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Baby Clothes Care: Washing Baby Clothes, Removing Stains from Baby Clothes

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Wash Baby Clothes Before Wearing:

Most new parents have heard that baby clothes need to be washed before baby wears them. While it's unlikely that your baby would be seriously harmed by new, unwashed clothes, a minor skin irritation or allergy could make baby uncomfortable. Babies are sometimes sensitive to the sizing, a finish put on new clothes to keep them looking nice in the store. Shipping clothes can be a messy process, so those new clothes also could have come into contact with many types of dirt, bugs or rodents.

Baby Clothes Don't Require a Special Detergent:

There are a few extra-gentle laundry detergents on the market that are targeted toward baby clothes, but that doesn't mean you have to use one of these special soaps. Some families alleviate the risk of skin allergies by laundering baby clothes in a dye-free, scent-free detergent, such as All Free & Clear or Tide Free. If your baby isn't bothered by clothes washed in your family's regular detergent, there's no need to buy a special laundry soap just for the baby clothes.

Keeping Up with Baby Clothes Laundry:

Babies can go through so many outfits a day, it almost makes a parent's head spin. There are two schools of thought on keeping up with the endless clothing changes and baby laundry piles. The first is to buy enough baby clothes that you can change baby's outfit several times per day and still have enough clothes options for the next few days. The second is to buy fewer clothes and wash all of baby's outfits several times each week. Choose the option that best fits your budget and your schedule.

Basic Baby Clothes Stain Removal:

Pre-treating stains is the best way to keep your baby clothes looking like new. Formula, diaper accidents, and brightly colored baby food can be difficult stains to remove from baby clothes, but taking the time to work on the stains before washing should improve your success rate. If stained clothing will sit for a while, try using a paste-type pretreatment that can sit on the fabric for up to a week. Otherwise, a spray-on stain treatment or laundry additive should handle most stains.

Removing Stubborn Baby Clothes Stains:

For stains that don't respond to basic treatment, you'll need to take a more aggressive approach. Moms at the Baby Products Forum have been successful at removing stains by making a paste of Oxi-Clean and spray stain remover, putting baby clothes in a mixture of boiling water and Oxi-Clean, using Era detergent to pre-treat stains, and using Zout stain remover. One mother I know has an unusual stain-fighting tactic: buy all white baby clothes and wash them with bleach.
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