Doing laundry for babies seems like it should be straightforward until it is not. With multiple types of stains, colors of clothing, and loads of laundry to be done, every parent needs to be privy to must-know laundry tips for keeping their baby’s clothes clean.
Babies are messy. So messy, in fact, some days it does not seem like an infant has been in an outfit for longer than a moment when he already needs to be changed into something new. Be it spit up, blown-out diapers, food spills, and more, there are multiple possibilities of clothing getting dirty throughout the day and sometimes, it seems like the clothes just do not want to come clean.
Here are some must-know tips for keeping your baby’s clothes clean.
Pre-Wash The Clothes To Keep Baby’s Clothes Clean
Clothes straight off the hanger are about as clean as they can be, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, there is no telling what has happened to the clothes from the time they made their way into a store and before they got into a baby’s closet.
According to Dreft, baby clothes need a good wash before they ever come into contact with a baby. Here’s why:
•The material itself needing a good washing to soften the coarseness
•Wash off the chemicals that come into contact with the clothing
•Gross as it sounds, but clothes may be “stored in a warehouse that may house a variety of bugs and rodents”
As such, take the time to remove the tags and wash baby clothes before they make their way into the baby’s closet and drawers. The baby’s skin will very appreciative of it.
Choose A Detergent For Sensitive Skin
Baby clothes cannot be washed in the same detergent as the rest of the family because of baby’s sensitive skin. Clothes need to be washed in a detergent that is specifically made for babies and their sensitive skin, or one that is labeled fragrance-free.
There may be some confusion between fragrance-free and unscented.
According to the Chicago Tribune, fragrance-free detergents are “free of synthetic fragrances whereas unscented detergents have chemicals that mask or neutralize odors.”
It is necessary to keep the baby away from as many chemicals as possible. Therefore, detergents that are fragrance-free or for sensitive skin are the most beneficial.
Read The Tag Before Washing To Keep Baby’s Clothes Clean
Baby clothes might appear to just be a miniature version of their parents’ clothing. However, some of it can be more delicate. This is why it is imperative to read the tag before washing.
The same rule of separating whites from colors applies to baby clothes so that colors do not bleed together. But, some articles of clothing may need to be hand-washed because of their delicate nature.
And because baby clothes are prone to shrinking, they should be washed in “cooler water,” according to Child Safety Store. This will help keep the clothes’ original shape and retain the bright colors longer as well.
All Stains Are Not Created Equal
Baby clothes are going to get any number of stains on them. However, not all stains can be removed the same way. As such, it is important to know the best way to remove the main stains that are likely to happen to baby clothes.
First and foremost, regardless of the stain, according to Martha Stewart, it is important to presoak the stain in cool water. In some instances, this will remove the stain without any further work. For most though, it will help to loosen the stain a bit from the fabric of the clothing. This will make the stain easier to remove.
Baby Oil/Petroleum Jelly Stains
It might seem like once clothing comes into contact with baby oil or petroleum jelly, it is permanently stained. According to Hunker, there are ways to remove the stain.
•The first step is to remove any excess of the stain from the clothing.
•Next, laying the clothing flat, sprinkle corn starch over the stain. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes.
•Remove the corn starch. Then apply liquid dish soap to the stain, letting it saturate the spot for another 15 minutes.
•The final step is to run the stain under warm water and wash out the dish soap. Voila! Stain removed.
Baby Food Stains
Baby food comes in a variety of colors, which in turn can stain in a variety of colors. Fear not though. There is a remedy to removing most of these stains, according to Martha Stewart.
•The first step is to rinse out what will voluntarily come out of the clothing.
•Next, soak the clothing in a “one-to-one mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.” This should loosen the stain enough to be able to be laundered out from there.
•If the stain is difficult, using a “one-to-one mixture of white vinegar and water” should do the trick to completely clean the clothes.
Caused from spit-up of breast milk and baby formula, protein stains are difficult to remove on their own. However, adding an enzyme cleaner to the mix, according to Better Homes & Gardens, should be all it takes to rid the clothing of the stain.
For diaper blowouts, they can be treated just as the protein stains are treated, per Martha Stewart.
•The best way to treat them, according to the publication is to “pretreat the area with a tablespoon of ammonia diluted in at least one cup water.”
•Once the pretreating is complete, use a solvent on it and then place it in the laundry. The stain should be removed completely at the end of the cycle.
Per Martha Stewart, it is important to NOT mix ammonia or vinegar with anything cleaning product containing ammonia. The combination is harmful to health.
Nothing Is Working
If all else fails and it looks like the garment is stained permanently, put it outside.
According to The Spruce, letting the stain sit in the sun might just be enough to bleach it out. Remember, this works best on white clothing, as colors will likely fade in the sun. But, if a colorful piece of clothing was already headed for the trash, it cannot hurt to let the sun see if it can work its magic.
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