Doing Laundry is fun. No? Well, it doesn’t have to fun but it has to be done the right way. Even if you’ve learned how to do your laundry, when you have a baby, you have to go through a new learning curve on how to wash their clothes. Babies are different, their skin is more sensitive than adults, and their clothes are made differently. Hence extra care has to be taken when washing or caring for their clothes. Below are some tips on how to care for your baby’s clothes – including washing, ironing, removing stains, and washing cloth diapers.
How to Wash Baby Clothes
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 substances or dust that may irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Also, some of these clothes are sprayed with chemicals to make them smell like new. These chemicals are not necessarily good for your baby’s skin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Some manufacturers use finishing chemicals to make clothes look crisp and they could be harmful to baby’s skin.” Also, if the items were manufactured overseas, some countries allow chemicals like formaldehyde as a preservative during shipping to reduce mildew, mold and bacteria growth. This also applies to other items that come in contact with your baby’s skin. This includes sheets, blankets, swaddling clothes, towels and even baby accessories like socks, bows and even this adorable Printed Bows for Girls.
As for detergents, many parents and guardians prefer to use non-biological or organic detergents to wash their baby’s clothes. Biological detergents contain enzymes that help to remove stains, but there is a general worry that these enzymes will irritate the baby’s skin. There isn’t much evidence for this, but you may want to play it safe. A gentle fabric softener may help to prevent your baby’s clothes from becoming itchy. Turn garments inside out to prevent surface abrasion and secure zippers, buttons, snaps and other closures, says Dr. Easter.
Follow the fabric care tag. That will also help you know whether to wash the fabric in cold or warm water. Rinse clothes twice, especially if you suspect your child has a skin allergy. This will ensure that detergent residue is removed from clothing.
Use detergents that are free of colors, dyes, scents, perfumes or fragrances to help reduce the possibility of allergic reactions. These detergents are should be made for babies or labeled as clear and free. Some parents might feel compelled to buy a baby detergent for their infant’s clothes. But health experts say that isn’t necessary, as long as your baby doesn’t have allergies or very sensitive skin. Washing your infant’s clothes in regular liquid detergent with the rest of the family’s laundry should not be a problem. A liquid detergent may be preferable. Liquid detergents typically rinse out more completely than powders, which can leave behind flakes that may irritate an infant’s skin. If you’re concerned that regular detergent may be too harsh, first wash one or two baby items in the detergent.
After your baby wears the clothing, check his skin for irritation or note whether your infant is acting uncomfortable or itchy. If that’s the case, try a detergent with no dyes or fragrances. If that doesn’t work, double-rinsing clothing or using baby detergent until your baby is at least 1 year old may help. Lastly but not the least, after you decide on the detergent to use, stick with that one detergent. This way, if a skin problem does arise, this will make it easier to pinpoint the problem. These baby detergents made specifically for babies are milder than your average detergents and may not have as much cleaning power but that’s ok since baby clothes don’t get that dirty like adult clothes and there are special steps you can take for stain removal (discussed below)
Laundering Cloth Diapers:
Cloth diapers should be kept and washed separately from other clothes that need to be laundered. Immediately after use, rinse the dirty diapers in the toilet. You might want to invest in a diaper sprayer, which hooks onto the toilet and is used to spray off the diapers. Store the diapers in a diaper pail (a plastic trash can or large bucket will work) with a tight-fitting lid until it’s time to wash them. You can also use a disposable or washable liner in the diaper pail.
Wash diapers every two to three days. First, do a cold pre-wash or soak diapers overnight. Do not use detergents with dyes or perfumes. Wash in hot water, rinsing each load twice. Do not use fabric softeners, which can be irritating to an infant’s skin. Line-dry the diapers or put them in the dryer.
How to Remove Stains
When stains happen (and they will) it helps to be armed with information on how to get rid of them. Of course, a quick browse on youtube should give you information on how to remove every stain but admits taking care of a baby and probably with hands full, it’s not always convenient to start researching through your phone. Below are some tips on how to remove different stains when they eventually most definitely happen.
The sooner you start to get rid of a stain, the easier it will be and the better your chance of removing it successfully. If you act quick, stain removal can be a lot easier.
Check the care labels:
Before you attempt to remove stains from clothing, you should always check the garment care labels to make sure your clothing is not dry clean only. Delicate items that are dry clean only should be taken to a professional.
Check the color fastness:
Before beginning your wash, it is important to determine whether or not your clothes are colorfast, otherwise, you may end up with a messy wash with dyes running into other clothes! We recommend that you check the care label and also do the colorfastness test.
Remove any excess liquid or substances from the stained area before pre-soaking or applying a stain removal solution. Either blot the area to remove excess liquid or use a spoon or a blunt knife to gently lift any solid substances, like wax or melted chocolate.
If an item of clothing is heavily stained or stained with a hard to remove substance it may need soaking before you wash it. Depending on the stain, soak your clothing in cold or warm water with a little detergent and leave for 30 minutes (heavily stained items may require soaking overnight). Some stains need cold water and some are fine with warm – again, check the garment care label. Once you’ve covered all of the above steps stain removals should be easy. If it’s a white item of clothing, you can soak with bleach for faster stain removal.