November 14, 2008

Baby Laundry Detergent: What’s Safe For Baby?

Small cloths
Creative Commons License photo credit: kaatje85

Did you know that it’s not necessary to use the special baby laundry detergent sold in stores? In fact, many of them contain heavy perfumes and dyes that can cause allergy or irritate baby’s delicate skin. However, it is important to take certain precautions with your baby’s laundry.

I recommend using a detergent labeled “free” of dyes and perfumes, washing baby’s clothes separately, and using half the suggested amount. You may even do a double rinse on baby’s laundry. Or, even better, try an environmentally friendly natural detergent. These are usually much gentler and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

I have recently discovered soap nuts, an all-natural and allergen-free laundry detergent that comes from a plant. It’s scent-free and strips baby cloth diapers of residue. Plus, you can use soap nuts up to 4 times, for significant savings.


[ad#ad-2] Many mothers swear by Charlie’s Soap particularly for cloth diapers. It is made of completely natural ingredients and does not contain any ingredients that could cause allergies or build up in baby’s clothes and diapers.

It’s also important to wash new baby clothing thoroughly (preferably in hot water, twice) to remove any formaldehyde and other chemicals that manufacturers add to keep the clothing looking pressed and “new” while in the store. You don’t want that stuff on your new baby’s skin!

The object in doing your laundry is no doubt to get your clothes clean and smelling fresh. The supermarket isles are filled with hundreds of products that claim to do the best job in helping you accomplish that. Not only are they supposed to clean your clothes they also claim to make your laundry smell like spring flowers, fresh picked berries, or even a refreshing rain.

It is ironic then that many conventional laundry detergents unintentionally and many times even intentionally, leave residues on your clothing. These residues are the byproducts of the numerous chemicals that these detergents contain and these chemical residues are anything but healthy for your laundry. They are not particularly healthy for your family either.

More Natural Laundry Tips:

Since wearing clothing is most likely and every day, all day occurrence your cumulative exposure to these chemicals may cause some concern…and rightly so. So what can you do?

A laundry detergent with more natural ingredients is a good option. In recent years there has been a large upsurge of natural detergents available on the market so finding one that works for you should not be hard. Here are some tips to help you find the best natural solution for your laundry.

• Avoid detergents with optical brighteners. Optical brighteners intentionally leave a residue on the surface of your laundry. These brighteners stick to your clothing to reflect light and give the appearance of cleaner, brighter clothes. If you look at your detergent under a black light and it glows….it has optical brighteners. These chemical residues can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions.

• Avoid detergents with fabric softeners. These softeners leave a water-repelling residue on your laundry. This can be problematic for items such as towels or cloth diapers, making them less absorbent and useful in the very purpose that they serve. If you need extra help softening your laundry try using a natural fabric softener or some dryer balls.

• Skip the synthetic fragrances and opt for a detergent that utilizes natural fragrances such as essential oils. You can even do it yourself and ad a 2-3 drops of lavender or tea tree oil to the wash.

• Considering using a soap based cleaner instead of a detergent. Detergents are made with petrochemical ingredients whereas soaps are made with natural oils and minerals.

Many of the chemicals in dryer sheets designed to keep your clothes wrinkle and static free have been linked to cancer. Use a vinegar rinse while clothes are in the wash instead or use a small sachet of dried lavender in the dryer.

• Instead of using harsh bleach on your clothes, soak clothes that need brightened in a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to 8 parts cold water and then wash. You might also try a half cup of lemon juice and baking soda.

• Conventional stain removers are too harsh, use a baking soda paste to scrub and pre-treat stains.

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Disclosure: When I mention products, you must assume I will receive compensation for doing so. However, I only recommend products and services I myself use or believe in and would recommend to my own sisters and mother. Nevertheless, you should perform your own due diligence before purchasing a product or service mentioned in this website.
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Alexis Rodrigo

  • Tina says:

    I am so glad to have found your site. My baby has eczema and some allergies. I use Charlie’s soap to wash our clothes and I wash his separately and do a double rinse. I wanted to make sure that was not bothering him. He is allergic to Cats which we have and unfortunately have to send to our in laws.
    This article has helped me out and I love your site. Thank you for all the info 🙂

  • courtney says:

    Hi! nice site, really like the baby laundry soap article. I think we are all guilty of falling for those baby detergents or products at one time or another. Even though I make soap, I still buy the least-obnoxious laundry detergent, but I will certainly try a few of your great ideas.

  • Samantha says:

    Nothing beats Purity Laundry Liquid. My son was born with severe allergies and this laundry liquid is the only one that does not leave him covered in rashes. The best part is that it actually cleans his clothes also. I’m now using it for the whole family.

  • Great post! I think it’s always important to know what is appropriate for your baby to be anywhere near. Thanks for the tips!

  • Maddy says:

    My daughter had been suffering with a terrible rash that her allergist diagnosed as ‘eczema.’ She had been on allergy pills and cortisone cream that helped but only temporarily. The rashes became painful and started to affect my daughter even when she would sleep. Her allergist then recommended the all natural and allergy free baby soap and shampoo from ‘alleproproducts.com’ We started using that soap on her and within weeks the eczema started to subside. Many children are sensitive to the soaps that are being used on them due to the chemical sensitivties. My allergist has saved my daughters life and I definately recommend using that soap. Hope this helps someone suffering with skin allergies.

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