Liz's Laundry

What to Wash Baby Clothes In: A Guide to Keeping Your Baby Safe and Clean

Jun 23, 2023

what to wash baby clothes in

As a new parent, one of the many decisions you'll have to make is what to wash your baby's clothes in. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right detergent or fabric softener. The good news is that washing your baby's clothes doesn't have to be complicated.

When it comes to washing baby clothes, there are a few key factors to consider.

First and foremost, you'll want to choose a laundry powder that is gentle on your baby's delicate skin. Look for detergents or powders that are free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes like Hudstone. These can cause irritation and rashes, especially if your baby has sensitive skin. You may also want to opt for a powder that is specifically formulated for sensitive skin, as these are often milder and more gentle.

Another important factor to consider is the type of fabric your baby's clothes are made from. Some fabrics, such as cotton and polyester, are easy to care for and can be washed in standard detergent. However, if your baby's clothes are made from more delicate fabrics like wool or silk, you'll need to take extra care when washing them.

In these cases, it's best to use a gentle, naturally derived powder and to avoid using fabric softener, as this can damage the fibers. Ultimately, the key is to choose a washing routine that is gentle, effective, and safe for your baby's skin.

Why Choosing the Right Detergent Matters

When it comes to washing your little one's clothes, choosing the right detergent is crucial. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Baby's sensitive skin: Babies have delicate and sensitive skin that can easily get irritated. Normal detergents contain harsh chemicals that can cause rashes, itching, and allergic reactions.

  2. Residue buildup: Due to their small size, baby clothes have a smaller amount of fabric compared to adult clothing. This means that detergent residue can build up quickly, leading to skin irritation and a funky odor.

  3. Stain removal: Baby clothes are exposed to all sorts of messes, from spit-up to diaper blowouts. Choosing a detergent specifically formulated to remove these stains will ensure that your baby's clothes stay fresh and clean.

That's why it's important to choose a product that is gentle, free from harsh chemicals, and able to remove stubborn stains. Look for detergents labeled as "baby-friendly" or "hypoallergenic."

Always read the label and avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as these can also irritate your baby's skin. Ultimately, choosing the right washing powder for your baby's clothes will help keep them clean, comfortable, and free from irritating chemicals.

Types of Powders Suitable for Baby Clothes

Choosing the right washing powder for your baby's clothes is important as their skin is delicate and sensitive. Here are some types of detergents suitable for baby clothes:

1. Baby Detergent

Baby detergents are specifically designed for washing baby clothes and are free from harsh chemicals such as fragrances, dyes, and sulfates. They are also formulated to be gentle on your baby's skin, making them an excellent choice for washing clothes for newborns and infants.

2. Free and Clear Detergent

Free and clear detergents are also a great option for washing baby clothes. These detergents are free from fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals that can irritate your baby's delicate skin. They are also hypoallergenic, making them ideal for babies with sensitive skin.

3. Mild Detergent

Mild detergents are also gentle on your baby's skin and are a good choice for washing baby clothes. They are generally free from harsh chemicals and fragrances and are designed to be hypoallergenic.

When washing your baby's clothes, it's also important to avoid using too much, as this can lead to residue build-up that can irritate your baby's skin. Additionally, avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets, as these can also contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your baby's skin.


Type of Detergent Features
Baby Detergent Specifically designed for washing baby clothes. Free from harsh chemicals such as fragrances, dyes, and sulfates. Gentle on your baby's skin.
Free and Clear Detergent Free from fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals that can irritate your baby's delicate skin. Hypoallergenic.
Mild Detergent Gentle on your baby's skin. Free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. Hypoallergenic.

How to Read Laundry Product Labels

Reading laundry product labels can be overwhelming, but it's essential to ensure that your baby's clothes are clean and safe. Here are a few tips on how to decipher those laundry product labels.

  1. Look for certifications: Labels with certifications can help ensure that the product meets specific safety and environmental standards.

  2. Check for ingredients: Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals such as bleach, phosphates, and fragrances. Instead, look for products that contain natural, plant-based ingredients.

  3. Look for fragrance-free products: Baby's skin is delicate, and fragrances can cause allergic reactions or irritation. Choose fragrance-free products or natural essential oils.

  4. Follow recommended dosages: Using too much detergent can leave residue on your baby's clothes, which can cause skin irritation. Follow the recommended dosage on the label.

  5. Check for pH levels: Detergents with high pH levels can be harsh on your baby's skin. Look for laundry products with a neutral or lower pH level.

By being mindful of laundry product labels, you can keep your baby's clothes clean and safe without exposing them to harmful chemicals or fragrances.

Tips for Using Natural Laundry Products

When it comes to washing baby clothes, using naturally derived laundry products can be a great option. Here are some tips for using them effectively:

  1. Use a laundry detergent that is free of fragrances, artificial colours, and synthetic preservatives.

  2. Consider swapping your fabric softener with white vinegar. Not only is vinegar a natural way to soften clothes, but it can also help remove any residue left by the detergent.

  3. Dryer sheets can be replaced by wool dryer balls. These can help reduce static and make clothes softer while being completely natural.

  4. If you are looking for a natural stain remover, try using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Simply mix with water and apply directly to the stain before washing.

  5. When washing cloth diapers, avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as they can damage the fabric and reduce absorbency. Instead, use natural detergents and a vinegar rinse.

Using natural laundry products can help reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that come into contact with your baby's skin. Try these tips to make laundry day a little more natural and eco-friendly.

Preventing Allergic Reactions in Baby's Sensitive Skin

When it comes to washing baby clothes, preventing allergic reactions in their sensitive skin should be a top priority. Here are some tips to help keep your baby's skin healthy and irritation-free:

  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent: Many detergents contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Look for a detergent that is specifically formulated for babies or one that is free of dyes and perfumes.

