Page header image

Baby Laundry

What laundry detergent should I use?

Baby skin is more sensitive than adult skin. When choosing a detergent, it is best to pick one that is free of fragrance or color to prevent a rash or an allergic reaction. There are special detergents you can buy for baby clothes, but any detergent that is free from perfumes or dyes will work. Also, avoid using fabric softener, bleach, or dryer sheets. The fragrances in fabric softeners can also affect the fire retardant chemicals added to baby sleepwear.

Before you switch detergents, wash one item in the new detergent to see if it causes a rash or other reaction.

Do I need to wash baby clothes separately?

No. You can wash baby clothes along with other family clothing. However, cloth diapers and diaper liners or wraps should be washed separately.

Wash all baby clothes and diapers before you use them. You do not need to wash coats and jackets that don’t have much contact with the skin before your baby wears them. Look at the label on the clothing for special washing instructions (hand wash, dry clean only, and wash separately).

How do I remove stains?

Wipe or rinse off as much of the substance as possible (spit-up, formula, baby food, or poop while still fresh). Baby wipes are good for removing things that may cause stains. Use cold water to remove a stain. Hot water can set a stain. If the stain doesn't come out, soak it for 30 minutes or longer in cold water and detergent, then wash. You can also use stain removers from the store.

How do I wash cloth diapers?

Wash diapers in hot water with a small amount of detergent before first use. Pour a small amount of water onto the diaper after the first wash. If the water beads on the diaper, wash it again.

Keep wet or soiled diapers in a hanging diaper bag or a covered diaper pail near your changing table. (Make sure the pail is covered and away from reach of small children.)

Shake or scrape off any poop into the toilet and rinse the diaper in cold water. Remove liners and inserts. Soak the diapers in a mild detergent solution with bleach in the covered diaper pail until you are ready to wash them. Do not soak dirty wraps or liners.

When ready to wash the diapers, wring them out and wash separately in hot water with a mild detergent. Dry the diapers in the dryer or, if you can, hang the diapers outside to dry. This helps bleach and disinfect them.

You can wash polyester wraps with the diapers. You need to wash nylon and wool diaper wraps separately. Air dry diaper covers so they do not melt in the dryer.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-07-25
Last reviewed: 2012-04-16
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Page footer image