Stain Removal 101: Baby Poop

Warning: This post is completely about baby poop.  Pictures included.  Just a polite warning to the squeamish among us.

I am in the throes of baby poop.  With an 8 week old, it seems to be everywhere I turn!  I’m not a fan of up-the-back baby poop for many reasons, with the most obvious one being: stain removal.

Stain Removal 101: How to Get Rid of Baby Poop

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This is Mama’s tried-and-true method for getting baby poop out of those sweet little outfits.  Please keep in mind that newborn (especially breast-fed) baby poop is one of the hardest stains to remove, so you may never have 100% removal.  But with some work you can remove most of the stain and possibly all of it.

Stain Removal: Baby Poop

The scenario: You bought the cheap diapers because they were on sale, thinking, “They can’t be much different than The Swaddlers, right?”


The baby hasn’t pooped in 4 days and has finally decided to make up for lost time.  With poop all the way up to her neckline, you try to oh so carefully remove her clothes without spreading it even more.

True story…happened to us at the doctor last week.  It was so bad I had to give the baby a bath in the sink while we were there.

What do you do now? Especially when the outfit looks like this?

Baby Poop on Pants

Drench the Baby Outfit in Cold Water

If you are able, run the outfit under cold water removing as much of the poop as you can.

Cold Water Rinse on Baby Poop

If you are unable to immediately launder the outfit, leave it in a pan full of cold water to soak until you can deal with it.

The cold water soak will prevent the stain from setting in.  Once the stain actually dries, it will be much harder to remove.

Wash the Baby Outfit Using these Step-by-Step Directions

The next step is to wash the outfit.  Make sure you check off all of the following items:

→ Use a medium to large scoop of Oxi Clean depending upon the size of the laundry load.

→ Wash the item in warm water.  Cold water won’t be as effective in removing the stain, since it is protein based.

→ Wash the outfit on the ‘normal’ cycle if the item will tolerate the agitation.

Because it is a more difficult stain to remove, it needs the added agitation of the ‘normal’ cycle.  If the item is of a delicate fabric you can wash it on the ‘gentle’ cycle, but you might not be as successful in complete removal of the stain.

Hang the Baby Outfit to Dry

After you have washed the outfit according to these recommendations, hang the item to dry.  

Just hang it on a coat hanger and let it dry on the shower curtain rod overnight, or just let it dry on a drying rack.

Do not dry it in the dryer.

When an item is wet, it can fool you into believing that the stain is not there!  You can only really tell if the stain is completely gone when the outfit is totally dry.

Better yet, dry the outfit in the sun. The sun has amazing stain removal properties, so take advantage of them!  And its bleaching power is free, which is even better.

If the stain is still there even after hang drying the outfit, you’ll need to do The Soak.

Then wash again as directed above and dry in the sun if at all possible.  Between the Oxi Clean and the sun, you’ll hopefully be able to remove the stain completely.


  1. Love the sun trick! We use cloth diapers and keep them looking brand new by sunning any stains. I wish I had known this trick when my daughter was a baby. We used disposables when she was little and had many blow-outs. I went through every stain treater out there and still had stains I couldn’t get out. Now I know I could have gotten them out chemical free…and free of charge!

  2. I love sunshine for getting out stains too. It does work especially well on protein stains, which at least partially, is what many baby stains are, especially those in the diaper area.

    I remember the days of poop up the back with each of my babies too, and since my littlest is 3 I am now starting to look back more fondly, instead of just shuddering like I used to. Enjoy this stage — it goes by so fast!

    • mamalaundry says:

      Taylor – So sorry! Your comment got sent to the spam folder inadvertently!

      I agree – these days go by so fast! I have to remind myself of that often 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


  3. The stuff I found worked best on poop was Bio Kleen foaming Bac Out. After the cold rinse, before the wash and let it sit. Works great generally on ‘organic’ stains.
    We usually use cloth, but when we can not I often put a cloth diaper cover on over the disposable to catch (the joy of real elastic) what the diaper can not. In cloth we never had the full up the back out the sides and front that so characterize disposable blowouts.

    • mamalaundry says:

      Leigh, I’ve never tried any Bio Kleen products. I’ll have to search them out for a review.

      Yes, I agree. We’ve never once had a blow out from using cloth. And I would’ve never thought to put a diaper cover over a disposable. Smart 😉


  4. My fool proof method for removing baby poop was to rinse the stain in cold water right away and then rub Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap on the stain (I would often do both sides of the fabric). Even if I didn’t launder the item for a couple days, stains which had been promptly pre-treated with Fels-Naptha always came out! Fels-Naptha takes the stress out of laundering baby poop-stained clothes because it works (and, it’s only $.99 a bar)!

  5. My baby cant use anything that has perfumes or dies in. Is there perhaps amore natural solution??

    • mamalaundry says:

      I know that Ecostore makes a type of stain remover that is similar to Oxi Clean but is more natural. That might work for your little one.

  6. We live in the NW , henice, no sun. I’ll try the feels napa soap

  7. This solution worked like magic. Treat immediatly with cold water and shampoo.
    Rub shampoo into stain and rinse.

  8. Use dr. Bonners liquid soap baby, dilute by 1/3 spray well and forget. Use the same method on my chef coats.

  9. Yes, to all EXCEPT; rinse in a bucket of cold water under the bathtub faucet, drain, rinse, repeat. Pour out the water (you have soggy clothes) use as much hydrogen peroxide to resoak the worst stains. By this time, most of your poo is disinfected/bleached by the H202.
    NOW you can put liquid oxyclean directly on stains, wash in COLD water, as ANY heat will set it deeper, and don’t dry. If you have even a trace left, take a cotton ball with a H202 and lemon juice mix, dab on rest of stain and proceed with sunshine…

    • Lauren Hill says:

      I’d be SUPER careful with hydrogen peroxide! It can easily lift the color of dyed fabric, giving it the appearance of being bleached.

      Just a word of caution to make sure the fabric is color safe before applying any hydrogen peroxide.

  10. Another benefit of drying outside is it helps build immunity to allergies.
    My grandsons pediatrician swears buy it. He informed my son and daughter in law on all three of their babies to hang (they used a drying rack) sheets, blankets, pillowcases outside so that the pollens etc settle on them and hence the baby breathes in and a immunity is built up at an early age.
    If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
    So far so good. My grandsons are 8, 4 and 2 months old and so far no allergies.

  11. Just bleach the heck out of it. It came right out of our nice swaddled blanket.

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