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How to Get Poop Stains Out of Clothes

Accidents happen. Learn how to remove poop stains from clothes. Find out how to wash and clean set-in poop from clothing and get rid of the poop smell.

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Question

I have a special needs friend that has poop stains in his clothes.

Answer

It’s nice of you to be helping out your friend! You didn’t say whether his items are white or colored — it’s easiest if they are bleachable whites, but I’m guessing some items with color may be affected, too. So a good place to start is to check any items with color an see if they are colorfast to bleach, because some colored items are actually bleach-fast! It all depends on the dye used and how it was applied, and you can’t tell just by looking, so we have a quick test to check:

  1. Add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to 1/4 cup water.
  2. Apply a drop of the solution to a hidden section area like inside seam, hemline or cuff.
  3. Wait 1 minute and then rinse and blot dry; no color change means the item can be safely bleached.

He’ll probably have a mix of items that pass the bleach test and some that don’t, which means he’ll need to do more than one load. Let’s start with bleach safe fabrics (always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex) and colors (anything that passed the bleach test).

First, be sure to rinse away excess solids with a little cool water. Then you can machine wash the load in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent + ⅓ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. Air dry and check for success—lighter stains should come out but super heavy stains or items that require cooler wash temperatures may need a second treatment.

For colored items (or white items with spandex), you can pretreat the stains with a good liquid laundry detergent that contains an enzyme. Begin by rinsing away any excess solids, and then apply the product directly to the stains and wait 5-10 minutes (but don’t let it dry on the fabric). Wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent + Clorox 2® For Colors 3-in-1 Liquid. Air dry and check for success—repeat the treatment if needed.

One other thing to consider is the washer. It would be a good idea, especially if he has a lot of items affected, to run a washer clean-out cycle with bleach in an empty washer when he is finished washing everything.

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