Preparing your clothes for the wash
Always look at the washing instructions for any clothing before you put them in a generic wash. Although it is unlikely that many of your baby’s clothes or dresses will have as specific instructions as “dry clean only”, some items may need to be washed with the delicate cycle, in the color wash, or at an unusual temperature.
Choose the right detergent
Most baby clothes can be washed with regular detergent, even though special baby clothes detergent is available. Some mothers do not want to or cannot afford to buy special detergent just for use with their baby’s clothing. Most healthcare experts do not think that special baby detergents are necessary if your baby has a normal skin type. However, if your baby has eczema or has displayed other signs of sensitive skin, you will have to be more careful about the detergent which you choose. If you are worried about using regular detergent, you should wash one or two items in the same wash as your clothes, using the regular detergent, and see how your baby’s skin reacts to them.
Know your stains
Different stains need different treatments. For protein based stains, such as urine, breast milk, feces and spit-up stains, you must make sure that you soak the garment in cold water before you wash it properly. This can help to loosen the stains, whereas soaking in hot water could “cook” the protein, making it harder to remove. If you are trying to remove food stains, make sure that you scrape off any excess dried or crusted food before you attempt to remove the stain. Soak in cold water with a small amount of liquid detergent for about 30 minutes. After pre-soaking, wash in warm (not boiling) water and detergent. If the stain remains, repeat the pre-soaking process again.