Does Breast Milk Stain Clothes? Tips To Protect Them

If you are a new mom, you must have asked this question a few times – does breast milk stain clothes? Breast milk is known to stain clothes easily, so it is important to take some steps to remove it before it sets in.

Does Breast Milk Stain Clothes

What Does Breast Milk Made Of?

Breast milk is made up of water, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The amount of each nutrient in breast milk varies depending on the stage of lactation (early or late) and the woman’s diet.

Human milk also contains antibodies that help protect babies from infection. The type and amount of fat in breast milk helps babies digest it easily and absorb the nutrients they need.

  • Fat: The fat content in breast milk provides energy and essential fatty acids for the baby’s brain and nervous system development. It also helps the baby to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Protein: Protein in breast milk helps the baby’s body to grow and develop. It is also important for the development of the brain, muscles, and organs. The amount of protein in breast milk varies depending on the stage of lactation (early or late) and the woman’s diet.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in breast milk provide energy for the baby’s growth and development. They also help the baby’s digestive system to work properly.
  • Water: Water is the largest single component of breast milk. It helps to keep the baby hydrated and provides a source of nutrients and electrolytes.

Does Breast Milk Stain Clothes?

The answer is Yes! Breast milk, like all animal and human-based products, contains proteins and lipids that may stain shirts, and the baby’s clothing. Proteins leave marks on textiles, while fats in breast milk create grease-like stains.

Does breast milk stain baby clothes? Even if your baby’s laundry looks clean after washing it, you may notice yellow marks on new clothing when it is stored. These are caused by the milk proteins’ residues that change color with time.

If you’re concerned about breast milk staining your baby’s clothes, there are a few things you can do to prevent it. Try pumping into a bottle instead of directly onto your baby’s clothing, and store pumped milk in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. You can also keep a few fresh pairs of baby clothes handy to quickly change and wash the stain. 

What Are The Best Ways To Remove Breast Milk Stains?

So, how can you get rid of those set-in breast milk stains? Here are some stain removal suggestions:

Find The Right Tools

It’s a good idea to keep these things on hand in case you (inevitably) need them:

  • For fast clean-ups, use these cleaning cloths that remove stains.
  • A scrubbing brush with soft bristles
  • To pretreat stains, use a stain remover.
  • To dissolve proteins, use laundry detergents that have an enzyme action.

Pretreat, Scrub, Soak, And Wash

Use the following measures to remove stains:

  • Scrape any milk residue off the cloth with a clean spoon.
  • There are several natural and man-made stain removers to select from. Consider a milder, more environmentally friendly stain remover that doesn’t include as many harsh chemicals or allergens. Always double-check garment tags to see if they can handle stain remover.
  • Remove debris from the fabric with your soft-bristled brush. Any sensitive fabrics should be treated with care.
  • Soak your stained items in a tub of ice water. Protein-based stains are prevented from setting by soaking them in cold water.
  • Make sure your laundry detergent contains enzymes capable of breaking down protein stains. To safeguard your baby’s delicate skin, choose detergents with the fewest chemicals and allergens possible, particularly for his or her clothing. Most breast milk stains should be removed in the washing process.
  • Tough stains might need extra soaking and a few more washes.

How To Remove Set-In Breast Milk Stains From Baby Clothes?

You won’t be able to get to every breast milk stain immediately. That’s the reality of having a newborn. So, does breast milk stain clothes permanently? What should you do if you have a set-in breast milk stain?

Step 1: Scrape

The more dried milk you can remove from your baby’s clothing, the better. Take care not to scrape too firmly or you’ll stretch out the cloth.

Step 2: Pre-treat

Rubbing with a washcloth or sponge will help remove the stains. Allow the stain-removing solution to sit for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer on any of these items.

Step 3: Wash

You should wash an established stain using the coldest water accessible, just as you would with a fresh breast milk stain.

Step 4: Sun-Dry

If you can dry the clothing in the sunshine, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding permanent yellowish discoloration.

How Can I Remove Breast Milk Stains From Carpets & Upholstery?

  • Remove drifts of dust or debris with a clean, dry paper towel.
  • Use a solution of cold water and liquid dish soap to scrub the spot. Protein and fat stains will not set in if you use cold water.
  • Blot the region with paper towels to eliminate water stains.
  • To avoid leaving a scar, wash the region with plain water after using the soap solution.

Does Baby Formula Stain Clothes?

