New mom, new dad, or baby on the way? Surely by now you know that a newborn can get through a mountain of clothes in a very short time and some of those garments can get very dirty (cough diapers cough). If you’ve ever wondered what the best way to wash baby clothes is, then you’re in luck! These tips and tricks on which detergent to buy, stain treatments and on finding an effective laundry routine are a must for any parent or parent-to-be! Read on, because there are a few things you might want to know before you throw that mountain of clothes in the wash. (Because less time washing clothes means more time getting a bit of rest).
Before getting into how to wash and dry baby clothes or how often, it’s important to talk about baby clothes washing detergent and what the best laundry detergent for baby is. In short, it’s best to use fragrance-free, dye-free laundry detergents. These detergents, sometimes labeled as “sensitive skin” detergents are more gentle and work great for babies. Why? Because babies have a much more sensitive skin than those of a teen, adult or the elderly. Regular laundry detergent could cause skin allergy or irritation to your baby. All the best brands of detergent usually have a “free and clear” iteration that works wonders. Or, you could look into natural, non-toxic detergents that are safe for babies. Watch out for softeners and detergents with strong perfumes or bleach!!
New clothes? Get ready to wash those! When you buy new clothes for your baby, it’s best to wash them BEFORE your baby wears them for the first time. This will help to remove any toxic substances or dust that may irritate your baby’s skin. Remember to remove all tags from clothes, blankets and sheets (and make sure you check for stickers too!) The adhesive on those bad boys will melt into some types of materials and leave a permanent crust spot if left on garments that are thrown in the washer/dryer.
When washing baby clothes, as with any other type of clothes, be sure to read the garments’ care labels when washing something for the first time. Children’s sleepwear must be flame-resistant so never use bleach to wash them; bleach reduces the effectiveness of the treatment chemicals and might ruin treated fabrics!
Received some hand-me-downs? Awesome! But be sure to sort through all the hand-me-downs, as they can sometimes be stained or moldy from being put away for a long time. If you do notice some mold, it’s best to pre-wash these garments with hot water, a little detergent and vinegar. This combination will remove any stains and any lingering mildew smell. Chances are that some of those garments won’t be saved no matter what, so no worries if you can’t wash them all.
Bonus tips: place socks and other small items in a mesh bag so as to not lose anything during your laundry routine! Also, when putting clothes away after washing, make sure no buttons, snaps or embellishments came loose during the process.
Hard to remove stains? Best life hack is to just fill a bucket with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part warm water and soaking the stained garments in that for at least an hour. It will help to remove stains more easily and will not leave any weird smells on garments.
If you’re thinking of using dryer sheets for baby clothes, don’t even bother. Not only do baby clothes not need any fabric softener or dryer sheets, but these products can leave a chemical leftover harsh enough to affect your baby’s skin. Instead try using 100% natural wool dryer balls. With those you will get the softness you want without any of the chemicals.