How To Remove Old Baby Formula Stains From Clothes (4 Easy Steps)

Baby clothes are really beautiful, and mums love to have them sparkly clean every time. No one would love to dress a baby in dirty clothes of course.

The thought of washing baby clothes may sound easy, but it is not. Now, this might make one wonder, what’s so special about baby clothes that make them quite difficult to wash? Baby formula is one of the reasons.

A simple drop of it has the power to ruin your baby’s most beautiful dress. These things are inevitable most of the time, and this leads to the big question; how to remove old baby formula stains from clothes? Don’t worry, we have solutions for you.

In this article, we’ll take you through easy practical steps with which you can remove old baby formula stains from clothes, carpets, and upholstery. Read On…

How To Remove Old Baby Formula Stains From Clothes

formula stain

What You’ll Need

1. Study the Type of Stain

The first step to getting rid of old baby formula stains is studying the type of stain first. You know, different stains require different removal procedures.

Dust stains can come off easily with just the use of water and detergent. But it is not so for old baby formula stains.

They require more work and care. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Baby clothes are mostly made of fabrics like cotton which absorb stains easily.

2. Scrape off the Formula

After identifying the type of stain properly, you proceed to scrape off whatever is left of the stain on the shirt with a good object.

A spoon can serve this purpose. But you have to exercise extreme caution while at it lest you end up leaving a big hole on the shirt.

Scraping off the formula is always advised before washing because it makes washing much easier. It leaves the stain bare and lighter.

This makes washing easier for you. Don’t skip this process because you won’t be happy when the outcome comes later. It may sound unnecessary, but it isn’t at all. It is essential as the other steps!

3. Soak the Clothes in Cold Water

After scraping off the formula, the next step is dipping in cold water. You could soak the clothes in hot water for about 45 minutes to one hour for great results. A lot of people make use of hot water in soaking when it comes to stains.

This does not apply to old baby formula stains at all. We bet you are curious at this point. Why does it have to be cold water and not hot water? It’s a simple answer. Baby formula is majorly made up of protein.

Protein stains are not removed with hot water because it cooks the protein. This drives it into fabrics more thereby making washing very difficult.

Keep this in mind so you don’t end up making the mistake of making a stain tougher by using hot water.

4. Rubbing in the Detergent

After pouring cold water on the stain, you rub detergent on the stain to erase it. Detergents can dissolve protein stains with ease. Rubbing detergent on the stain would dissolve it and take it off eventually.

What happens when there are no detergents?

You could make use of ammonia or suitable alkaline solutions to get rid of the stain. Instead of putting up with the awful smell of ammonia, a stroll into a store for a sachet of mild detergent would be much better.

After rubbing in the detergent, you would notice that the stain would fade out. Some stains fade out easily, others don’t.

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You would need to do some more work on the stubborn stains. You could make use of a mild brush to take it out.

The pressure that would be exerted on the stain in the process of using a brush on it would quicken its fading process.

You could also apply more cold water and detergent too. Sometimes, a little more of these two is all you need to take off old baby formula stains from clothes.

Read Also: How To Get Yellow Poop Stains out of Baby Clothes

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Formula Stains From Clothes

1. Enzyme Stain Removers

There are cases where the use of cold water, detergent, and brush process may fail to take off a formula stain.

These cases are not very common, they come up every once in a while. For stains like that, you would have to put in more effort to take them off baby clothes. You don’t have to worry about them ruining your baby’s clothes.

They come off, they only tease you by asking for a little more of your strength and patience. Stubborn baby formula stains that defy the popular removal methods can be removed with enzyme stain removers.

How Does Enzyme Stain Removers Work?

Enzyme stain removers can remove stubborn baby formula stains by dissolving the protein in them. Since the baby formula is a major protein, enzyme stain removers are designed to work on animal-based stains like formula stains.

Also, there are so many enzyme-based stain removers available. Not all of them are suitable for old baby formula stain removal.

