How To Wash Baby Clothes


Do you often get stuck in a dilemma of whether to wash your newborn baby’s clothes before use when you get them as congratulating gifts from your friends or family? Or when you go on a venture to shop for tiny, adorable outfits for your little one hoping to make him/her the next fashion icon. If yes, then the next question that probably arises in your head is ‘how to exactly wash newborn clothes’?

Babies are small and fragile beings that need to be taken extra care of because one wrong move can make their soft sensitive skin prone to skin infections and painful rashes. They’re most vulnerable to the bacteria on their clothes which makes regularly washing baby clothes in a well-informed manner necessary.

You probably didn’t anticipate the loads of laundry awaiting you after the birth of your little one. However, even though the process may seem super intimidating, always remember that ‘with such great arrival of constant cuteness in your life comes great responsibility’ and we’re here to help you out with these!!

Below is a step by ste guide on how to wash newborn clothes which is bound to make your life a lot easier!

Baby Clothes

Important Questions before washing Baby Clothes:

Before we get to the actual procedure, there are some important things you need to know!

-Should You Wash Baby Clothes Before Use?

Yes! It is very important to wash any sort of baby clothes before use to remove any possible bacteria, dirt and chemicals that may be there. Always remember that the clothes you buy or get as a gift had a life before this from being kept in warehouses to being transported to shops and being touched by potential buyers. All of this leads to an accumulation of bacteria that the sensitive skin and immune system of your newborn baby is not yet ready to handle.

-What To Wash Baby Clothes With?

Which detergent to use for washing baby clothes is a valid concern for all new parents because the best detergent is what leads to the safest and cleanest baby clothes for use. Many detergents specifically made for baby clothes are now available however, it’s not necessary to always buy them. Just make sure whatever detergent you’re using has the following properties:

  1. For sensitive skin
  2. Fragrance free
  3. Hypoallergenic
  4. Dye-free
  5. Does not contain harsh chemicals
  6. Non-biological detergent

Fragrance, harsh chemicals or enzymes used in biological detergents can cause your newborn’s skin to irritate and develop rashes, hence, beware of these.

-Washing Separately or Combined?

Even though most parents prefer washing their baby clothes with the rest of the household to save time and effort however, it is always highly recommended to wash them separately. This is because a mild detergent with the properties mentioned above is used for babies. So unless, you are ready to wash everyone’s clothes with the same mild detergent then you may wash them combined otherwise it is not feasible and the baby clothes must be washed separately.

-What Temperature to Wash Baby Clothes?

30°C or 40°C degrees is hot enough to clear out any lingering stain or dirt.

Stepwise Guide to Washing Baby Clothes:

We’ve discussed both handwashing and machine-washing techniques below however, before beginning both the first step is to check the clothing’s label for any special material wash instructions. Second and a very important step is to remove any stubborn stains and then wash.

-Removing Stains

Bodily Fluids and Spit Ups

In case of any sudden diaper outburst or the more common baby spit ups, you can’t just throw them into the washing machine but instead have to make sure to remove them to an extent and then wash properly. Hence, for bodily fluids and breastfeed spit ups:

  • Soak the clothing item in warm water
  • Pre-treat with either a stain remover or lemon juice. (Remember to use a fragrance-free stain remover made for sensitive skin otherwise, lemon juice is always easily available at home to use.)
  • Let it soak for 10-15 minutes
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub the area
  • Wash with detergent

In case of formula-fed spit up stains use baking soda instead of lemon juice as these stains are harder to remove. Soak these for not more than 10 mins.

Medication Stains

Soak in warm water and use vinegar to remove stains gained through using prescribed medications.

Baby Oil

Use a grease-busting dish soap and toothbrush to remove baby oil stain.

-How to Hand Wash your Baby’s Clothes?

  1. Disinfect your hands to make sure they’re clean before handling the baby clothes.
  2. Check temperature. Make sure the water is warm but not extremely hot, so your hands and the clothes remain safe.
  3. Pour detergent with properties stated above and rub gently.
  4. Soak in warm water after wash.
  5. Dry in sunlight if possible. Do not use damp clothes on the baby as it causes fungal infections.

Note: It would be even better if you soak the baby clothes in warm water 30 mins before washing.

-How to Machine Wash your Baby’s Clothes?

  1. Wash them separately from those of other family members and do not put a bulk of clothes in one go.
  2. Set temperature between 30-40 degrees

2.Run the rinse cycle twice

  1. First rinse cycle: Pour detergent with properties stated above
  2. Second rinse cycle: with water only
  3. Dry in sunlight if possible. Do not use damp clothes on the baby as it causes fungal infections.

Note: It would be even better if you soak the baby clothes in warm water 30 mins before washing.

Should a Fabric Softener be used on Baby Clothes?

It is mostly advised not to use one since most baby clothes have fire resistant qualities that will be damaged by the fabric softener and cause irritation for your little ones.


Though the entire process of multiple rinses and careful washing seems intimidating and a whole lot of work, you should always remember that it’s worth the effort. It’s better to be mindful right now rather than being regretful later on in case of any skin infections. Hence, washing baby clothes timely and before use is the best way to go about it and the best baby friendly detergent and method go a long way in making sure you and your little one remains germ and dirt free!

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