How to Keep Your Toddler’s Clothes Stain Free

How to Keep Your Toddler's Clothes Stain Free

Because the thrift stores in Utah are picked clean of wearable toddler clothes, Johnny and I have resorted to buying the majority of Sally’s clothes new, although highly discounted. I typically stick to mega sales at Old Navy and Gap and occasionally buy pieces at H&M and at an on-sale Zara.

But if we’re going to put actual money into clothes for Sally, you better believe we’re going to save money by putting these clothes to good use. She will not be the only child who wears these clothes. These clothes will be passed on to any future daughters or nieces. And the only way that can happen is if they remain stain free.

Also, to save money, we don’t buy more clothes than Sally needs, and we often buy her clothes a size up. So her clothes get worn often and for up to six months, which provides for more opportunities for a stain to cling itself onto a piece of clothing forever. Still, I expect these clothes to stay in mint condition. I’m so very demanding.

A few nights ago, I walked into the laundry room to find Johnny doing a load of Sally’s laundry. “There are stains on everything!!” he said. It’s true. There are stains on everything. EVERYTHING. But by the time the dryer buzzes, there are no more stains on anything. And here’s how we do it.


  1. First, I start a load of warm water. Some of Sally’s clothes call for a warm wash and others call for a cold wash. But I initially put it all in warm water.
  2. Next, I pour in the detergent and a full scoop of OxiClean.
  3. Then I start sorting through the clothing. I spray each and every stain with Shout, rub it in, and throw it in the wash. This can take time since sometimes one shirt can be riddled with 10 stains of its own.
  4. Once I have all the clothes sprayed and thrown in the wash, I let them soak for an hour or more. This is the key. If I don’t let them soak, all my hard work is for nothing. By the time I actually start the load, the water has cooled.
  5. Finally, I dry them on the lowest heat setting and do a victory dance when those stain-infested clothes are magically stain free.

It works like a charm, every single time. Sometimes I wait over a week in between loads of Sally’s laundry, which means stains have been sitting, festering for days and days. But even the very worst stains come right out.

Also, a few times Sally’s clothes have been mistakenly thrown into one of our loads of laundry and haven’t gone through the proper treatment. When that happens and a stain is stuck in the clothing, I just soak it in a small tub of OxiClean as a last resort, which has never, ever failed me.

And that’s how I keep all of Sally’s clothes looking brand new. And now I’m interested… how do you other mom’s do it?

OFB Preparedness Mid-Month Update

We’re halfway through October! I’m weirdly excited for Halloween this year, and I don’t even really like Halloween. I think it’s partly because Johnny and I have compiled a noteworthy (and very cheap!) costume for Sally. And I think I’m also curious to see just how mortifying/embarrassing/memorable Sally’s behavior will be when she realizes people are giving her candy. She just learned to say “Mine!” and that in and of itself terrifies me. Sally mutates into a child I don’t know when she’s presented with sugar. Just yesterday, I bought a box of fruit snacks, and when I opened it, she grabbed out two handfuls of packages and refused to give any of them up. I’m already practicing my, Who’s kid is that?! face so I can divert any accusing looks when Sally tries to grab fistfuls of candy at every house.

Speaking of halfway through October, we’re also halfway through our self-proclaimed preparedness month. So far, it’s going pretty well. I’ve actually kind of struggled with stocking up on stuff because I hesitate to buy anything that I’m not absolutely certain I’ll use. But I’m trying, and here’s what we’ve gotten.


The photo on the left is the inside of our hallway closet. Even before this month, this closet alway looked like this. Our storage space in our condo is sparse, but I always keep an abundance of paper towels and toilet paper. They make me feel more secure somehow, which is a strange confession I wasn’t planning on making. I also store our extra soap, deodorant, and contact solution in there. What I’ve added this month is that little white basked with some first aid stuff and extra bottles of ibuprofen and Tylenol. I bought each bottle at Walmart and spent about $15 total. I already had the first aid supplies on hand; it was just a matter of rounding it up from around the house.

The bottom right photo is pretty self-explanatory: water! It’s also stored in the aforementioned hall closet. I plan to buy another three containers of water like this one before the end of the month, which will in total cost less than $20. And the water doesn’t expire for a few years!

Finally, slide your eyes up to the top right photo. But first, let me show you another photo.


My kitchen lacks a pantry. But I’m lucky enough to have freakishly tall cabinets. And since I can’t actually reach anything on the very top shelf, I decided it’d be perfect for storing my extra food. I was very careful to only buy food that our family eats, which entailed Costco-sized Skippy peanut butter ($10), pecans ($14), tuna ($15), crackers ($7), and Bel Vitas ($10) (an on-the-go breakfast cracker that Sally and Johnny both love). We already owned insane amounts of canned corn and Kraft mac-and-cheese because we’re real cool like that.

We’ve spent a total of $75 so far this month on “preparedness.” Some of my prices might be off by a dollar or two because I don’t save receipts, remember? ;) I may buy a few other canned goods, but I want to keep the total under $100 for the month. So that’s where we stand. It feels good knowing we’ve stocked up some extra food we wouldn’t normally have in the house. And it’s all stuff we can take our sweet time eating since it doesn’t expire anytime soon. Any foods you’d add to our little stockpile? If you want to see our other emergency preparedness items, here’s last week’s post. And speaking of being prepared in every way, we recently wrote an article on eBay about diversifying with gold. Check it out!

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