The best approach to cleaning your baby’s clothes is fairly simple – avoid harsh detergents as they can irritate your baby’s skin; instead use the mildest cleaning products available. Some soaps like Ivory, contain very little additives that can cause irritation and are less alkaline than regular detergents. They are also designed to make fabrics softer. However, their cleaning properties are not as strong.
Caring for baby’s garments
Before washing your baby’s garments for the first time, read the care instructions first. Babies’ sleepwear, as required by law, are flame-resistant, and some soaps can rid clothes of this property. You may also want to separate your baby’s clothes from the rest of the family’s when washing.
When washing baby’s clothes, always presoak stains in cool water. Water is sometimes enough to remove spots if you get to them early, especially light stains like drool and milk formula. You can also use a soft-bristled nylon brush and a tiny amount of soap to gently remove a stain. Avoid scrubbing however, since this could damage the fabric. If a mark remains, you might need to use something stronger. Just remember that your baby’s skin is sensitive. Make sure to rinse the clothes thoroughly after treating the stains. If the stains are on clothes that will be rubbing against your baby’s skin such as cloth diapers and undershirts, do not attempt to treat the spots.
A lot of parents prefer not to use detergents and other chemicals for washing and removing stains on their baby’s clothes. If you are one of them, you might want to try these natural cleaning items and stain removers as recommended by Annie Berthold-Bond in “Clean and Green” (Ceres Press, 1994). Do not forget to store your natural laundry supplies out of your children’s reach.
A popular cleaning agent, baking soda is also an effective deodorizer and fabric softener. To use, add a generous amount to water to form a paste. Use this mixture to remove stains or absorb odor. You can also add a small amount of baking soda to water when pre-soaking new clothes to eliminate residue.
White vinegar is naturally acidic. As thus, thus is effect in cutting grease, softening water and lightening dirty and gray laundry. Use about 1/4 of white vinegar to wash.
Borax is a water-soluble mineral with antiseptic, antibacterial, water-softening and whitening properties. It makes mild soaps more effective in taking out dirt and stains. Just add 1/2 cup to wash. Borax also makes for a good diaper pre-soak.
Washing soda is known as sodium carbonate. It is a mineral known for its cleaning and de-greasing properties. Adding 2 tablespoons of washing soda to laundry soap make it more effective. You can also make it into a paste by adding a bit a of water, to remove greasy stains.
Sodium Perborate is a natural alternative to chlorine bleach. It is made of borax and hydrogen peroxide. Add 3 tablespoons of sodium perborate to water to remove stains. Sodium perborate is available by mail-order from chemical-supply companies.
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