The clothes and towels of your baby can carry plenty of germs. Even when they don’t have germs all the time, there are high chances for the clothes to acquire germs easily, especially when they are washed along with other clothes. Most of us take all the possible care to keep our baby clean and safe, keep our space clean and tidy, and feed our baby in an environment free from germs. We would be disappointed if our little one gets an infection because his/her clothes were not washed properly. This is why it is important to understand about washing your baby’s clothes, and some of the best ways to maintain their wardrobe.
Before you dunk your baby’s clothes in a washing bucket or machine, keep these key points in mind that would benefit you in the longer run.
Wash Your Baby’s Clothes Separately
Many parents toss the clothes of their baby along with other household garments and wash them together. Always wash your baby’s clothes to prevent the spread of dirt from other clothes, thereby reducing the chance of allergies.
Check the Label on Clothes for Washing Instructions
Any baby cloth that comes with a label is most likely to have a set of instructions related to washing and caring. They mostly include instructions regarding the water temperature, hand wash/machine wash, and more. Most manufacturers usually include the safe and correct steps of washing baby clothes, which helps in determining the wash-care process prior.
Select the Right Detergent
Many people make the common mistake of washing their baby’s cloth with regular detergents. It is safe if your baby doesn’t show any allergies with its use. One of the major issues with using baby detergents is that it doesn’t help erase stains easily. In this case, you can pick a regular detergent that doesn’t have any added colours, fragrance, or other chemicals. You can also use specially formulated detergents to wash baby wear so that they won’t leave any allergenic residues on clothes.
Washing Baby Clothes Before First Use
Many experts recommend washing baby clothes before using them first. If you have bought the baby wear before your baby’s birth, keep them washed and ready by the time he/she arrives.
Now, let’s discuss the various steps involved in washing your baby’s clothes properly.
Hand-Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
The advantage of hand washing clothes is that it ensures that every part of the fabric gets cleaned. It is worth the time we spend as it cleans the clothes deeply when compared to washing clothes in the washing machine.
You may hand-wash baby wear as per the instructions on the label on the clothes or because you prefer to do so. Here is how you should hand-wash your baby’s clothes safely:
Select the Water Temperature
Fill a washing bucket with the correct amount of water with a temperature that is recommended on the label. Clothes that come without such instructions can mostly be washed in cold or lukewarm water that has a temperature of around 40 degree Celsius. Wash cloth diapers with cold water and undergarments as it helps eliminate infection and foul odour; regular clothes can also be washed using cold water.
Add Detergent in Appropriate Amount
Add the correct amount of detergent and make it frothy. Close the zippers of the clothes, submerge one cloth at a time followed by gently rubbing the clothes, particularly on the areas with stains. Avoid stretching the clothes while doing this as it increases the chance of damaging the clothes. Twist the clothes gently as it helps to clean the clothes easily.
Soak the Baby Wear for Effective Cleaning
Washing baby wear becomes easy when they are soaked for some minutes before they are rinsed or rubbed. Repeat the rinsing process until there is no foam left on the baby wear.
Dry the Clothes Properly
After washing, wring the clothes gently to squeeze out water from the clothes. Drip-dry the clothes on a stand or cloth line somewhere with good air circulation and no direct sunlight - direct sunlight may damage the clothes. However, drying cloth diapers and undergarments in direct sunlight is okay as it is a natural disinfectant.
Machine-Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
Machine-washing baby wear is similar to washing other clothes in a machine. Here is how you can do it effectively:
Remove the Visible Stains
Before putting your clothes into the washing machine, always look for stains that you can treat by using detergents. You can make a paste using a detergent and water and use it to scrub on the stained spot and then proceed to the next step.
Select the Water Level and Add Detergent
Select the desired water level after separating and putting your baby’s clothes in the washing machine. You can choose cold or lukewarm water along with the same detergent you are using to hand wash your baby’s clothes. Never add any fabric enhancers or bleach while washing baby wear.
Choose a Wash Mode
The machine does the work once you select the wash mode. You can select the “gentle cycle mode” on the dashboard of the machine for a gentle wash. Washing machines also have a spin cycle that centrifuges the water from damp clothes. While washing baby clothes in a washing machine, it would be good if you select an extra spin to make the dress free from any residual detergents. Once it is done, you can take the clothes out and dry the way you usually do for hand-washed baby wear.
Napkins and bedsheets of your baby can also be washed this way.
Avoid the Use of Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softeners
Both dryer sheets and fabric softeners use chemicals that have a high chance of irritating your baby’s skin. Many of them also come with an unfavourable fragrance for babies. Medical experts do not recommend the use of such softeners and dryer sheets. The sensitive skin of babies are usually prone to allergies and irritation.
What to Do if Your Baby’s Skin has Allergy?
Be careful about the wash and care of baby wear if your baby suffers from dermatitis or has other allergies. Here are some important things you should be knowing in such situations:
Use baby detergents: Use a baby detergent that is specially formulated for extra-sensitive skin to wash your baby’s clothes.
Choose liquid detergents for mild allergies: For mild skin conditions, the use of regular liquid detergents are safe as it gets rinsed off easily when compared to powered ones. This reduces the chance of residues on clothes thereby preventing skin irritations.
Make use of hot water and sunlight to disinfect clothes: The best disinfectants for baby clothes of babies with sensitive skin are hot water and sunlight since they are natural and free from chemicals.
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