The arrival of a newborn is synonymous with a wealth of happy emotions, but also a huge surplus of laundry!
Take a look at the following tips to make a hectic time a little easier...
From food stains to well… you know, little ones bring us bags of joy, but also, bags of laundry! A baby's skin is very sensitive and needs some extra attention, so we need to be careful when washing their clothes. Not only do we need to use the most gentle bathing products but also natural detergents to avoid skin irritations and eczema at a young age.
Something to remember! Wash baby clothes before using them for the first time
All good baby books will tell you that it's important to wash everything once before exposing your infant to a new fabric...This is due to clothing often being sprayed with chemical finishes (generally formaldehyde) when they are dispatched to protect them during shipping - it helps to protect against mildew and creasing.
Not to mention baby's clothes are exposed to numerous bacteria and dust from stores, manufacturing production lines and other external elements before you purchase them. In general, it is better for both our skin and health to clean every garment we buy before wearing them - especially baby clothes.
Choosing the right detergent
In general, using a natural and eco-friendly detergent for the whole load of laundry will help you save time and protect the clothes of the entire family – because it's not just babies who have sensitive skin! When you're shopping for detergent, look out for ‘non-bio' written on the product packaging - this means the detergent doesn't contain enzymes, which can aggravate any skin allergies.
You can also take a look at this comprehensive guide of ingredients to avoid.
BLANC is here to help with this too! We can take care of your laundry, using only high quality, eco-friendly detergents (no enzymes, no dyes, no phosphates...). And because we believe that our children’s skin and health should be protected just as we protect the planet they are inheriting, we offer a 25% child discount, all year round which applies both in store and online!
How to wash baby's clothes
We highly recommend using the Bio D Non Biological, Fragrance Free Detergent or Marseille Soap Flakes to wash baby's clothes, sheets and bibs. Both of these options are kinder to our clothes, skin and health.
Using Marseille soap flakes
Marseille Soap is manufactured in the South of France using a very traditional and natural process - it is the most effective and hypoallergenic detergent you can find. It has been used by French mothers for centuries and is renowned the world over. It is made from plant based oils (completely vegan) and is suitable for the cool hand washing of silk, wool, delicate items and lingerie as well as for machine washing.
If you choose to hand wash your baby's delicate clothes, a fistful of flakes for around 2L of water should do - just throw them right into the basin.
Once washed, you should rinse abundantly and if you're washing wool - remember to use cold water!
For machine washing, put two handfuls of flakes mixed together with hot water in a container to dissolve the soap flakes prior to use (keep an old jam jar near your washing machine for this... recycling and reusing is BLANC's motto!) then shake well and pour into your washing machine.
The only thing to remember here is to not exceed the stated amount to avoid excessive foaming/lather!
Using liquid detergent
If you opt for machine washing, washing at 30 degrees should be plenty - for tougher stains you shouldn't need to exceed a higher temperature than 40 degrees. The amount of detergent you will need depends on the level of soiling and how treated your water is.
To hand wash, mix approximately 30-40ml of detergent with warm water, leave to soak then rinse abundantly.
For machine washing, pour the stated amount of detergent in the machine dispenser and wash on 30 degrees.
How to remove stubborn stains
To help alleviate stubborn stains on children's (and your own!) clothing, pretreating is always a good idea. Try using a light bristle brush with a little detergent and pre-spot the stain before washing it.
Alternatively, you can try our natural stain remover bar: dampen the fabric and the bar, apply to the stained area, wait 2-3 minutes then put the garment in the washing machine. It really is a miracle worker!
How to wash soft toys
Toys spend a lot of time between mucky hands and being cuddled around faces, making the transfer of bacteria inevitable and a good wash more than needed! This is especially true if a toy is being slept with or cuddled on a regular basis…
Always check the care label as a guide to start with, but a toy should most likely be hand washed if it has sequins or ribbons, if it is old or fragile, or it is filled with beans or tiny foam balls.
For hand washing, mix detergent with luke-warm water and start by submerging a cloth or flannel into the water, wringing it out and rubbing it gently over the toy.
When finished, rinse the toy thoroughly with cold water (or use a clean cloth to remove the majority of the detergent, depending on how delicate the toy is) then rinse.
For machine washable toys, it is wise to place the toys in a zip up pillowcase and wash on a gentle, low heat to avoid melting any glue and damaging the soft fibres.
Still not sure? We know that little ones can be especially attached to their soft toys, so getting it right is important to avoid any upset! At BLANC, we've been known to clean giant teddy bears in our atelier and we would be more than happy to help out.
Want to read more?
Take a look at our BLANC green parenting guides:
Eco tips for Food & Kitchen: Take a look here for time-saving tips, ways to reduce food waste and single use plastic alternatives for the kitchen.
Personal Care For Kids, the sustainable way: Some ways to help you remove toxicity from your child's environment and tips to help you waste less personal care items.
Fun Eco Activities to keep your Kids entertained: Sustainable indoor and outdoor activities that won't cost you the earth - quite literally!
Ethical Kids Clothing: Everything you need to know about how to dress your little one's sustainably.