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Wash baby clothes without all the stress

New parents have plenty to keep them occupied. Washing your new baby’s clothes doesn’t have to be one of them. We’ll break down all you need to know about how to wash baby clothes so that doing your baby’s laundry doesn’t take too much time away from caring for your little one.

How to wash baby clothes in the washing machine

It’s important for your baby to be wearing clean clothes. That’s because baby clothes tend to get dirty really quickly! Your baby might go through multiple outfits a day, and that means plenty of laundry. Luckily, baby clothes can generally be washed in the washing machine according to the garment’s care symbols. Usually, you’ll just treat them as you would your machine-washable delicates.

Here’s how to do baby clothes laundry, step-by-step:

  1. Sort the laundry into lights, darks, and whites.
  2. If your baby’s clothing is soiled with any protein-based stains like spittle, vomit, poop, or urine on it, flush them out under cold water immediately. Oil-based stains should also be flushed out with cold water, regardless of what is stated on the care instructions. Using warm water to treat protein and oil-based stains can end up setting the stain.
  3. Pre-treat the stain by applying a small amount of detergent directly onto the stain and letting the garment soak in cold water. 30 minutes should do the trick for fresh stains. For older or more stubborn stains, leave the garment soaking overnight.
  4. Wash the garment in the washing machine according to care instructions. Use a detergent formulated for sensitive skin like Persil® Sensitive Skin liquid detergent. For baby clothes, hypoallergenic detergents that are free of dyes and perfumes are the way to go. When in doubt, use the gentle or delicates wash cycle and cold water.
  5. Check the stain to make sure it’s gone. If not, you’ll have to pre-treat and wash the stained garment again.

How to wash baby clothes by hand

Some of your baby’s clothes will not be machine washable (like their adorable formal holiday outfit, for example). No worries, though. Handwashing your baby’s clothes is easy, too!

  1. Flush out any stains under cold water.
  2. Pre-treat stains by rubbing a small amount of sensitive detergent into them. For very delicate garments, do a spot test on an inconspicuous place first. Soak the garment in some cold water for thirty minutes, or overnight for more stubborn stains.
  3. Fill up the sink or a bucket with cold water. Add a small amount of detergent for sensitive skin to the water, swirling it around.
  4. Add the garment and let it soak for fifteen to thirty minutes. Rub at any stains periodically to loosen up the stain.
  5. Rinse thoroughly. Any detergent remaining in the garment may end up irritating your baby’s skin.
  6. Hang to dry. 

Why and how to wash baby clothes before first use

You should also wash baby clothes before wearing for the first time because of chemicals used on new clothes to keep them looking fresh and crisp. Because parents start collecting baby clothes even before the child is born, any allergies or sensitivities to detergents won’t be known about for the first round of pre-washing. Pre-washing baby clothes prior to delivery should be done at the warmest temperature possible according to care instructions, but with an extra-rinse cycle and in water only, just in case the baby has a sensitivity even to gentle detergents.

When to wash baby clothes before birth is up to you. Some expecting parents do so months in advance and keep the clothes in a drawer, away from dust. It’s also ok to wait for closer to the delivery date.

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