During my second pregnancy, I unpacked all of my firstborn’s baby clothes that I had so carefully boxed away two years earlier. I was so disappointed to see so many stains from spit up, baby food, and… well, never mind! I realized that I had learned a lot about laundering children’s clothes in the last two years. I thought I’d share these tips with all you parents out there.
- Keep a bucket of water and half a scoop of OxiClean in the laundry room for soaking heavily soiled items until you are ready to run the washing machine. On laundry day, drain the bucket and place the wet clothes in the washer. If your washing machine has a “Drain/Spin” or “Rinse/Spin” setting, use that to remove as much of the dirty water as possible. Add the remaining laundry & the detergent after the initial spin cycle is completed.
- Pre-treat all stains with Spray N Wash or or similar product. Place in the soaking bucket if you’re not going to wash the item right away.
- Add a scoop of OxiClean along with the detergent to keep clothes looking new.
- If you avoid bleach and hot water, you can don’t need to separate whites & colors. I just wash all the baby and toddler laundry together.
- Unscented laundry detergents work just as well as those marketed to babies. Some infants are even sensitive to the “baby scent” added to certain products. The same goes for OxiClean vs. Baby OxiClean.
- Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets on children’s clothes. This removes the flame retardant coating placed by the manufacturers.
- When baby spits up (or worse) on Mom or Dad, treat the soiled clothes just as you would the children’s. Pre-treat, soak, etc.
- For newborns and those with sensitive skin, wash parents’ shirts, infant bedding, baby towels, and anything that comes in contact with baby’s skin just as you would the infant’s own clothes.
- Use the extra rinse option, if your machine has it.
- Add bedding, towels, or your clothes to the children’s clothes if you don’t have enough to run a full load.
See also Tip #5 of Top 10 Must Haves for New Parents. Do you have any other great laundry tips? We’d love to hear them!