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How to Wash Baby Clothes

 If this is your first tiny tot, you will have quickly realised that your baby goes through so many clothes! And if this is most definitely NOT your first baby then you’re well prepared for the countless clothes they go through. Nevertheless, one of the most significant challenges with your tiny tot’s clothing is STAINS. No matter if this is baby number 1 or 4 for you, stains are a tough battle that you face on a daily basis. From messy baby food to even more unpleasant fluids (poop, we’re talking about you), their clothes get caked in everything and we know that constantly replacing them isn’t an option. Also, we know how important it is to keep your baby’s clothes as clean as possible to protect them from bugs and germs that they can pick up from all that play throughout the day. That’s why we’ve created this guide on the best way to wash your baby’s clothes!

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions around washing your baby’s clothing or personal items, we recommend speaking with your Health Visitor or registered GP Practice.

Washing Baby Clothes: The Care Label

A common mistake most of us make is disregarding the care label on our clothes. No matter if it’s adults or kids clothing, the care label is crucial in how you clean and handle the garment so mustn’t be ignored. The care labels contain information regarding the appropriate temperature to wash the clothes in, if and how it can be ironed, if it’s machine wash or hand wash and sometimes, even what garments it can be washed with. It can be super tempting to whack it in the washing machine at the highest temperature, but for minorly dirty or dirty from wear clothing it’s not necessary to use the hottest temperature all the time. It’s imperative that you separate your laundry by colour (usually lights, brights, and darks) so you can avoid dying all your white items a different colour! Sadly, a sneaky red sock may occasionally worm its way into the washing machine and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Separating your laundry by colour is the best way of retaining your clothing’s colour and avoiding having to replace the staples that get muddied from the contamination. Most importantly, you must check for stains before you throw items in the washing machine! Crossing your fingers and hoping it will come out fine rarely works, so that’s why it’s key to treat the area with a removing agent before you toss it in the wash.

What to Wash Baby Clothes With

Your tiny tots have super sensitive skin so it’s important you use something designed for such sensitivity. That’s why it’s best practice to use gentle, fragrance-free detergents when washing your baby’s clothes. Fragranced products can really irritate skin and be far too harsh for your baby, so opting for one without and designed with sensitive skin in mind minimises the risks of rashes. There are detergents on the market that have been specially formulated to be used on your baby’s clothes which you can use and may provide you with more peace of mind. It’s worth noting how big brand detergents are extensively tested and even though they will be a bit more expensive, don’t skimp on quality with whatever you wash your baby’s clothes with as it will be noticeable.

Non-biological detergents are much gentler on the skin, so take that into consideration when shopping for your detergent of choice. Your baby’s clothes have been spun repeatedly by your washing machine, to the point that the fabrics are stiffening up and may be irritating your tiny tot’s skin. It’s so tempting to reach for that fabric softener, and you totally can! Just make sure it’s hypoallergenic, appropriate for baby clothes and sensitive skin, especially when remembering that some are heavily fragranced and could cause irritation. Please also consider how some baby clothes have a flame-resistant coating on which fabric softener can damage, so again check that care label!

When to Wash Baby Clothes

Tiny tots are making a mess all day and every day which means their clothes collect lots of bacteria in one wear! That’s why it’s recommended by dermatologists to wash baby clothes after every wear to ensure they aren’t wearing dirt. It’s also recommended by dermatologists that all new garments should be washed before your baby wears it to protect them from bacteria and ensuring their skin won’t be irritated from the clothing. When you’re buying new baby clothes, you never know the journey it may have been on or the environment it had been in before it landed in your basket. Therefore, it’s just better to wash it before it’s worn.

Stain Removal 101

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to get stains out of baby clothes. Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when removing stains, as some substances can be tougher than others. The most basic method which is the foundation of stain removal is to soak the clothes first, apply the stain remover to the affected area (the instructions on the back of the product will provide further guidance here as each may have a slightly different approach) and then pop in the washing machine as normal. Whether you’re playing choo-choo train or aeroplane with your tiny tot’s food, it will still end up everywhere apart from in their mouth. Sadly, their clothes will get the brunt of the mess. You’ll need to know how to get food stains out of baby clothes – feeding is a constant battle and food will always end up everywhere! Soaking the garment for a long period of time (a few hours minimum) in cold water is the key step and then continue as usual with your stain remover of choice before throwing it in the wash- you better look at that care label!

There’s another common substance that gets everywhere which dominates the nightmares of parents and parents to be. You’re asking how to get baby poop out of clothes and we don’t blame you. This will be a regular occurrence, and if handled incorrectly makes your tiny tot’s piece of clothing a write off! The most important step is to try and get rid of as much of the poop as possible before treating it. Run water over the area until you’re just left with the stain. Follow up with your trusty stain remover, and before chucking it in the wash refer to the care label for all the information. The hotter the temperature the better for stained garments as this helps actually clean the clothes and rid them of bacteria and germs, which is why it’s crucial for you to check the label to ensure the garment can handle a hot wash. It's also worth considering a laundry sanitiser when washing your baby clothes that are soiled with poop or sick – this really ensures that the garments are disinfected and kills a high percentage of viruses and bacteria which is crucial for your tiny tot’s health! Most likely, once the garment is out of the wash there will be a yellow discolouration where the initial stain was. The best and easiest way of getting rid of this mark is by setting it out to dry in the sun! This is your chance to get your clothing line out and have the washing dry outside because the sun bleaches the stain. Once the item is fully dry, you’ll return to find that your baby’s clothing is stain free!

Here's to Stain Free Clothes!

It may appear like that’s a lot of information for you to take in- but washing your baby’s clothes will become an ingrained part of your daily routine so you’ll pick up the methods for stain removal very quickly. Babies are messy, there’s no doubt. You’ll become very accustomed to their mess and it’s definitely an opportunity to relate to other parents! The most important takeaway from this guide? That your baby’s clothes need to be clean and washed after every wear. Keeping things hygienic and suitable for their sensitive skin is a must, and hopefully you’ve found this guide helpful! PLUS - don’t forget to check out that care label, it’s your best friend.

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