Baby clothes need to be kept clean and stain free but also free from harsh chemicals. Decisions on whether to use regular detergent and whether to wash them separately from regular laundry must be made. Here are some baby laundry basics to help you safely clean your baby’s clothes and protect his young skin.
Unless the baby has sensitive skin, it’s not a must to use baby detergent for washing baby clothes. Furthermore, using regular detergent allows you to wash the baby clothes together with the rest of your laundry.
To ascertain skin sensitivity, always test regular detergents with one item of clothing before you switch from baby detergent. Look out for signs of allergic reaction on the baby’s skin. If the baby’s skin is not sensitive, you can make the switch. Just make sure that you rinse out all the detergent. If the skin is sensitive to regular detergent, you should wait a while before you try the switch again.
Select the mildest soap you can find but one that can get rid of the stains on the baby’s clothes. A better option is to use regular liquid detergents as opposed to powder detergents. This is because liquid detergents tend to rinse out easily compared to powder ones. You should also avoid products with dyes or fragrances including fabric softeners and antistatic laundry products since they can cause allergic reactions.
Harsh regular detergents can cause diaper rash if you use them to clean cloth diapers. Therefore, cloth diapers should always be washed separate from the rest of the laundry. Use hot water and a mild baby detergent to clean nappies and rinse them thoroughly.
Formula, spit up, breast milk and drool stains are a reality parents must deal with. The best defense is to act fast while the stains are still fresh. Older stains can be removed with an all-purpose stain remover. Strong treatments but these must be avoided for nappies and undershirts. You should however never mix products containing chlorine bleach and ammonia or vinegar as the mixture is toxic.
Drool and formula stained clothes should be soaked in cool water as soon as they occur. Use some soap and a nylon brush with soft bristles to gently get rid of the spots. For fresh greasy stains, remove the excess oil or grease then cover them with talcum powder or cornstarch. Scrape it off after about 10 minutes, use a combination solvent and wash as usual. Fruit and veggie stains can be removed by soaking the cloth in cool water before laundering as usual. Soak stubborn fruit and veggie stains in an equal mixture of water and white vinegar.
Diarrhea and protein stains can be cleaned by soaking the item in plain water followed by adding an enzyme cleaner. Urine stains can be removed with a pretreatment of a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ammonia in a cup of water.
Natural stain removal
In place of chlorine bleach, use sodium perborate in wash water. Borax is a good presoak for diapers for its antiseptic and whitening properties while baking soda can be used as a presoak to absorb odors, clean and soften fabric. You can also use washing soda for greasy stains.