in stain using the coldest water possible.

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Step 4: Sun-Dry (if you can)

If you can dry the clothes in the sunshine, you give yourself a good chance at preventing a permanent yellowish stain.

How to Remove Breast Milk Stains on Mom’s Clothes.

So far, we’ve walked through removing breast milk stains from baby clothes, but Mom’s clothes are going to get stained, too. When they do, here’s how you tackle them.

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Step 1: Soak in cold water

Hold the garment under a faucet and rinse it with cold water. As with baby clothes, using warm water will only cause a breast milk stain to set faster. If water alone isn’t doing the trick, a little dish soap might help.

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Step 2: Pre-treat

An enzymatic stain remover will help break down breast milk’s proteins and make the stain easier to remove.

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Step 3: Wash

Toss the garment in the washer and launder it using cold water and the detergent of your choice. Dreft Family Friendly Liquid Detergent [Dreft Family Friendly Liquid Detergent | Dreft] is strong enough to take on the whole family’s cleaning needs, but with no dyes or perfumes, it won’t irritate baby’s sensitive skin. If the stain doesn’t come out after the first cycle, run the washer again.

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Step 4: Sun-Dry (if you can)

The high heat of the dryer can cause the stain to set, so dry your clothes in the sun if possible. If not, use the dryer on a lower setting and set the clothes near a window to air dry and get some sun.

How to Prevent Breast Milk Stains

There are a few things you can do to stop your clothes from getting stained in the first place. Here are three tips for preventing breast milk stains.

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Tip 1: Wear nursing pads

Breast milk can leak out, particularly when your body is adjusting during those early nursing days. Cloth or disposable nursing pads can absorb any breast milk that trickles out between feedings. If you use the cloth variety, be sure to change them often so they are effective and comfortable.

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Tip 2: Use a blanket or burp cloth during feeding

Putting a barrier between your chest and your baby’s cheek is a good way to keep breast milk off clothes. A soft blanket or burp cloth will be comfortable for you and baby.

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Tip 3: Put a bib on your baby

Not all milk is going to make it to your baby’s mouth, especially if they pull away during feeding. A bib will keep dribbles off their clothes and yours.

Breast milk stains are a messy and inevitable aspect of parenting. But like nursing itself, the stains can be temporary now that you know how to get breast milk out of clothing.

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