How to Hand Wash Baby Clothes

January 11, 2022 @ 8:33 am

How to hand wash baby clothes?

There’s a lot to do with a newborn baby, and how to hand wash baby clothes is one of those early challenges you need to master quickly if you decide to go that route.

Little ones tend to create a lot of washing (and pretty quickly too), but they also have sensitive skin that can be irritated by rough clothes, dust, and even the wrong washing powder so getting it right at an early stage is key.

Hand washing your baby’s clothes could just be the answer you’ve been looking for. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to hand washing your newborn’s clothes, so you can master it time and time again.

how to hand wash baby clothes

Steps-by-Step: Hand-washing your babys clothes

Preparing to wash

Even if you’ve purchased brand-new baby clothes, it’s best to wash them first in order to get rid of any dust or dirt that may have landed on them in the shop or warehouse.

A baby’s skin is extremely sensitive, as is their immune system, so they’re far more likely to experience irritation as a result of itchy fabrics or dust that we’re used to.

Disinfect and wash your hands

Before handling your baby’s clothes to wash them, you should first wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water to get rid of any bacteria.

Measure the temperature of the water

When washing your baby’s clothes, it can be tempting to use the hottest water possible to get rid of any germs.

While this is useful if you’re trying to get rid of bacteria, or if the garment is heavily soiled, it could alter the fabrics causing rips, tears or rough clothes.

Try handwashing at cooler temperatures for an effective clean that is helpful to your hands, and the environment.

Soak your baby’s clothes prior to washing

Most bacteria builds-up before a wash. To ensure you’re effectively killing any germs, soak your baby’s clothes in clean, fresh, hot water for around 30 to 45 minutes.

Choose an eco-friendly, non-chemical detergent

It isn’t always necessary to buy a different laundry detergent to the one you currently use for the family, but if your baby has sensitive skin, you should consider swapping to a non-bio formula.

Another recommendation is to consider swapping from a washing powder to a liquid detergent or all in one capsule.

To be on the safe side, you can invest in an eco-friendly detergent designed especially for sensitive skin and babies.

It’s much milder than most detergents on the market and is usually free of dye, colouring, and perfumes – all of which can irritate your baby’s skin.

Submerge and soak the clothes

Once your baby’s clothes have had 30-45 minutes to soak, you want to dispose of this water and add fresh water to your tub.

You should use the temperature recommended on the care label. If no care label exists, choose lukewarm water.

You want to add one to two spoonful’s of detergent to the tub and then submerge all your baby clothes in the soapy water to soak.

Using an old wooden spoon, or your hands, use gentle movements to swish all items through the soapy water. Avoid scrubbing that can cause the fabrics to rip. Gently wash the items until they are clean.

Rinse your baby clothes

Once you’re confident you’ve got rid of all the nasty bacteria from your baby’s clothes, the next thing you want to do is drain the tub and fill again with cold water.

Swish your baby clothes around in the cold water and rinse with the shower until the garment runs clear and is no longer scented.

Dry your baby clothes

You should always ensure that your baby’s clothes are completely dry before putting them on your baby.

Hanging them outside in the sunshine is the best way, however, an airer is also a great tool. Avoid putting damp clothes on your baby as it can cause rashes and infections.

Precautions to take when handwashing baby clothes

It’s important to take proper precautions when hand-washing baby clothes due to the nature of your baby’s sensitive skin. Below are a few precautions to take whilst washing your baby’s clothes:

    • Consider what fabric softener you use – we know there’s nothing better than the feeling of snuggly, soft baby clothes but you should take precautions when using fabric softener and look to use one that is hypoallergenic and will be gentle to your little one’s skin.
    • Read the washing labels carefully – this is to ensure you don’t stress the fabric, causing roughness and tears that can lead to rashes on your baby’s skin.
    • Use eco-friendly washing powders and detergents – although it can be tempting to use the same washing powder for all the family, you might find that your little one has a reaction to stronger powders as they can often contain more chemicals. Wherever possible look to use eco-friendly washing powders and detergents that have been designed especially for baby’s sensitive skin.
    • Dry clothes in the sunlight – this one isn’t always possible with the Great British weather, but where possible consider drying your baby’s clothes outside, in the sunlight as this can help to combat germs that might be on your little one’s clothes.
  • Try to wash your baby’s clothes separately – although it can be a nightmare if someone in the household has been poorly you should look to wash your baby’s clothes separately to ensure their clothes don’t become infected by the passing of bacteria from clothes to clothes in the wash.



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