In life, as they say, sh*t happens. It can be your baby who has a big diaper blowout, your pet who decides to make your rug their own personal poop spot, (or, ahem, that one time you misjudged a fart and it ended up being something entirely different). At some point, you’re probably going to have to clean up someone’s poop, and that’s when knowing how to get poop stains out of clothes, furniture, and the like is important. So get ready to grab some gloves to protect your hands (and a mask to help with your gag reflex) because we’re going to learn how to do some deep cleaning and figure out how to get rid of fecal matter once and for all.
How do you get pet and baby poop stains out of carpets?
Listen, your little one isn’t the only one who can cause a crappy situation to occur on your carpet. Your four-legged pet might also get excited when the doorbell rings (or, you know, destructive when you come home too late from work), and a pile of poo might be waiting for you when you walk through the front door. If your carpet is a craptastrophe, there are ways to get rid of the sight (and the smell) of it all, says Wayne Edelman, CEO of Meurice Garment Care, a high-end dry-cleaning service in New York City. Just don’t expect it to be a quick cleanup, though.
“Getting poop stains out of rugs and carpets is a multi-stage process,” says Edelman. “First we need to remove the solids or thicker matter and then what's left over. Pick up, scrape, blot and do whatever you have to to remove the bulk of the matter but be as careful as you can to not damage the actual material.” Next, make up a solution in a small bowl of two to three drops baby shampoo and cool water. Apply the solution, and depending on the level of residual feces, brush lightly, and then use a wet dry vacuum to remove the solution. You’ll need to keep repeating the process until there’s no longer any residue. Then rinse with cool water and vacuum it out. After you have removed all of the moisture by vacuuming, brush the pile in one direction to match the existing area. Stain removal is no joke when it comes to carpets.
Here’s how to get poop stains out of baby clothes
No matter how much you might try to anticipate your little baby’s next bowel movement, chances are they’ll catch you off guard with a toot that turns into so much more. You can save your baby’s clothing, despite a big bowel movement that seeped itself into your kiddo’s clothing, but again, you’ll need to act fast. “Time is your greatest enemy,” Jessica Samson, a cleaning expert at The Maids tells Romper. “Before pretreating the baby clothes, be sure to remove as much of the matter and the stain as possible; you can use a scrubbing brush to help scrub out the stain before soaking.” (Just be sure not to scrub too hard or else you run the risk of ruining the fabric.)
Since poop is a protein-based stain, the best way to clean it is with an enzyme-based cleaner (like Oxi Clean), advises Samson. “The enzymes digest the proteins in the stain and break it down,” she says. “After soaking the clothing, rub the cleaner in and allow it to work for a couple of minutes.” Then wash on the warmest possible setting for the fabric of the baby clothes.
Here’s how to get poop stains out of underwear
You’re about to do a load of laundry when, while sorting the whites, you spot a color on your kid’s underwear that is kind of questionable. Is it melted chocolate, or is it what you really know in your heart it is? As soon as you spot the stain, start working on it, advises Leslie Kilgour, a cleaning and organizational expert in New York City. “Always rinse clothes as soon as possible — the faster you can rinse the stain, the more likely it is to come out,” she says. “We suggest soaking the clothing in a cold bath as soon as the stain occurs. We like to use the Folex spray, which works wonders on all stains (car seats included!)”
And finally, this is how to get poop stains out of other fabrics
How you get poop out of fabric largely depends on the fabric itself. “Silk is a tricky one since you want to avoid using enzyme-based cleaners,” Samson recommends. “The process of cleaning these fabrics is very similar to cleaning cotton, except you want to use a silk-approved cleaner and stain remover to help remove the stain.”
Edelman agrees, adding, “Anything that is not washable needs to be sent to a cleaner. You can try the carpet method on upholstery but test first in an inconspicuous area.”
Why can poop be harder to get out of fabrics than other stains?
If it seems like cleaning up a poop stain is more problematic than, say, pee, you’re probably right. “Poop stains can be tougher than other stains for a number of reasons. First, the smell is terrible and it’s overall just an unpleasant experience,” says Samson. “Second, the contents of the stain can be difficult to remove depending on the fabric that the stain is on.” And because of the stain’s smear ability factor, well, it can make a small mess that much bigger — and frankly, grosser.
Knowing how to get poop stains out of baby clothes and other fabrics isn’t the most exciting part of parenthood, but it’s definitely something you’ll be doing… a lot. Understanding how to quickly stop a stain from doing permanent damage to carpets and clothing can help make a crappy situation slightly easier, even if it still stinks.
Wayne Edelman, CEO of Meurice Garment Care
Jessica Samson, a cleaning expert at The Maids
Leslie Kilgour, a cleaning and organizational expert in New York City