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Baby Laundry

What laundry soap should I use?

Follow care directions on the clothing label carefully. Most parents wash baby clothes together with the regular family laundry. If possible, use the same detergent each time so if a skin problem occurs, it will be easier to discover its cause.

If your baby has any signs of skin irritation, try using a laundry soap that is free of perfumes or dyes. Also, avoid using scented fabric softener, bleach, or dryer sheets. If your baby’s skin still seems irritated, try using a special baby detergent and 2 rinse cycles. Before you switch detergents, wash 1 or 2 items in the new detergent to see if they cause a rash or other reaction. If skin irritation continues, talk with your baby’s healthcare provider.

Be sure to wash new baby clothes, bed linens, blankets and other items that will touch your baby’s skin before using. This helps to remove chemicals that might irritate the skin. You do not need to prewash coats and jackets that don’t have direct contact with your baby’s skin.

Follow label instructions for washing and drying sleepwear carefully. Many detergents are fine to use. Some additives in soaps, bleaches and fabric softeners can affect the flame-retardant chemicals added to baby sleepwear.

How do I remove stains?

When possible, try to treat stains while they are fresh. Remove the stained clothing right away and soak it in detergent water. If you cannot remove baby’s clothes right away, use a wet cloth or baby wipe on the stain and soak it when you return home. After soaking, use any standard stain remover and then launder the item as usual.

How do I wash cloth diapers?

Diapers can be made of natural or synthetic fabrics. Follow the care directions on the diapers you use carefully. General directions are listed here:

  • Wash diapers in hot water with a small amount of mild detergent before first use.
  • To clean dirty diapers, scrape off any poop into the toilet and rinse the diaper in cold water. Remove liners and inserts and discard if disposable. Soak the diapers in a mild detergent solution with bleach in a covered diaper pail until you are ready to wash them. Make sure the pail is covered and away from the reach of small children.
  • When ready to wash the diapers, wring them out and wash separately from other clothes in hot water with a mild detergent. Avoid using detergents and fabric softeners with perfumes, dyes and other additives as they can cause diaper rash and irritation. It is best to rinse diapers twice. Dry the diapers in the dryer or hang them outside to dry.
  • 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 Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2022.1 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2019-06-10
Last reviewed: 2019-06-03
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.
© 2022 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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