Breast milk, like baby formula, will stain fabric because it includes comparable protein compounds that, if left for too long, form a greasy patch on clothes regardless of whether they’ve been in the machine.

If you have an error in your formula, the procedures described above should be sufficient to remove the stain.

What Are the Best Breast Milk Stain Removers? 

When it comes to your baby’s clothing and everything that comes into touch with his or her bare skin, you want to use the safest goods available. You’ll want chemistry that works when it comes to getting rid of a milk stain.

Oxy Bleach

The use of oxygen bleach on clothes stained with baby formula or breast milk may be beneficial. Specific oxygen-based bleaching solutions for infants that tackle milk stains and are supposed to be kind on the skin exist.

Remember that bleach is dangerous if used around babies. Because bleach can cause skin burns, eye damage, and other serious health problems, it’s critical to keep it out of the reach of young children.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic and ecologically beneficial. It may be utilized as a bleach substitute to treat stains.
  • Baking soda, lemon juice, and water are natural stain removers.
  • On white apparel, a 100% lemon or lime juice stain remover may be used.
  • Dishwashing detergent is not recommended for removing grease or fat stains since it may leave a stain on your clothing if washed too soon after application.
  • To obtain the most natural bleaching action, hang clothes in the sun as much as possible.

Can You Use Bleach?

Protein-based stains, such as breast milk, may be treated with oxygen bleach but might result in serious health risks, particularly when applied to children. Bleach, like any other strong chemical, can irritate the nose, eyes, and skin, as well as induce respiratory problems and skin burns.

How To Avoid Breast Milk Stains?

Before they appear, use these techniques for avoiding breast milk stains to lighten your laundry load:

  • To protect your clothes from leaks or to dry breast milk, use nursing pads.
  • Clean any fresh breast milk stains as soon as possible before the milk has a chance to set. (This is when those stain removal wipes come in useful again.)
  • Cover any nursing equipment, such as a nursing pillow, with an old towel or pillowcase that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • As soon as possible, pour cold water over any accidental stain to prevent oily stains from developing.
  • When you’re nursing, keep burp cloths on hand to protect your clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: I put my baby clothes in an airtight plastic container after washing them. Why do they now have yellow stains? 

Ans: Yellow stains can be devastating to find in a box of baby clothes you’ve lovingly washed and stored away. Even months after washing, it’s still milk protein that causes these inexplicable yellow spots. The residue of proteins in the cloth takes on a golden color even if it is kept airtight for an extended period. 

If the stains are still there after several wash cycles, work on removing them in the same manner as you would fresh stains. Before washing, pretreat, scrub, and soak.

Q2: Are milk stains permanent?

Ans: It’s difficult to tell if there is any residue on the damp cloth, but take a good look before deciding whether or not it’s dry enough. The stain will be permanent after drying.

Q3: Does milk stain baby clothes?

Ans: Stored baby clothes that have been kept clean can become discolored after a few years in storage, even if they’ve been washed repeatedly. The culprit is milk protein. This might come from breast milk or, perhaps more frighteningly, spit-up.

Q4: Do milk stains come out in the wash?

Ans: Because milk stains include proteins, it’s vital not to use hot or warm water on them because this can help set the stain. To remove the proteins and fats in milk stain removal, choose a washing detergent that contains enzymes or even oxygen and color-safe bleaches.

Q5: What does a milk stain look like?

Ans: Whether you’re doing laundry or just hanging out in the room, milk stains that looked unimportant at first may darken, become yellow, and leave a horrible impression. Milk and milk products have proteins and fats that can cling to the fabric and create a stain.

Q6: How do you get rid of spit-up breast milk?

Ans: If the spit-up stain is big, soak it in warm water and detergent for 15 minutes before washing. Depending on what you fed your child, the stain should come out quickly. If the spot remains after you wash and air-dry it, apply color-safe bleach to the garment.

Q7: How do you get yellow milk stains out of baby clothes?

Ans: You can use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to remove yellow milk stains from baby clothes. You can also try using a stain remover specifically designed for breast milk stains.

Q8: Does breast milk come out of clothes?

Ans: It’s possible. To remove stains from your clothes, use the following techniques: wash, pretreat, soak, and rinse.


So, does breast milk stain clothes? Breast milk stains are not permanent and can be removed with the proper care. Be sure to pretreat, scrub, and soak any stained clothing before washing to ensure the best results.

For more difficult stains, you may need to use a stain remover specifically designed for breast milk or color-safe bleach. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to remove any breast milk stains from your clothes.

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

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