Babies are the cutest, especially when dressed in their little clothes with sweet colours and ruffles. However, cleaning those little baby garments is not the easiest task. They constantly become stained and in order to save them for longer and make sure they are in good condition (especially if you are planning on having more children – they can be reused and save you a lot of money and effort).
Babies drool, spit up, wipe their hands on clothes (and pretty much everything around) and generally create stains that are not always the easiest to get rid of. Unfortunately, cleaning baby clothes with your regular detergent will simply not do it. Yes, it may get rid of cleaning stains and dirt, but it will irritate the gentle skin of little babies and cause rashes and itchiness. We have some tips and tricks on how you can avoid using commercial products that usually contain a lot of chemicals and artificial scents.
In this article, we will share some of the best natural ingredients you can use to wash baby clothes, as well as cleaning methods for particular stains, such as milk, formula, food, and poop stains. Keep reading to find out how to deal with all of those.
Here are some natural ingredients suitable for cleaning baby clothes
Before attempting to clean any type of stain, make sure you remove as much of the remaining solid matter as possible. Try to treat any stain immediately and if that is not possible, soak the garment in cold water until you can give it your full attention.
Distilled white vinegar
White vinegar is completely natural and one of the most versatile DIY cleaning ingredients. Most households already have vinegar in the pantry and you can use it to deodorise, disinfect, and clean all around the house. It is also perfect for stain removal so next time your baby gives you a stubborn stain to take care of, soak the stained area with undiluted white vinegar and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then wash it with cold water and add ½ cup of white vinegar instead of laundry detergent. This will not leave a vinegar smell, will get rid of the stains, and leave the fabric incredibly soft.
Lemon juice is also perfect for deodorising, and stain removal, and even has whitening properties. Cut a lemon in half, soak the stained area with a lot of the juice, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then wash in cold water. You can use white vinegar or a baby-safe detergent.
Mix baking soda and a bit of water until a thick paste is created. Apply a thick layer of the paste on the stained area and let it sit. For an older stain, you can gently rub the baking soda on top of it. It will act as a slight abrasive that will help break down the stain and remove it. Wash the garment as you usually would.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural stain remover and bleaching agent. It can efficiently remove stains without causing damage to the fabric. Make sure you do not leave it on the garment for too long since it may cause discolouration. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, dampen the stain, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Wash the clothing in cold water.
Cleaning milk stains from baby clothes
Milk stains are some of the most common on baby clothes. Since milk stains are protein-based, the best way to prevent them from permanently staining the fabric is by using an enzyme-based cleaner. Enzymes digest the protein and help break it down. After soaking the garment, apply the cleaner to the stained area and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Wash in the warmest suitable water for the fabric.
Cleaning formula stains from baby clothes
For set or old formula stains, soak the stained baby clothes in a bucket of cold water with a cup of white vinegar added to it. You can let it soak in this solution for as long as you want to (the longer the better). Before throwing it in the washing machine, rub the stain with some baking soda, then wash it as you usually would.
Cleaning food stains from baby clothes
For puree stains, whether they are carrots, potatoes, or peas, you can use any of the natural stain removers. Pick one, apply it on the stain, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then soak the garment in cold water. Wash the item as usual and if the stain remains, repeat the stain treatment and wash again.
Cleaning poop stains from baby clothes
Just like milk and food, poop stains are inevitable when you have a baby. Do not ever let those sit. Once you notice them when changing the baby, rinse the fabric with cold water, apply the natural stain remover of choice, then wash the clothing in hot water as soon as possible.