Babies: they’re cuddly, they’re adorable, some may even say that they’re life-affirming, but they’re also really, really disgusting.

Yep, infants pretty much epitomize everything that is wonderful AND gross about the world— and they can even display both sentiments at the same time. (Anyone who has a little one who routinely soils his diaper while giving you a brilliant smile knows exactly what we’re talking about!)

Now, while your babe may always make your day magical, the same can’t be said about his clothes– or your clothes for that matter. That’s why you should have a handful of tried and true laundry tips and tricks at your disposal to help save your precious garments.

Here’s how you can treat of the 7 most common baby stains, from puke to poop. You — and your wardrobe — can thank us later…

  1. What to do when your baby’s diaper lets you down

    The diaper-making powers-that-be may want you to believe that their nappies can survive your baby’s most impressive dookies, but any seasoned parent will tell you that the claims aren’t always based in reality!

    So, when your little one has an epic number 2, remove that onesie as soon as possible and scrape off the excess poo with a paper towel and/or a dull knife for crusted stains— we hope you’re not eating lunch right now! After you’ve done that, soak the stain in your favorite pre-treater for at least 5 minutes before throwing the garment in for a hot cycle wash.

  2. What to do when your baby’s bibs look like they belong to Pig-Pen

    Let’s be real, bibs don’t get the recognition they deserve; without them, your messy babe would look like a… well… really messy babe.

    To give these vital clothing accouterments a good cleaning, simply pretreat the stain with your favorite laundry detergent and let it sit in cold water for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, throw the bib into a mesh laundry bag—like the kind that you use to launder your lingerie— and wash on a warm cycle before hanging dry. This gentle technique will ensure that these items stay protected and looking new for years to come!

  3. What to do when your baby shows off his artistic side

    Finger-painting may be your baby’s favorite form of expression, but it can also mean that his onesies look like they belong to Jackson Pollock.

    To remove the paint stains, first, blot out the excess color with a damp paper towel. When you can’t remove any more, rub some dish soap into the stain and submerge in warm water before throwing the garment into the machine. For stubborn, oil-based paint stains, treat first with turpentine.

  4. What to do when your baby suffers a nosebleed

    Or, god forbid, gets a nasty cut!

    All you need to do (after taking a few breaths, of course) is soak the wet stain in cold water and rub away with a bar of soap. If the blood has absorbed into the garment, spray a pre-treatment solution onto the stain and add an enzyme-based detergent before a warm-water laundry cycle. Good as new!

  5. What to do when your baby takes a tumble in the grass

    Grass stains may appear tough to get rid of, but luckily they are anything but! In fact, if you need to eliminate one of these emerald green wonders while you are out and about, a couple of dabs of rubbing alcohol should do the trick.

    Have some more time on your hands? Simply add some bleach to your laundry load if your garment is white, or soak it in a diluted mixture of water and detergent for a gentle and effective pre-treatment for colorful clothes. Easy-peasy.

  6. What to do when your baby loses his lunch

    Look familiar? Yep, getting spit up on may sound gross to those who haven’t had the pleasure of raising a kid, but any parent will tell you that it’s a big part of the job description!

    To remove these sour-smelling stains, take a soft-bristled brush and gently chip away at the mess. Once all of the crusted areas are gone, coat the stain with baking soda before adding the item to your washing machine. If the puke is particularly colorful, pour some club soda over the baking soda for an ultra-gentle, fizzy alternative to a spray-on treatment.

  7. What to do when you go crazy with the baby oil

    Baby oil may be great for your little one’s skin, but it can create stubborn stains on your clothing if you’re a little too liberal with it.

    You can get rid of the oil by first breaking it up with a dish soap and warm water mixture. Gently rub in the concoction and let sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and adding the item to a hot wash cycle. Pro tip: If it looks like even a hint of a dark spot is still peaking through, DON’T TUMBLE DRY— this will only set the stain permanently. Instead, repeat the process and opt for a line dry.

Proof that a leaking diaper doesn’t have to mean a trashed onesie! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this list. Have you tried any of these laundry tricks before? Do you have any of your own that you would like to share? What’s the most disastrous stain that your baby has ever made?

Real Simple

Alpha Mom
The Bump