As with just about everything, the best line of defense for laundry stains is to plan ahead, so pack hand wipes, water, and a stain remover along with the snacks and drinks in your bag. If you’re caught off guard, don’t worry. We’ve got the top five playground stains you’re likely to encounter covered.
Fruit Juice Stains. Anyone who’s handed a juice box to a toddler knows how quickly fruit punch can dribble down a clean T-shirt. Blot the stain with water immediately, then pretreat with laundry detergent for 20 minutes when you get home. Wash in warm water. If stain remains, repeat steps before drying.
Dirt Stains. For ground-in dirt on knees, elbows, and bottoms, pretreat the smudges by pouring your favorite Tide liquid on top of the stain to cover and letting it set for 20 minutes. Wash in warm water, and toss in a stain-fighting booster in addition to your liquid detergent.
Ice Cream Stains. Use a napkin to brush away excess ice cream, sprinkles, or other toppings, then blot the stain with water from a water bottle or water fountain. At home, pretreat the stain with laundry detergent, letting it set for 20 minutes before washing in warm water.
Grass Stains. The natural pigments of grass make these stains particularly tough to clean. As soon as you get home, pretreat the stain with liquid detergent for 20 minutes, then wash in warm water. Repeat steps, if necessary, before drying.
Blood Stains. Blot stain with a tissue and water from a water bottle or water fountain. When you get home, soak the garment for 30 minutes in a plastic bucket filled with a gallon of cold water and about 2 tablespoons of your favorite laundry detergent. If needed, put a white towel on top of the garment to keep the stain submerged. Wash the clothing with a detergent designer for cold water and repeat steps, if needed, before drying.