Toddlers can be really messy sometimes as they play and discover their surroundings. While it’s happy to watch them learn about the world, you might not be so happy about the laundry you are left with. But don’t worry, washing your toddler clothes can be a fast and efficient task if you do it right. Here are some tips to make your washing experience less painful.
Step 1: Always Check Laundry Tags
On any piece of clothing, both children’s and adult clothing, there is a label that explains how the item should be washed, ironed, and dried.
Most of the pieces can be washed by the washer nowadays, but some labels may require “hand wash only”, which indicates that the item can be either washed by hand or taken to dry cleaners.
There might also be specific instructions like “wash with like colors” or ‘turn inside out before washing”. It’s important to follow these instructions if you want to help your baby’s clothes look like new for a longer period of time. Apart from the washing method, you will also be able to learn about the material and how it reacts to a specific wash.
Step 2: Sort Clothes for Laundry Success
To keep your clothes from bleeding on each other in the wash, you must sort them by colors before washing them:
- All the white items, like underwear and undershirt, can be washed together.
- Similar colors such as navy blue and black can also be washed together.
- You can wash the items with pastel colors that will not bleed onto other colors together
- Denim and Jeans should be washed alone as they tend to bleed onto other items
Step 3: Pre-treat Any Stains You Find
Toddlers have a tendency to stain their clothes. In this case, you will most likely need to pre-treat the strains to make sure they actually come out of the clothing after wash. Different strains require different methods to pre-treat, for example:
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood
If your toddler has blood on their clothes, hydrogen peroxide will be your best friend before washing. Here is what you need to do:
- Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a small cup or the lid of the peroxide container.
- Get a cotton swab and dip it into the peroxide.
- Use the cotton swab to rub the peroxide into the bloodstain.
Doing this will help to release the blood from the fabric before it is put into the main wash.
Use A Detergent Rub to Get Rid Of Mud, Dirt, Grass, or Juice Stains
These kinds of stains are the most common stains that you will find on your baby’s clothing. However, they are quite easy to get rid off:
- Pour a little liquid detergent directly onto the strain.
- Gently rub the fabric together, or use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help work the detergent into the garment's fibers in a circular motion.
- Rub in and let it sit for 45 - 60 minutes before putting the item into the main wash.
You might also buy a stain stick from stores, which is used the same way.
Oily, Greasy Stains
Oil stains can be really hard to spot as they normally leave a slightly darkened area on your clothes. It's a good idea to remove any oil stains on your toddler clothes before putting them into your washing machine.
To remove oil stains, you'll need hot water and detergent:
- Soak the stained area before washing in the hottest water
- Rub liquid laundry detergent or liquid dish soap onto the stained area.
Step 4: Pre-Soak Your Toddler Clothes Before Wash
Bacteria can build up before a wash and stay hidden inside the clothes. To ensure you kill most bacteria, soak your toddler clothes in hot or warm water for 30 - 60 minutes before wash.
Step 5: Determine What Temperature of Water You Will Use
Most washing machines these days have three or four water temperature settings: Hot, warm, cool, and cold. Each setting will be suitable for a specific type of clothes:
- White and off-white clothing can be washed on a hot setting. This hot setting helps remove germs from your baby's clothing.
- The warm setting is great for dark and permanent press clothing. It helps reduce color bleeding in the wash.
- Try to use the cold water setting for delicate items.
Keep in mind that cool and cold water can be used in the rinse cycle for almost every load of laundry.
Step 6: Choose The Right Detergent
There are some detergents that are made exclusively for young children. These detergents clean your baby’s clothes while avoiding irritating their sensitive skin. In case you are on a limited budget, go for a detergent that works well for your toddler’s skin and other family members’ clothes such as Tide Free & Gentle.
In addition, many children (and adults) have allergies and are not able to use anything that has a scent, so make sure to get the right scented or unscented detergents to fit your family's needs.
Step 7: Use The Rinse Option Twice
Running the rinse cycle twice will help you ensure the soap is fully removed from the fabric and the bacteria is washed off. You should try this with soap in your washing machine and then with no soap or detergent. The second spin and rinse cycle should only be with water.
Keep in mind that it’s always helpful to ask your family doctor how to wash your kid’s clothes in the washing machine for more references and guidelines.
Step 8: Figure Out How You Should Dry Clothes
Take a look at your toddler clothes' tags again to see which is the best way to dry certain articles of clothing
- Most toddler clothing tags often say that you can tumble dry clothes on low or medium heat. These items can be easily dried in the dryer.
- A tag may also say that you can use an air dryer or line dryer for your toddler clothes. This means that the clothes have to be put somewhere so that they can dry without having extra heat added to them.
- You can also line dry your baby’s clothes to prevent them from shrinking in the dryer.
Step 9: Add Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets can remove some of the static electricity that builds up when the fabrics rub together in the dryer. So if you are putting clothing into the dryer, adding dry sheets will be a good idea. However, you should make sure that your child’s skin won’t react badly to the dryer sheet. If your child doesn’t have allergies or extremely sensitive skin, you should be fine adding dryer sheets to your laundry.
After you have successfully washed your child’s clothes, you can fold them or hang them up. If they are fancy clothes that you would like to keep from getting wrinkled, plan to hang these items.