If you are a new parent, you'll be wondering how little one can leave behind so much laundry for you. Or how have they used up seven bibs a day. Or even how they managed to get food stuck in their hair. These are a few questions that run at the back of your head at any time in the day along with sifting through sources to know the best cleaning tips and methods to keep your baby's clothes clean and tidy. This is a simple task, and once you know these handy tips, washing your baby's clothes can quickly become part of your routine.
Do You Need to Be Careful While Washing Baby’s Clothes?
The answer is - yes. Your little one needs extra care. Washing your baby's clothes is a simple process. However, the process may not be the same as that of washing your clothes. You need to take special care while doing the laundry of toddlers and new-born because they have very sensitive skin. Now, the next thing you would want to know is if your washing machine is safe for your baby's clothes. It is completely safe to wash your baby's garments in the washer. However, you have to go an extra mile and be extremely careful while doing so.
Ingredients to Keep Handy:
b) Fabric softener
Step 1: Read the Care Label before Washing
Reading the care label on your baby's clothes is very important, especially before the first wash. Most of your little one’s clothes are primarily made using cotton. If your washing machine has a cotton setting, you can use this while washing these garments. Some of your baby’s clothes need to be washed by hand and some can be cleaned in your washing machine, but are usually unsuitable for tumble drying. Thus, you must categorise which items need to be washed by hand and which need to be washed in the machine.
Step 2: Sort the Garments
Before washing your baby’s clothes, sort them by colours. Then secure the zips and buttons if any. It’s important to wash light and dark clothes separately. If washed together, dark colours might transfer during the wash.
Also, when you have an infant at home, you can use a separate laundry basket where in you can drop all of your baby’s used up clothes. This makes it easy for you to know when to do their laundry. It also helps you to save up on a lot of time by not having to find their little garments in the piles of your family’s clothes.
Step 3: Remove Stains from the Garments
Sometimes, the tags and stickers left behind on your baby’s clothes often leave permanent stains. While it is important to read the tags and wash care labels, you do not need to keep them on your baby's clothes all the time. To remove stains, dampen the stain with water. Then directly pour 2-3 drops of liquid detergent on the stain. You can use Surf Excel Matic Liquid which is easily available in the market and specially formulated for washing machines. Rub gently and then wash with plain water. Also, if there is no stain, but some food residue, brush away as much as you can prior to dropping the piece of clothing into the washing machine. It will help expedite the cleaning and washing process.
Step 4: Soak the Garments
Before washing, soak your baby’s clothes in a solution of lukewarm water and 4-5 drops of liquid detergent. You can also add 1 tsp. of white vinegar to soak solution. White vinegar is mild and it makes the cleaning easy. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Wash the Garments
A washing machine works well when it comes to washing your baby's clothes. Always go for a cold water setting and gentle wash cycle. It helps keep the garments intact and soft, whereas hot water can cause them to shrink. Also, picking the right detergent is important. Powders tend to stick to your baby's clothes, especially when you run a cold cycle. This can also cause rashes on your baby’s skin. Opting for a liquid detergent is ideal. You can use Surf Excel Matic Liquid which is specially formulated for washing machines. Being a liquid, it dissolves easily in water without leaving any residue behind (like powders do). It helps maintain your washing machine’s life. Check the pack to understand the correct usage instructions. If you want your baby's clothes to feel soft, add 1 tbsp. of fabric conditioner to the dispenser during the wash cycle. You can try Comfort Pure fabric conditioner for your baby’s clothes. It is a fabric softener, formulated for sensitive skin. It keeps the fibres intact, thus making the fabric soft and smooth. It also adds a mild fragrance to the clothes. Always check the pack to understand correct usage instructions.
Step 6: Dry the Garments
Another important step is to dry the garments immediately. Wet clothing left for too long in your washing machine can trigger the growth of mould. It can also lead to health problems for your baby. The dryer or spin function in your washing machine makes your additional laundry duties a little more manageable. It will also come in handy when your toddler grows up a bit and starts toilet-training. Using the dryer helps you have clean sheets in lesser time. You can also dry your baby’s white garments in sunlight. Sunlight acts as a natural disinfecting and bleaching agent.
Step 7: How to Store the Garments
Apart from washing your baby’s clothes correctly, storing them the right way is important too. Always sort them basis the seasons – woollens, cottons and so on and store them in different compartments for easy access. Keep occasional wearables like hair accessories, swim-wear, rain-wear and so on in separate compartments. To keep your baby’s clothes wrinkle-free, roll them up instead of folding. Use mesh bags or eco-friendly sealable bags to store them.
Step 8: Do’s and Don’ts to Remember
Always use cold or lukewarm water to wash your baby’s garments. Using hot water can cause your baby’s garments to shrink. Ensure that the detergent you use is not causing skin irritation for your little one. Once your baby’s clothes are washed, touch them only after sanitising your hands to keep germs and bacteria at bay. You can use alcohol based hand sanitisers such as those available from Lifebuoy.
There you go! Use the above-mentioned useful tips and doing your baby's laundry should no more be a tiresome task. You can enjoy spending more time with your baby in his or her fresh-smelling, clean outfits.