  • Wash clothes separately: It's a good idea to wash your baby's clothes separately from the rest of the family's laundry. This can help prevent any irritants or allergens from other items of clothing from transferring to the baby's clothes.

  • Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets: Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can leave a residue on clothes that can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Instead, try using wool dryer balls or a vinegar rinse to soften clothes.

  • Rinse clothes thoroughly: Make sure to rinse clothes thoroughly to remove any excess detergent or residues that could irritate the baby's skin.

  • Choose cotton or other natural fibres: Synthetic fabrics can trap heat and moisture, which can be irritating for a baby's skin. Choose clothes made from natural fibres, such as cotton, that are breathable and will help keep your baby dry and comfortable.

By following these tips, you can help prevent allergic reactions and keep your baby's sensitive skin healthy and happy.

The Right Way to Hand Wash Baby Clothes

If you prefer to hand wash your baby's clothes, it's important to do it the right way. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Use a gentle detergent: Look for a power ir detergent that's specifically designed for baby clothes. These detergents are gentle and free of harsh chemicals that could irritate your little one's skin.

  2. Fill a sink or basin with warm water: Fill a sink or basin with warm water and add the powder or detergent. Swirl the water around until the detergent is fully dissolved.

  3. Soak the clothes: Add the clothes to the water and gently swirl them around. Let them soak for about 10-15 minutes.

  4. Rinse the clothes: Drain the soapy water and refill the sink or basin with clean, warm water. Swirl the clothes around to remove any remaining soap.

  5. Press out the water: Gently press the clothes against the side of the sink or basin to remove excess water.

  6. Hang to dry: Hang the clothes to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight, as it could cause colours to fade.

By following these simple steps, you can help ensure that your baby's clothes are clean and free of any harmful chemicals or irritants.

Should You Use Fabric Softener on Baby Clothes?

When it comes to washing baby clothes, many parents wonder if they should use fabric softener. Here's what you need to know:

Reasons for Using Fabric Softener:

  • Softens clothes and makes them feel nicer on the skin
  • Reduces static cling
  • Adds a fresh scent

Reasons Against Using Fabric Softener:

  • Contains chemicals that may irritate baby's sensitive skin
  • Can reduce the absorbency of cloth diapers and towels
  • Can clog fabric fibers and reduce breathability

There really isn't a right or wrong answer when it comes to using fabric softener on baby clothes. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for your baby's skin and clothes. If you do choose to use fabric softener, opt for a natural, fragrance-free option and use it sparingly.

Best Practices for Drying Baby Clothes

After washing your baby's clothes, it's important to follow proper drying techniques to keep them looking great and feeling soft. Here are some best practices for drying baby clothes:

  1. Avoid using high heat: High heat can not only damage the fabric but can also shrink it, making it uncomfortable for your baby. Always use the low or medium setting on the dryer.
  2. Use dryer balls or a clean towel: Adding dryer balls or a clean towel to the dryer can help speed up the drying process and fluff up the clothes without the need for high heat.
  3. Air dry delicate items: If you have delicate or intricate baby clothes, air drying is the best option. Hang them up or lay them flat on a clean surface.
  4. Remove clothes promptly: As soon as the clothes are dry, remove them from the dryer or clothesline. Leaving them sitting for prolonged periods can cause wrinkles and creases.
  5. Fold or hang clothes immediately: Once the clothes are out of the dryer, fold them or hang them up to prevent wrinkling. Don't leave them in a pile or basket for an extended amount of time.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your baby's clothes stay looking great and feeling soft after every wash.

How to Iron Baby Clothes Safely

Ironing baby clothes can sometimes be tricky, but it is an essential task that can keep your baby's clothes looking neat and tidy. Here are some tips on how to iron baby clothes safely:

  1. Use a low heat setting: Always use a low heat setting when ironing baby clothes. Babies have delicate skin, and high temperatures can damage their clothes or even harm them.

  2. Iron inside-out: Turn the clothes inside-out before ironing to avoid damaging any prints or delicate fabrics.

  3. Use a pressing cloth: A pressing cloth will help to protect delicate fabrics from the heat and prevent the iron from leaving marks or stains on the clothes.

  4. Avoid using starch: Starch may irritate your baby's skin, so it is best to avoid using it when ironing their clothes.

  5. Take care with buttons and snaps: Be careful when ironing around buttons and snaps, as they can melt or become damaged.

  6. Store safely: Once you have finished ironing, make sure to keep the clothes in a safe place, away from anything that could cause them to catch fire.

Remember to always follow the care instructions on your baby's clothes and use common sense when ironing. By taking care when ironing, you can keep your baby's clothes looking great while keeping them safe and comfortable.


Washing baby clothes requires special attention to ensure that they remain soft, clean, and free of any harmful chemicals. Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • Always check the label on the baby clothes to see if they require special care instructions.
  • Consider using gentle, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free detergents that are specifically designed for baby clothes.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners, bleach, or any harsh chemicals that may cause irritation to the baby's sensitive skin.
  • Wash baby clothes separately from the rest of your laundry to prevent contamination from other clothes.
  • Opt for a gentle washing cycle with lukewarm water to minimise any potential damage to the fabric.
  • Use a gentle drying cycle or hang the clothes to dry to keep them soft and prevent shrinkage.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your baby's clothes remain clean, safe, and comfortable to wear. Don't forget to double-check the clothing label and read the detergent instructions before washing to prevent any mishaps. Always prioritise your baby's health and well-being when you wash their clothes, and they'll stay happy and healthy!