With messy burps and diaper surprises (and everything in-between), caring for an infant can be quite the messy job. Fortunately, there’s a better -- and more planet-friendly -- way to get the mess out for good.
See our parent-approved tips for handling the most common – and daunting – laundry headaches from your littlest kiddo to those who have grown up a bit.
Potty stains – Newborn baby diapers blow-outs are loud, embarrassing, and devastating. If you breastfeed your infant, expect the explosions to be a bit more frequent and harder to contain. What should you do with those very loose stool stains that can go up a baby’s back and affect every part of their tiny outfits? Rinse poopy clothes immediately in the utility sink, and try to get as much of the solids off as possible. (There won’t be much.) Pre-treat with a color-free, dye-free detergent, and wash on the hottest temp allowed. Remember, color safe bleach works very well on this type of stain, too!
Note: A tiny baby’s urine is surprisingly not that messy. If you can wash it right away, just toss a wet outfit right into the wash with the rest of your clothes (on warm or hotter, if you can.) For clothes that have set awhile, feel free to put them into the cloth diaper bin. (Don’t cloth diaper? Keep reading, anyway.)
Diapers – If you choose to cloth diaper, you can follow these simple steps to deal with them. (Note: washing them more often results in an easier time of washing your diapers, but, it’s also possible to wash just once a week.)
- Dump all solids from the diaper into the toilet – as soon as you can. (Immediately is the best, but later that day works, too.)
- Put soiled diapers into a lined diaper bucket, pail, or washtub until you have enough to do a full load of diapers. Diaper loads do not have to fill a washer basin to be considered “full.” In fact, many of today’s washers adjust the water level to the volume of clothes being washed. Use less detergent for these smaller loads by purchasing some Dropps Unscented Baby Onesies Laundry Detergent Pods. No need to soak them in water. (It will just get stinky.)
- When it’s time to do the laundry, just prepare a “diaper-only” load on the hottest temps allowed. Be sure to give the diapers a good check for freshness, and rewash if they didn’t get clean enough the first time. (This can happen if you let them sit too long or have too large a load for the water used.) Many diaper gurus swear by doing a smaller load two times, rather than one big one with extra water and detergent.
Spit Up – If you nurse your baby, the spit up is usually lighter in color and can come out with pre-treating with your favorite detergent, plus a good wash on the hottest cycle allowed by the clothing care tag. If you supplement or solely use formula, however, you’ll notice the staining can be substantial, and baby burps that are allowed to sit can yellow and become very difficult to remove. You can wash these types of stains the same way you would diapers. Don’t hesitate to let the clothing item sit in a small bowl or detergent, mixed with hot water for an hour before putting it into the wash load if you have the time.
Food stains – Once baby starts eating solids (anywhere between 4-6 months of age), you’ll notice a new variety of colors in your laundry stain cycle. That’s because baby foods are highly concentrated versions of the brightest and best fruits, veggies, and grains you can buy. (No fillers, here!) Get a handle on everything from bright red beets to that stubborn cereal stain by rinsing the stain with cold water, pre-treating with baby-safe detergent, and washing on the hottest water allowed. You can also give it a kick with color-safe bleach!
Diapers – Diapers should be washed in the same way you did when they were younger, following the solid removal method, then holding enough diapers to warrant a load. You’ll probably want to do them more often than you did when they were younger, however. Even though older babies tend to dirty fewer diapers, they use larger diapers, and their messes are a bit less pleasant. If you have an adjustable-load wash, feel free to wash every other day, if needed.
Vomit – If your baby has grown big enough to call no longer their vomit “spit up,” you probably already now that it’s also a bit more difficult to clean. Us the same tips for tiny baby vomit, however. It will work like a charm.
Should you wash baby’s towels, clothing, diapers, bibs, and blankies in separate loads from the rest of the family? It’s not necessary. The best bet would be to wash everyone’s clothes with Dropps Sensitive Skin Unscented detergent. You’ll enjoy comfortable, dye and perfume-free washes that’s gentle on everyone’s skin – while being tough on the worst stains of all. If you enjoy the benefits of snuggly soft fabric softener, upgrade your wash with the Dropps mineral based natural fabric softener pods. These provide the perks of softener without messing with the natural absorbency of towels or the flame retardant that comes on baby’s pajamas.