Since April is just around the corner, I’ve been feeling the itch to get our new baby’s layette ready. I had been bugging my husband to bring in the boxes of baby clothes we had stored in the barn, and Superdad finally hauled the 9 boxes up (NINE? Yes, I was surprised too, and it turns out nearly half were filled with blankets!)
So the first thing I did was tear into each box and did a quick sort of what to keep, donate and trash. I was pretty brutal with my sorting and a lot of things ended up in the donate/trash piles even though I’m sure I did a donate/trash sort BEFORE boxing all these things up. I have a little bit of a hoarding tendency that I have to fight when I’m trying to get rid of things; I guess having them out of sight for a few years made it easier now to let stuff go.
I’m always amazed and slightly vexed by the ugly yellow stains that magically appear on clean baby clothes after being in storage. Always around the collar or diaper area — where drool, milk and other bodily fluids are prevalent. Although nearly all my favorite items were covered in these yellow stains, I am happy to report that after a bit of effort in the laundry room, the clothes I’ve decided to keep for our new little one are looking almost as good as new.
If you’re getting ready for a new baby too, here is the process I used for getting those unsightly yellow stains out of stored baby clothes:
:: First, I divided the clothes into two loads by size; one load for 0-3 months items and another for 3-6 months.
:: Put the first load into the washer with two scoops of Oxi Clean (I buy the big tub from Costco and swear if it weren’t for this stuff every item of clothing my kids have would be ruined) and a small amount of laundry detergent. I let the agitator run for about 5 minutes and then let the load soak overnight.
:: In the morning I poured white vinegar into the fabric softener compartment on my machine. Vinegar is helpful during the rinse/spin cycle to break down excess detergent that might “stick” and create residue on the clothes. If your washer doesn’t have a fabric softener compartment you can get a fabric softener ball to throw into your wash — it automatically dispenses at the right time. Since these clothes will be going next to sensitive baby skin, I also set my washer for a second rinse cycle to make sure everything rinsed out nice and clean.
:: Once the washer was done, I transferred the clothes to the dryer but as I did so I checked each piece to make sure the yellow spots were gone. The soak and wash worked really well but there were a few pieces that still had spots. I kept those items out of the dryer (for fear of setting the stains), and applied spot stain removers and then rewashed. I also let these items hang out on the clothes line as the sun is supposed to help fade the spots.
I then repeated the above process with my second, 3-6 months load.
Now most of the stored baby clothes should be ready for new baby to wear, and whatever didn’t come clean enough can be added to the toss/donate piles. If you’re anything like me, at this point you’ll probably go splurge on one pretty new baby outfit that you’ve been eying for a while, to reward yourself for all the hard work in the laundry room.
About the author
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares what she's dreamed up for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and simple ideas for holidays. She is a single mom of three girls and one boy. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local television. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. During quieter moments, she enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Bettijo lives with her four kiddos in Phoenix, Arizona.