Little ones tend to be messy beings with spit up and stains always catching on their clothes, you’ll find yourself as a parent doing laundry countless times and some stains literally never fade away. Not to mention clothes that play Houdini in the washer because they’re so tiny. Apart from it being a chore, little ones have an immune system that is still evolving which means they can catch infections and diseases from almost anywhere. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to the cleanliness of their clothing. One of the most overlooked germ nests that your children are exposed to are their clothes. Here are some tips on washing your little one’s clothes.
Some parents might feel compelled to seek out the best baby laundry detergent specifically for their infant's clothes. However, health experts say that isn't necessary, as long as your baby doesn't have allergies or very sensitive skin. If you have questions, talk to your paediatrician. Washing your infant's clothes in regular detergent with the rest of the family's laundry should not be a problem. Note that a liquid detergent might be preferable to powder formulas. Liquid detergents typically rinse out more completely than powders, which can leave behind flakes that might irritate an infant's skin. If you're concerned that regular detergent might be too harsh, first wash one or two baby items in the detergent. After your baby wears the clothing, check his or her skin for irritation or note whether your infant is acting uncomfortable or itchy. If that's the case, the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin will have no dyes or perfumes. If that doesn't work, double-rinsing clothing or using baby laundry soap until your baby is at least 1 year old might help. Next to the baby laundry detergent selection, you'll likely find a whole host of baby fabric softeners, baby clothes stain removers, and more. Before purchasing, read the labels, assess your baby's skin sensitivity, and decide if baby-specific laundry items are right for you.
In general, treat stains while they are fresh, making sure to remove as much of the staining substance as possible before laundering.
Protein Based Stains - This type includes stains from formula, breast milk, spit-up, most food stains, and faces. Soak stains in cool water using a stain-removing product containing enzymes. If that doesn't work, try an all-purpose stain remover and launder normally.
Urine Stains - Removing a urine stain requires a two-step process. Dilute 1 tablespoon of ammonia in 1 cup of water and use it to treat the area. Remember to dab the mixture in a small area first to make sure the garment is colourfast. Use a stain-removal product and launder normally. Remember to never mix bleach with vinegar or ammonia. The combination creates toxic fumes that can be hazardous to you and your family.
Oil Stains - Use a prewash stain remover. After checking the care instructions, wash in the hottest water that is safe for the garment. Let the garment air dry to ensure the stain has been removed.
Fruit & Vegetable Stains - Three methods can be effective at removing these stains. Try simply rinsing the stain in cool water. Alternatively, place the garment in a 1-to-1 combination of rubbing alcohol and water, and wash normally. The third option is to use a prewash stain remover, followed by laundering, for more stubborn stains. If that does not remove the stain, soak the garment in a mixture of 1-part white vinegar and 1 part water.
What about stained baby clothes that are beyond rescuing? Do not stress. Sure, it's frustrating to have a stain you just can't tackle, especially when it's on that adorable outfit you were waiting to show off and it didn't even make it out the door. Some items like baby washcloths, burp cloths, and plain cotton shirts make great rags for cleaning. For items beyond use, it’s time for them to be recycled.
Cloth diapers should be kept and washed separately from other laundry. Immediately rinse dirty diapers in the toilet. You might want to invest in a diaper sprayer, which hooks onto the toilet and is used to spray off the diapers. Store the diapers in a diaper pail (a plastic trash can, or large bucket will work) with a tight-fitting lid until it's time to wash them. You can also use a disposable or washable liner in the diaper pail. Wash diapers every two to three days. First, do a cold prewash or soak diapers overnight. Do not use detergents with dyes or perfumes. Wash in hot water, rinsing each load twice. Do not use fabric softeners, which can be irritating to an infant's skin. Line-dry the diapers or put them in the dryer.