Ask: How to prevent poop stains?

Raleigh postpartum doula Pam Diamond
Raleigh postpartum doula Pam Diamond

Q. Help! We had our first diaper blow-out. How do I get poop stains out of his clothes?

A. Compared to some of the questions I get, this is an easy one.  And, as always, I consulted my experts - my clients and Facebook followers, the ones in the know. I learn new things from them regularly. (For example, check out the cheap blackout shades I posted on my Facebook page - and they are portable for taking along when traveling.

So the first thing you must do after cleaning the baby and yourself is to remove the outfit and, if at all possible, run it under cold water and wash off as much of the poop as possible. It’s a good idea when you’re out and about to take an extra set of clothes and a couple of one-gallon size Ziploc bags. That way, you can go ahead and rinse the outfit then stash it away safely in the Ziploc bag.

If you don’t have time to deal with rinsing, at the very least soak it in a pan of cold water to keep the stains from setting.

When you can deal with it, wash the clothes in warm water, adding a scoop of OxiClean or a similar product. I do not have a relationship with OxiClean and don’t make money off of promoting the product, but it seems that oxygenated bleach is one of the main ingredients parents have found for removing poop stains from clothing. A generic version might work just as well, but no one has told me so at this point.

The next step is the fun part. Remove the clothes from the washer and skip the dryer so as not to set any stains left in the fabric, then put the clothes directly in the sun to dry. My advisers say that the sun finishes the stain removal process. Ah, simplicity. I love it.

"If any stains remain, dampen and put back outside the next day,” said one of my Facebook followers. “We cloth diaper and have had no permanent poop stains so far.” And that’s enough of an endorsement for me.

If you have a question about your child's health or happiness, ask Pam or any of our experts by sending email to

Pam Diamond is a parent coach, postpartum doula, baby sleep consultant and owner of First Daze & Nightzzz, LLC. Pam’s goal is to help parents and babies get off to the best possible start. She helps families fix what’s not working and enjoy what is. She lives in Cary with her husband and two teenage children. You can learn more about Pam on her website: First Daze & Nightzzz, or email her at