Soiled Laundry… it can be a parent’s worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these easy and economical tips for keeping your borrowed and store bought baby clothes in the best condition possible (it may seem like a hassle but these little things can save you a lot of money and time if you just set everything up and get in the habit of making this a daily routine).
Things you will need:
Basin of some kind
Hard Bristle Brush (for any crusty stains like dried spit up)
1. Have a basin with cold water and a tiny bit of laundry detergent already set up for soiled baby clothes (we recommend organic, dye free, with natural fragrances & I use about 1/4 cap for the basin).
I use this pink, plastic bowl I bought at Target on sale for 99 cents and it has been used for many other things as well.
2. When baby spits up or has an accident of any kind remove the clothing as soon as you can (don’t worry it does not have to be a minute after it happens (unless it’s a lot!) just try to make a habit of getting the clothes into the basin to soak as soon as you can). I usually remove the wet clothing as soon as it occurs unless it was just a little bit, I do so for cleaning reasons and most importantly because I don’t want the baby sitting in wet clothes; it causes rashes and sores. I also clean all my bibs this way as well.
3. If the stain is crusty and dried like many spit up stains can be (unless you make a habit of soaking them right away) you will place the garment in the water, take it out and use the brush to gently remove remove any debris then place a dime size amount of baking soda on the soiled area and rub it in and allow the garment to soak. If the stain is fresh and still wet use a damp wash cloth to blot it with water and a lil baking soda (I just use a lil on my fingertip) then soak.
4. I usually wait until I have a full basin before I place everything in the washer. Unless I decide to save energy and wash everything by hand, which I do often. If you want to wash everything by hand just scrub them each individually until clean then ring them out then run them under cold water until it runs clear (if you are not using organic detergent you have to make sure you REALLY RINSE the items WELL since detergent residue can irritate the baby’s skin).
5. If you are washing everything in the washer make sure the other clothes you are washing them with are in the same color family. Turn all the baby clothes inside out to avoid fading any logos or getting fuzzies on the clothing. (I like to wash the baby’s clothes separate to avoid ruining them and that’s why I do them by hand many times but it’s OKAY to wash them with other clothing!). ALWAYS FASTEN THE VELCRO ON ALL BIBS YOU ARE WASHING! OTHERWISE THEY WILL RUIN YOUR CLOTHING!
6. ALWAYS use cold water! Even if the clothes say they recommend warm! Warm and Hot water fade clothing and use extra energy. Always start filling the washer with water before adding the detergent to avoid staining clothing with set in concentrations of detergent.
7. DON’T go overboard on the detergent either, just use the recommended amount for the size load you are doing. More detergent does not mean cleaner clothes! Just the opposite actually! Too much detergent leaves soap residue on clothing.
8. Wash on the regular or better yet, the gentle/delicate setting if you have it! You may want to do an extra rinse at the end if you are using normal detergent. (TIP: A second rinse cycle usually makes ANY detergent safe for a baby’s skin since it washes the residue off, this is good to know in case you are in a pinch or visiting at someone else’s home and you don’t have gentle detergent).
9. Line dry or lay flat to dry whenever possible. If you are in a rush or just don’t have the room or any way to line dry clothing just use the gentle or low cycle on the dryer. I have found that as long as the heat is LOW/MEDIUM it’s okay to use the normal drying cycle.
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