Clothes of babies have to be washed thoroughly to remove any traces of soap or detergents, as these are harmful for baby's skin. Choice of soaps or detergents for washing the clothes depends on type of water and one's preference. Here are some smart tips, read on.
Is it better to use detergents or soaps?
Traditionalists advocate washing baby clothes separately for about the first six months. Soap is recommended because it tends to have fewer additives that might irritate the skin. However, soap works best in soft water - the extra minerals found in hard water combine chemically with soap, leaving a film on clothes. If you are in hard water area, you can install a water softener, or add a softener like borax to your wash, or use a detergent instead of soap.
If you choose to use a detergent you will need to find the one that works best for you, as detergent formulas vary widely. To avoid potential skin irritations, be sure the clothes are thoroughly rinsed. Whatever product you use, measure carefully. Remember that the purpose of soap or detergent is not only to get the dirt out of the clothes but also to keep it suspended in the water until it can be rinsed away. If there is not enough soap, dirt may settle back into the clothes.
How much detergent or soap should I be adding to the load?
Start with the amount recommended on the package, and add more if you have hard water, or cool wash water, or a larger than average load or especially heavy soil. If the amount of soap needed to clean your clothes makes more suds than your washer can handle, switch to a low sudsing product. (A serious overflow can be contained by sprinkling salt on suds to melt them away.)
Should I use fabric softeners for my baby's clothes?
Use fabric softener in your baby's wash - it leaves clothes feathery soft and eliminates the static that makes one pair of stretchies cling for dear life to another. Many softeners must be added during the rinse cycle, because they leave greasy-looking stains on the clothes if they combine with detergents or soap during the wash cycle. (The stains can be removed by wetting the clothes, rubbing in a liquid detergent and rewashing).
If your machine does not have a fabric softener dispenser that automatically puts in the softener during the final rinse cycle, either buy the kind that can be added during the wash cycle or one of the treated strips that you toss into the dryer. Softeners work by coating the fibers in the fabric so that they don't mat into hard little bunches. Over time, the softener may build up, making fabrics less absorbent, so you may not want to use it every time you wash.
Is it necessary to use a disinfectant while washing babyâ€™s clothes?
A babyâ€™s clothes tend to contain a lot of dirt and grime due to spilling of milk or food while feeding, peeing and doing potty in nappies, vomiting and so on. As the clothes carry lot of dirt they become a storehouse of microbes. Disinfectants can help to keep such microbes and bacteria at bay.
How to use a disinfectant while washing babyâ€™s clothes?
A disinfectant can be used during the final cycle of washing babyâ€™s clothes. If you read the instructions mentioned on the container of the disinfectant, you will understand the amount of disinfectant that you need to add to your bucket.
After all the dirt and grime is washed away, put your babyâ€™s clothes in a fresh bucket of water with disinfectant added to it. You may do one more washing cycle with plain water so that the disinfectant is not harsh on babyâ€™s skin. You must talk your doctor to find about the disinfectant that you should use and the way it should be used to wash your babyâ€™s clothes.
Newbornâ€™s clothes must always be washed separately. Most new parents prefer to wash their newbornâ€™s clothes in hot water and in this case adding a disinfectant is not required. Once you wash your babyâ€™s clothes, sun-dry them or let them dry in air. Never leave them damp as they can become a breeding ground for microbes.
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- The Indiaparenting Team