Why Am I Getting Stains?

Following our best practise Wash Basics advice will help prevent stains.

Sometimes stains happen, they’re annoying, but there are methods that you can use to prevent them from occurring, or treat them to get rid of them.

Usually with adequate agitation and loading, enough of a quality detergent, some laundry booster/stain remover and warm-hot water (40-60⁰C), nappies should come out of the machine stain free. But if they don’t, check that you’re doing the following.

Sometimes stains happen, foods like blueberries/carrot/tomato can stain, exclusively breast fed (EBF) baby poo and poo nappies that have sat in the pail for more than 24 hours without being rinsed might result in persisting stains.
Try the following:

  • Add a laundry booster/ stain remover eg Vanish, in addition to detergent to your cycle, washing in 60⁰C water. See packet for quantity. This can be done for pre wash and/or main wash.
  • Apply soap stain remover eg Sard, prior to or after pre wash (standard hand soap will do the same thing)
  • Use a spray stain remover product as directed, prior to pre wash.
Run out of Sard Stain Remover soap?
Don’t worry, any bar of soap will achieve the same outcome!

Image source: Compound Interest

Stain removal

  • For oxygen bleach stain removal. Soak inserts in a laundry booster/stain remover product eg. Vanish, as per directions on the packaging, for a short time prior to washing.
  • For chlorine bleach stain removal, see our Sanitise information. Chlorine bleach is a more effective stain remover compared to oxygen bleach.

See the Chlorine Bleach and Oxygen bleach vs Chlorine Bleach pages for more information.

Why is loading important?

Sufficient surface area and friction, along with detergent and water are the factors that remove soiling. Correct machine loading for the main wash is important because the surface area influences the amount of friction that occurs. Too little in the machine results in inadequate surface area and excess suds which means the surfaces of the items don’t hit each other, therefore not enough friction occurs to remove soiling. Too much in the machine and the items don’t move around freely, again the surfaces don’t hit each other, therefore soiling isn’t removed.

Can’t I just put it out in the sun?

You shouldn’t need to rely on the sun to remove stains, that’s the job of the washing machine, detergent and stain remover product. The Ultraviolet as a stain removal and sanitisation method page explains more.

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