From toddlers to adults, accidents can happen to anyone. Poop stains in underwear won’t come out in a normal wash but you can remove them with a few extra steps.
Cleaning stained underwear is far more sustainable and cost-effective than discarding the item. It just takes a little more time and attention.
The best products for cleaning poop stains from underwear include:
- white vinegar
- bicarbonate of soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- enzymatic cleaner
- lemon juice
- commercial cleaners
If the poop is still fresh, you should rinse the item immediately. Then place the underwear in warm water to soak before applying one of the following treatments.
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White vinegar is a versatile acidic household cleaner. The natural acidity of white vinegar works to dissolve dirt and grime on a variety of materials.
You can find 5-litre bottles of white vinegar on Amazon or eBay. It’s super handy to have around the house and cheaper to buy in bulk.
You’ll also find white vinegar in most supermarkets and hardware stores.
For this method, you will need white vinegar, water, and a spray bottle.
- Mix together white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
- Spray liberally on the stain
- Leave for five to ten minutes
- Wash at a high temperature in your washing machine
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Bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda, is a mild abrasive cleaner. It works best if the poop stain is still fresh but won’t be as effective on older stains.
You can buy bicarbonate of soda at most supermarkets and hardware stores. Or, you can save money by buying in bulk online.
For this method, you’ll need bicarbonate of soda and a soft brush.
- Rinse the underwear under cold water
- Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda evenly on the stain, whilst the item is still wet
- Rub gently with a soft brush – such as an old toothbrush or dishwashing brush
- Rinse under cold water once more
- Apply a stain remover product of your choice and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Place in the washing machine at a high temperature
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful bleaching agent and antiseptic. It’s great for treating stubborn stains on light-coloured clothing.
Hydrogen peroxide will also disinfect the underwear, removing harmful bacteria. Avoid using this bleaching agent on darker clothing as it may lighten the fabric.
Hydrogen peroxide can be found at your local high-street chemist or on Amazon. For an extra deep clean, try mixing hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of household ammonia.
Household ammonia is a diluted form of ammonia and is commonly used to clean around the home. It must never be mixed with chlorine bleach but is safe to use alongside hydrogen peroxide.
You can buy household ammonia at your local hardware store or on Amazon.
You’ll need hydrogen peroxide (3%), household ammonia, a sponge, and an eyedropper.
- Use the eyedropper to apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the stain
- Add a few drops of household ammonia
- Use a sponge to dab cold water on the stain
- Blot the area with a clean dry cloth or towel
- Place in the washing machine on a high heat
Enzymatic cleaners contain enzymes and bacteria which can break down bodily fluids like urine, blood, and faeces. They are often used to tackle stains and odours from pets but can also clean up human accidents.
You can make your own DIY enzymatic cleaner at home. This will need to be prepared in advance as it requires a fermentation period of one month.
To make DIY enzymatic cleaner, you’ll need an old soda bottle, sugar, yeast, citrus peel, and water.
- Chop 300g of lemon or other citrus fruit rind into small pieces
- Push the chopped citrus peel into a clean soda bottle
- Add one teaspoon of yeast and 100g of sugar (brown or white)
- Pour in a litre of filtered water
- Mix the contents together by shaking the bottle for 30 seconds
- Let out any gases that have built up during shaking by briefly removing the lid
- Attach a label to the bottle with today’s date
- Leave to ferment for one month in a warm place (above 35 C for best results)
Fermentation requires yeast to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The resulting build-up of carbon dioxide needs to be released three times a day for two weeks.
Without regular venting, the pressure from gas buildup can cause the bottle to explode.
To release the gas, unscrew the lid and let the mixture breathe for a few seconds. Make sure to screw the lid back on tightly to prevent oxygen from contaminating the solution.
You can switch to venting the bottle once a day after the first two weeks.
Once fermented you will need to strain the liquid through a sieve to remove any solids. You can then store your DIY enzymatic cleaner in an airtight container.
If you don’t have time to make your own, you can find commercial enzymatic cleaners at most pet shops or online.
The Dog Stain and Odour Remover by Simple Solution is an enzymatic cleaner that can be used as a laundry pre-wash. Although the product is designed to treat pet stains, it’s just as effective against human stains.
For light-coloured underwear, you can use lemon juice to remove poop stains. Avoid using lemon juice on darker-coloured underwear as it can lighten the fabric.
To use lemon juice to remove stains from underwear, you’ll also need water, a spray bottle, and a soft brush. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice or store-bought with no added ingredients.
- Mix together lemon juice and water in a 1:4 ratio
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle
- Spray evenly onto the stain
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes
- Scrub the stain gently with a soft brush (an old toothbrush or dish brush would work well)
- Rinse the underwear and put it in the washing machine on a hot wash
Pure vodka can make for a powerful cleaning agent against stains. Unlike white vinegar and bleach, vodka evaporates quickly and doesn’t leave a strong smell.
Avoid flavoured vodkas as these contain added ingredients that may disrupt the cleaning process.
For this method, all you’ll need is pure vodka and a clean cloth.
- Soak a cloth with vodka
- Dab the soaked cloth on the stain
- Leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes
- Rinse the item
- Place the underwear in the washing machine on a hot wash
DIY cleaners might save you money but they can also take more time and stress. If you would rather use a ready-made product, look for a laundry pre-wash or an enzymatic cleaner.
Oxi Action Laundry Boosting Powder by Vanish uses a bleach-free formula. It promises to remove a variety of stains, including those made by bodily fluids.
You can use Oxi Action powder as a pre-wash, in-wash powder or as a soak treatment. It’s safe to use on cotton and polyester fabrics but avoid using on wool or silk.
Preventing underwear stains
Preventing underwear stains is far easier than having to remove them. It’s common for young children to take some time to learn how to wipe properly after using the bathroom.
If poop stains are a recurring problem in your household, it may be worth investing in flushable wipes. Or, for a more environmentally-friendly solution, you can buy a portable bidet bottle.
Bidet bottles are designed for women to use after giving birth but are also useful for ensuring a thorough clean after using the bathroom.
Skidmarks could be caused by sticky stools, which are harder to clean than firm stools. What we eat can play a big role in our bowel habits and sticky stools are usually a sign of a lack of fibre.
Enjoying more soluble fibres, like fresh fruits and vegetables, will reduce the likelihood of sticky stools. Other sources of soluble fibre include black beans, sunflower seeds, oats, and barley.
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API