Go for the ones that contain protease. Lipase-based enzyme stain removers are suitable for fat-based stains like oil stains. We believe you get this drift.

2. Use Oxygen-Based Bleach

In place of enzyme stain removers, you could use bleach. Don’t raise your eyebrows in surprise yet.

There are different kinds of bleaches available, and we are not asking you to make use of those strong bleaches that can ruin your baby’s clothes forever.

Oxygen-based bleach is just perfect for the removal of old baby formula stains from clothes. They do not interfere with the making of the clothes rather they focus on the stains only.

You can also use oxygen-based bleach for your other baby clothes without formula stain. It works just fine.

Read Also: How To Whiten Baby Clothes Without Bleach

3. Use Lemon Juice for white clothes

When dealing with stubborn formula stains on your baby clothes using lemon juice, then first you need to do is to allow the fabric to soak. Then use lemon juice after you’ve allowed the stained fabric to soak, and then launder as usual.

After this is done, apply a good amount of lemon juice to the stained area and then allow the fabric to dry out in the sun. The lemon juice and the sun will potentially bleach the stained yellow area.

Here is a video showing you how to do it

4. Use baking soda

This is another effective way to get those baby formula stains on your clothes. One of the major challenges when dealing with formula stains is that it leaves a yellow smear.

To avoid this yellowing effect on your baby’s clothes, as soon as your baby spits up a formula, wipe it off immediately. Do this gently; you don’t want to smear it into the fabric, to avoid making the job more difficult.

Then add baking soda to the stained area and launder. Don’t be concerned about your other clothes in the washer getting stained from the yellowing effect of the formula. The baking soda will neutralize these stains.

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Read Also: How To Get Breast Milk Out Of Mattress

How To Remove Old Baby Formula Stains Off Carpet and Upholstery


If the baby formula is spilled on carpet or upholstery, you have to remove it quickly.

What You’ll Need

  • Spoon
  • White paper towel/ sponge
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Clean water
  • Vacuum

For Carpet Formula Stains:

Firstly, use a spoon to take out as much liquid/solids as possible. Begin at the outside of the spill and make your way toward the center to prevent dispersing the spill further.

After you’re done, blot it out using a white paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. While the stain is fresh, get a clean white cloth or sponge and dip it in cool water and blot the affected area from the outside edges toward the center.

While doing this, make sure you do not oversaturate the fibers and move to a clean spot of the fabric as the stain is transferred. As one part of the stained area is cleaned, blot the excess moisture using a paper towel.

The next thing you need to do is to mix one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with two cups of warm water.

Then saturate the stained area using a clean cloth or sponge dipped in the mixture, while working your way from the outside edges toward the center.

Keep doing this while you move towards the clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred to the cloth. You have to do this gently and methodically.

As soon as the stained area is clean, dip a clean cloth in plain water to rinse the stained area. This step is very important because the soap solution can attract a stain.

As soon as this is done, blot using it with a clean dry cloth and then allow to air dry away from direct heat. Finally use a Vacuum to lift fibers.

If the stain proves stubborn, you can mix a solution of the oxygen bleach and cool water (You have to follow directions for the amount of product to use on the package).

Then saturate the affected area with the solution and leave it to sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. After then, blot up the solution and rinse it clean with clean water by sponging the affected area.

Then finally, blot it up with a clean dry cloth until all the moisture has disappeared while allowing it to air dry away from direct heat.

For Upholstery Formula Stains:

When dealing with formula stains on upholstery, the same cleaning steps mentioned above can also be applied. But make sure you don’t saturate the fabric or leave excess moisture in the cushions. If the upholstery is made of vintage or silk, you should get a professional to handle it.

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We hope this article has given an in-depth knowledge to answer your question of how to remove old baby formula stains from clothes including carpets and upholstery. As you can see, all steps involved are not as difficult as you envisaged they would be?

Yes, a drop of formula on your baby’s dress won’t ruin it. Employ these practical steps and watch your stained baby clothes come back to life again.