Six nasty stains kids make - and how to zap them

Children have an apparently inborn knack for creating ridiculously tough-to-obliterate stains. Mumsnetters answer your questions on how to get rid of them (the stains, that is).


How do I get pee/sick/other icky stuff out of a mattress?

shocked cat

Image credit: meowgifs

"Lots of water on the area to clean out the wee, and hopefully stop it staining. Dry it off, then liberally sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the area. Leave to air dry, then vacuum off the bicarb."

"I have some dog wee cleaner spray from when my dog was a puppy; this works too if there's still a smell lingering."

"Cat litter - absorbs it and deodorises, then a light sponge down and another load of cat litter."

How do I keep school shirts clean?

 school uniform pristine

"Vanish soap or green soap"

"That pink super gold gel stuff on collars and cuffs [Vanish Gold Oxi Action]. Bio washing powder (if not too harsh) and a bag of Glowhite in each wash.”

"Soak overnight in cold water and bio powder. Rub soap into particular stains (eg collars, cuffs). Wash with normal powder, plus a dollop of Ace bleach and a stain-catcher sheet in the drum."

Alternatively, just go with the flow...

"Don't worry. My children's shirts are always covered in random grass stains, indelible paint and grime around the collars. I take the view that if they've been washed, that's good enough."


How do I get pen marks off the wall?

facebook wall

Image credit: bzzagent

Many Mumsnetters swear by the Magic Eraser, but they have words of warning - "they are very abrasive, that's why you have to be gentle."

"WD40 works brilliantly (got permanent marker off my wooden table) - just spray a little on and wipe straight off, then wash with water."

And for getting biro off a painted wall...

"Try some toothpaste."

"I've used Bounce tumble dryer sheets to get marks off walls before."

"Baby wipes are fab."

"I always use Cif/Jif cream cleaner - just use a little blob and rub gently - usually works wonders!"


How do I get sticky drinks out of a carpet?

cat bursting can of coke

Image credit: OHMAGIF

"Mix cream of tartar into a paste with water and squash into the stain. Leave for half an hour. Vacuum it out. May need to soak out cream of tartar but it will lift the stain."

"Pour a pile of table salt over the whole stain. It's very good at absorbing stains if they are still moist."


How do I get muddy stains out of clothes?

football muddy

"I rinse out my son's kit several times by hand to get rid of the worst. I can't bear the thought of all that mud clogging up my washing machine. Once in the machine, I wash on 40 with Persil Non Bio and a scoop of Vanish Stain Remover."

"Rinse the worst of the mud off, then soak in a bucket of HOTTEST tap water with Ariel Bio, for a couple of hours. Hand scrub. Then put in with rest of normal wash at 60."


And what about tomato stains?

dolmio puppet

"Rub with neat washing up liquid, then put stain remover on it, and in the wash - then leave it out in the sunshine (if possible)."

"Try filling the bath with biological washing powder and soak the items for 24 hours. Then machine wash with bio powder and Vanish - give it a cold prewash - then normal 60 degree wash. Leave out on the line (for maybe up to a week) in all weather - wind, sun and rain. Rewash normally with non-bio."

And finally, the holy grail - how do I get Sudocrem out of the carpet?!

screaming frodo

Image credit: That's What Frodo Said

"Someone actually phoned the manufacturers and they recommended hot (hand wash hot) water mixed with some washing up liquid."

And if it all gets too much - don't despair: they get (marginally) less mucky as they grow.


Last updated: over 3 years ago