When your family welcomes a new baby into the home, you can look forward to a lot of wonderful experiences, but also a lot of stains that need to be cleaned from your baby’s clothes. Whereas you may previously have been washing clothes about once a week, you can expect to see a surge in laundry once you have a newborn. Here are a few clothes washing tips to make a potentially daunting process a whole lot easier.
Wash new baby clothes before your child wears them. Although it seems like brand new clothes should be clean, clothes that you’ve just picked out from the store may have residue (potentially even formaldehyde, which is used to give some clothes a “crisp” look when they’re shipped out) that can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Make it your policy to wash all clothing before your baby wears it.
Soak stains in cool water. Some of the most common stains you’ll encounter, including breast milk, formula, spit-up, food stains, and feces can be removed if you simply soak the stained clothing in cool water as soon as possible after the stain occurs. This will help keep the stain from setting, and afterwards you’ll be able to launder the clothing normally.
Use an ammonia-water mixture for urine stains. Urine stains require a little more than cool water, but not much more. Just add a tablespoon of ammonia to a cup of water and apply it to the stained area. You may also want to apply an all-purpose stain remover before adding the clothing to the rest of the laundry.
Wash cloth diapers separately. Cloth diapers are much less expensive and more environmentally-friendly than disposable ones, but they also require you to do a lot more laundry. If you’ve decided to go the cloth diaper route, plan on washing dirty diapers in their own separate load of laundry. As soon as you remove a dirty cloth diaper, rinse it in the toilet and store it with other dirty diapers in a tightly sealed diaper pail until it’s time to wash them.
Choose the right detergent. Since babies typically have more sensitive skin than adults, look for a detergent like Pure & Gentle’s liquid laundry soap that uses all-natural ingredients, is phosphate- and dye-free, and that removes allergens from clothing. If this type of detergent is still too harsh for your baby, try an all-natural laundry soap that is formulated especially for babies’ clothing.