Before the baby was born, you probably couldn’t wait to wash all those cute little clothes and receiving blankets. The added bonus, being the incredibly hypnotizing smell of baby laundry soaps, can have every mom to be swirling in the newfound fascination of washing baby clothing. Then, baby is born and you realize that washing baby clothing becomes a full time job and that many of the stains left behind, are to say the least, difficult to expel. But it can be done. Unfortunately, marketers of baby friendly laundry products understand what you are going through and sell tons of products that can make it difficult to decide what you really need to get your baby’s clothes clean.
First, it should be noted that pediatricians recommend using fragrant and dye free detergents so that your baby won’t break out with an allergic reaction. A newborn and baby have very sensitive skin and often the perfumes or chemicals in laundry soap can make them develop a rash that is similar to prickly heat. Most of the baby detergents on the market however are highly fragrant. When you search the label of your chosen laundry detergent, make sure that is hypoallergenic; which will mean it is both perfume and dye free. A great deal of families are turning to the 100% organic soap products as hypoallergenic alternatives. Of course, these won’t leave behind that ‘fresh as a baby’s bottom’ smell, but they will get the clothes clean.
If you choose to go with the well known brands of baby only detergent – be prepared to pay a hefty price. The truth is that they really don’t include many more actual washing agents than your run of the mill detergents. One great product for washing baby clothing is the All, free and clear laundry detergent. Considering that many baby clothes will become the victim to organic stains of their own (throw up, spit up or formula) your efforts would be well spent in learning how to treat your baby’s clothes for stains. The first line of defense is to pre-treat. If the stain originated from them or includes bodily fluids, you should remove the clothing as soon as possible and treat it with a stain removal product. Look for products that are specifically designed for these types of stains. If you cannot find them in the laundry aisle at your favorite store, these products are often sold in the baby aisle near the diapers and wipes.
The best way to pre-treat these stains is to make a pasty substance out of the product you are using. You can also add a touch of baking soda. Perhaps one of the best products on the market for making a pre-treatment stain removal paste is basic old Oxy Clean. You have to be very careful because this can bleach out clothes or disturb sensitive fabrics. Let the pre-treatment sit on the clothes for an hour or so and then rinse it with cool water before you throw it in the wash. The next step is to put a little extra detergent, or spray type pre-treatment on the stain before putting in the washing machine. If the fabric of the clothing allows, wash it in hot water. One tip is to check the clothing before you throw it in the dryer as the dryer heat will set the stain in and make it virtually impossible to take out later.
Lots of moms are curious about using bleach on their baby’s clothes. One of the benefits to white clothing is that you can bleach it, ensuring that most of the stains from food will come out in the wash. However, if you notice that your child is having an allergic reaction after wearing the clothes, you can assume the bleach is too hard on their skin. Dryer sheets can also cause skin irritation as they leave a film on clothing. Yet – white clothing is the easiest to clean. If you have white sheets, towels or baby items simply wash them in the hottest water your machine will allow, add a cup of bleach and then re-wash or rinse it again before putting it on your baby. This way you will have stain free clothing that will not be laden with residue from the detergent.
One thing about baby laundry that makes it different from other laundry in your house, is it should be washed as quickly as possible. Because of the nature of the stains – the longer they sit in a hamper, the harder it will be to get them clean. You will quickly notice that washing baby clothing will become a daily chore. You might want to wash all of your baby’s clothes separate from other household laundry. This makes it easier to keep together, put away and ensures that no other clothes that may have chemical stains on them are washed with your baby’s laundry.
One essential piece of baby clothing that will not only help you when it comes to laundry – but will also help keep your stain removal at a minimum is a bib! Sure, purchasing the cute bibs with the catchy phrases are great – but your new best friend will become the bibs that go over your baby’s head are a lifesaver. Once your baby starts teething and eating at the table, these terry cloth wonders will save your clothes from the stains that can ruin cute outfits in minutes. Plus, they will stay put and you won’t have to worry about strings or straps getting tangled. If you purchase them make sure they are a washable fabric (or even plastic) so they too can be used and reused! Washing baby clothing is quite simply a fact of life when you have a baby. Finding stain fighting products and keeping your child in comfortable, easy to care for fabrics while at home can save you a lot of time and a lot of wasted money on stained clothes.