Washing baby clothes may seem simple enough, but you must take the right steps to keep your little one’s clothes clean and safe for their sensitive skin. With so many detergents and different ways to wash, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to wash your baby’s clothes, from separating the laundry to choosing a gentle detergent and drying the clothes properly.

Why It’s Important to Pre-Wash Baby Clothes

Before welcoming your new little bundle of joy into the family, you’ll want everything perfect for their arrival, including their clothes. When you purchase new baby clothes from a store, they may have been exposed to all sorts of chemicals and other elements during their manufacturing process and while sitting on store shelves.

To ensure your baby’s safety and comfort, you must wash their brand-new clothes before they arrive. Washing their clothes will help eliminate any dust, germs, or harmful substances that might be left behind. Be sure to clean any blankets or other fabrics your baby might come into contact with too!

Don’t worry if you’re unsure about how to clean your new baby’s clothes; ZIPS has you covered. Read on to learn how to get your baby’s clothes squeaky clean and ready for their big debut.

Washing Baby Clothes: Step-by-Step

Baby sitting next to messy laundry

Prepare a Baby-Only Laundry Load

Separating your baby’s clothes from the rest of the household laundry is essential for several reasons. It allows you to wash your baby’s clothes in mild detergents specially formulated for their sensitive skin without exposing them to harsh chemicals and fragrances that may be present in regular laundry detergents.

If your baby has sensitive skin or a condition like eczema, washing their clothing separately from yours will help prevent further irritation. Similarly, if a household member works around dangerous chemicals, you must separate their clothes to avoid contamination.

Babies tend to go through many clothes and blankets throughout the day, so it may be necessary to dedicate a load of laundry solely to their belongings. This ensures that their clothes and linens are thoroughly cleaned and ready to use whenever needed.

By preparing a baby-only laundry load, you can thoroughly clean your baby’s clothes without exposing them to any potential skin irritants.

Choose a Baby-Safe Detergent

Choosing the right laundry detergent for your baby’s clothes is crucial, as babies have delicate and sensitive skin. Before adding any detergent, it’s important to ensure it is safe for your baby to use.

Many parents opt for unscented and baby-specific detergents because they are less likely to irritate their child’s skin. When selecting a detergent, we recommend shopping for natural options that do not contain harsh chemicals. pH-neutral detergents or dermatologically certified products are also great options.

It’s essential to avoid using fabric softeners, as many of them contain dyes and fragrances that can irritate your baby’s skin. Instead, you can use ½ cup of white vinegar as a natural alternative to soften clothes if necessary.

Wash and Dry Your Baby Clothes

Properly washing your baby’s clothes is crucial for keeping your bundle of joy healthy and safe. Here are some tips for cleaning your baby’s clothes:

You should always follow the instructions on the label to ensure you get the most life out of your baby’s clothing. Before washing, it’s a good idea to absorb any excess gunk, such as spit-up, with a towel to make it easier to remove during washing.

When washing your baby’s clothes, set the rinse cycle to a cool temperature to avoid shrinking the clothing. Add the suggested amount of baby-safe detergent to the washing machine and run a gentle cycle.

Before drying, examine the clothing for any stains. If there are leftover stains, do not dry them in the dryer, as the heat can cause them to set. Instead, try to re-wash them on a warmer setting.

When drying your baby’s clothes, it is best to hang them up to avoid shrinking them. Alternatively, you can follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions and dry them on the suggested setting.

Washing Wool Clothes/Knitwear

When washing wool baby clothes or knitwear, do not wash them as frequently as your other laundry items. Fabrics like wool are easy to stretch out, and overwashing them could cause them to wear out faster or shrink.

If possible, always use a gentle detergent and follow the care instructions on the garment. Always hang dry knitwear; do not apply any heat.

Handwash Heirloom Baby Clothes

Consider taking heirloom baby clothing or sentimental items that have been passed down to a professional laundry service, like ZIPS, as they might be particularly delicate due to their age. If you are attempting to do it yourself, be sure to hand wash the garment and perform a test to see if your detergent is safe to use.

To test if your heirloom baby clothes are safe to wash, apply a small amount of gentle laundry detergent to a tiny spot on the garment to ensure it does not harm the delicate fabric. Always use cold water while hand washing heirloom baby clothes.

How to Remove Stains From Baby Clothes

Stained children's shirts, one says "little trouble"

When removing stains from baby clothes, it is best to attack them as quickly as possible. Always try to clean stains before they dry to avoid having them set.

Pre-treat stains and rinse off any excess messes before putting the clothing in the wash. To pre-treat your baby’s clothes, use lemon juice or a baby-safe stain pre-treatment and gently tamp it into the stain for 10 to 15 minutes with an unused toothbrush.

Next, soak the garment in a tub of water with a half-cup of baby-safe laundry detergent. Finally, you will wash the clothes as you usually would.

How ZIPS Can Help

Zips employee helping customer with clothing

Cleaning your baby’s clothes may seem like a small task, but it’s essential to keeping your little one safe and healthy. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your baby’s clothes are clean, fresh, and safe for them to wear.

Remember to separate your baby’s laundry from the rest of the household laundry, choose a baby-safe detergent, and carefully follow the washing and drying instructions on the label. In doing so, you can ensure that your baby’s clothes will last longer and remain soft and gentle on their delicate skin.

At ZIPS, we take the hassle out of caring for your baby’s clothing. We approach your favorite garments with the utmost care to maximize their longevity. For baby clothes, we recommended our Wash N Fold service. Wash N Fold is a service for items that do not require pressing or hangers.

Our laundry pros will wash, dry, and fold your favorite baby clothes and then neatly package them for you to take home! Find a location near you, and let us take care of things today!