As parents, we know it’s pretty common for babies to go through multiple outfits each day. That, of course, means that we do a lot of laundry. So, with all the laundry that baby creates, can you wash it all together?
While you should use the same gentle detergent on most of your baby’s laundry, you should separate bed sheets, blankets, and towels from her clothing. Ideally you should also divide clothing into whites and colors. If you cloth diaper, you should always wash soiled inserts and shells in a detergent formulated specifically for clothe diapers.
Keep reading to learn more about how baby’s laundry should be washed and some tips for washing baby’s clothes.
Can I wash all my baby’s laundry together?
Even though baby’s laundry is a lot smaller so you could probably fit all the dirty laundry into one load, it’s best to treat baby’s laundry the same as you would your own.
That means separating the clothes into whites and colors. Similarly, you will want to wash baby’s sheets, blankets, and towels separate from her clothing. Everything you wash for baby should be on a gentle cycle, with clothes and blankets being washed in cold and baby’s bedding washed in warm water. Even though clothes and blankets are both washed in cold water, it’s best to wash them separately from each other.
When you dry baby’s clothes, you will want to use a low heat cycle or opt to air dry if you prefer.
Washing baby’s clothes
When you are washing baby’s clothes, which, let’s face it – is all the time – you want to have a system that makes it quick and easy.
By washing whites and colors separately and on a gentle cycle, you will make sure that all of baby’s cute little clothes stay in good condition. When it comes to stains like poop, pee, or spit-up, it’s best to get it rinsed as soon as possible. It’s fine to rinse it in cold water and then get it into the washing machine right away.
Some stains are easier to get out than others, like pee for example. Poop could be a bit more challenging to get out, so the sooner you can get it rinsed and in the wash, the better. And, if you notice that the stain hasn’t come out after going through the washing machine, pop it in again. Make sure you don’t put it into the dryer as that can cause the stain to set.
Do I need to separate baby clothes into whites and colors?
Even though they’re much smaller, baby clothes are basically the same as your clothes (if much cuter).
You should separate baby’s clothes into whites and colors to keep the dark colors to bleeding onto the whites. Dividing clothes into darks and lights will help extend their life and usefulness.
Although your little one probably won’t be wearing her clothes for as long as you do, she’ll likely wear it more often because children tend to have smaller wardrobes than adults since they’re still growing and usually end up in more than one outfit a day. Even still, taking care of your child’s close will ensure they are still in good condition for siblings, cousins, or donation.
Washing baby’s whites
When washing baby’s whites, you will want to wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle unless the clothing tag indicates differently.
Babies’ skin is much more sensitive than adults, so it’s best to use a mild detergent that’s specially designed for babies – or at least one that is free of fragrance.
Washing baby’s colors
Similar to baby’s whites, you will also want to wash baby’s colored clothes in cold water on a gentle cycle unless the clothing tag has different directions.
Almost everything you wash of baby’s will be washed on cold, actually. The exception to this will be cloth diapers.
Can I use baby-safe bleach on colored clothes?
Because baby’s skin is sensitive, it’s important to keep ingredients and chemicals that can irritate their skin to a minimum.
While it may be deemed “baby-safe,” it’s best to avoid bleach on baby’s colored clothes.
For more information on bleaching baby’s clothing (including natural alternatives), check out this post.
Should I wash diapers separately?
Cloth diapers should always be washed separately from other laundry.
In fact, you want to make sure you store the diapers separate from other laundry as well. It’s best to dedicate a diaper pail or trash can to your cloth diapers and make sure to wash them every couple of days.
When you wash the cloth diapers, make sure to wash them in hot water and run them through an extra rinse cycle before hanging them to dry.
Washing baby’s linens and blankets
You may be washing baby’s linens and blankets just as often as baby’s clothes, especially if baby spits up regularly
You’ll want to make sure to keep these items separate from baby’s clothes when washing them. Since baby spends so much time on her bedsheets, you’ll want to wash those in warm water to get them disinfected. But, for all other blankets and linens, you can wash them in cold water.
Everything should be washed in baby-friendly detergent on a gentle cycle, without any fabric softener.
For any stains baby gets on these items, you’ll want to give them a nice rinse and even presoak before tossing them in the washing machine.
Can you wash baby blankets and clothes together?
It’s best to wash baby blankets and clothes separately.
Baby clothes are very small and are likely to get swallowed up by the larger blanket. Blankets and sheets take up more room in the washing machine and could actually steal the soap from the smaller items, meaning baby’s clothes won’t get as clean. The blankets are also more likely to create lint, which could get all over baby’s clothes.
Baby’s clothes generally have zippers or snaps, that could easily get caught in the blanket, potentially damaging the blanket while they go through the wash cycle. While it may seem like a timesaver at first glance, the headache is not really worth it.
Washing baby’s bedclothes
Washing baby’s bedding is a little bit different than baby’s clothing.
You want to use a warm water, gentle cycle to make sure you get the fabric good and clean, as well as disinfected. You can use cold water if you want to, it’s just not really recommended. Of course, you will want to use the same baby-friendly detergent you use on baby’s clothes for baby’s bedclothes as well.
That way you can make sure baby’s sensitive skin stays protected from fragrances and harsh chemicals.
Washing baby’s blankets
When washing baby’s blankets, you should use a cold, gentle cycle in the washing machine.
If you use warm or hot water, you could end up shrinking the blanket if it’s made of natural fibers.
Make sure to use your baby-friendly detergent for all of baby’s blankets since baby is usually snuggled up in these.
Tips for washing baby clothes
For that baby clothes should be washed in the same way as other laundry, there are also a couple of extra steps you should take to make baby laundry easier in the long run.
It’s pretty easy to lose adult socks when washing them, so imagine how much easier it is to lose baby socks!
Putting smaller things like baby’s socks into a mesh laundry bag is a good idea – and they’re pretty cost-effective, too.
I especially like this laundry bag set here.
Fasten closures to keep clothes from getting damaged
It’s a good idea to make sure and fasten any closures before you toss clothing into the washing machine.
This will prevent it from snagging other clothes in the wash.
Read the label!
If you have any doubts about how to wash a particular article of clothing, follow the directions!
The tag on the garment is going to tell you exactly how you should wash that item, so it’s worth checking the label.