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

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