How To Wash Baby Clothes Right: 10 Easy Steps

11 mins read
how to wash baby clothes right

New parents have it rough. You’ve got to worry about how you’re going to feed your baby and how you’re going to keep them entertained. 

But it doesn’t stop there — how do you make sure that their clothing, their toys, and everything else they come into contact with are clean and safe?

And if you want to keep their clothes looking as good as new, how do you go about washing baby toys the right way?

It can seem overwhelming. To make it easier for you, here are the steps for how to wash baby clothes correctly:

Step 1. Read the labels on all garments before attempting to wash them.

Before you start, check the labels on your baby’s clothes. Some materials can be washed in the machine, while others might require hand washing or dry cleaning. Here are some common materials and their washing instructions:

  • Cotton: Machine wash cold and gentle cycle
  • Silk: Hand wash or dry clean
  • Wool: Hand wash or dry clean
  • Synthetic fabrics: Machine wash warm and gentle cycle.

Remember that these are just general guidelines — always read and follow the specific instructions on the label for your baby’s clothing like these Newborn Baby Clothes. Many baby clothes will also come with specific manufacturers’ instructions, and it’s important to follow these too.

Step 2. Make a plan – what needs to be washed and when.

Now that you’ve got a general idea of how all the fabrics should be washed, you need to plan how you’re going to tackle this massive chore.

Start by making a list of everything that needs to be washed and sorted into piles according to different categories, like the following:

  • Clothes that need to be machine washed
  • Clothes that need to be hand washed
  • Clothes that can go in the dryer
  • Clothes that shouldn’t be put in the dryer.

How you organize the piles is up to you, but make sure that everything is clearly labeled so that you don’t mix them up when washing. We suggest having separate hampers for each type of fabric so that you can easily grab the one you need.

How often should you wash baby clothes?

Typically, you should aim to wash baby clothes every two days. This ensures that any bacteria isn’t given the chance to grow or fester in the fabric, and it helps keep your baby’s clothes looking neat and fresh for longer.

Schedule a time each day to run the washing machine and hang out baby clothes — it’s a great way to make sure everything is taken care of without having to think about it.

Step 3. Sort clothes into whites, colors, and darks.

Just like how you would when sorting your own laundry, baby clothes should be sorted into whites, colors, and darks.

The reason for this is that some materials might bleed into other fabrics if they’re washed together. For example, a bright red T-shirt could ruin an entire load of whites if it isn’t sorted properly.

While baby clothes come in a variety of colors, for the sake of convenience, we suggest that you sort them into three basic categories — whites, colors, and darks.

If you’re dealing with pastel-colored baby clothes, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wash them with whites.

Step 4. Pre-treat any stains.

Babies are anything but tidy. With their newfound mobility comes the unfortunate reality that they’re going to get stains all over their clothes. From spilled baby food to diaper leaks, it’s important to pre-treat any stubborn stains before washing.

For a natural stain remover, you can dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in two cups of warm water and apply the mixture directly onto the stained area. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then rinse with cold water.

But don’t worry — you can get rid of these pesky stains with a bit of pre-treatment before throwing them in the washer. Here are a couple of common baby stains and how you can pre-treat them:


Scrape off any excess dirt and then pre-soak the stained area in cold water for 30 minutes. With mud stains, the key is to act quickly, so pre-treat as soon as possible.


Scrape off any excess and then soak the stain in a mixture of cold water and a few drops of dish soap for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water before putting it in the washer.


First, use a spoon or knife to scrape off any excess food particles. Then, apply a pre-wash stain remover onto the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water, and you’re all set!

Baby food:

Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the stained area, let sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse with cold water.

By pre-treating any stubborn stains, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of them setting in the fabric and ruining your baby’s clothes.

Step 5. Wash in cold water whenever possible.

Baby clothes are often quite delicate, especially if they’re made of natural materials. To ensure that the fabric doesn’t shrink or warp, it’s best to wash them in cold water whenever possible.

Hot water can also cause colors to fade faster than usual, so be sure to check the label for any washing instructions.

Step 6. Use the right detergent for baby clothes.

Did you know that baby skin is up to five times more sensitive than an adult’s? For this reason, it’s important to use mild detergent when washing your baby’s clothes.

We suggest using a hypoallergenic, plant-based detergent that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. Specifically, watch out for ingredients like the following:

  • Ammonia
  • Optical brighteners
  • Bleach
  • Enzymes

These ingredients can irritate a baby’s skin and cause a reaction. So, make sure to double-check the labels before you buy any detergent for your little one.

Instead, opt for a mild, non-toxic detergent that won’t leave any residue on your baby’s clothes — this will help keep their skin healthy and happy!

Step 7. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

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Another important thing to remember when washing baby clothes is to avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets. These products tend to leave behind a residue that can irritate delicate baby skin.

If you’re looking for a way to soften your baby’s clothes, consider using a natural wool dryer ball instead. Wool dryer balls are a great alternative to fabric softeners — they help reduce static and wrinkles but don’t leave behind any residue.

Dryer sheets also contain chemicals and fragrances that can be harmful to babies, so it’s best to steer clear of them.

Step 8. Line-dry baby clothes whenever possible.

We know how tempting it is to throw your baby’s clothes in the dryer — let’s face it, it’s a lot faster and easier than air-drying. But if you want to keep your baby’s clothes looking their best, we suggest line-drying whenever possible.

Not only will this help preserve the color and shape of your baby’s clothes, but it will also reduce energy costs.

Step 9. Iron if necessary.

Most baby clothes don’t need to be ironed, but if you want your little ones to look their best, it’s a good idea to give them a quick press. Just make sure that you use the lowest heat setting — this will help prevent any fabric damage.

Be careful not to leave the iron in one spot for too long, and watch out for any buttons or zippers — they can easily get burnt if you’re not careful.


Learning how to wash baby clothes right can be a tricky process, but with the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to keep your little one’s wardrobe looking its best.

By pre-treating stains, washing in cold water, using the right detergent, and line-drying whenever possible — you’ll be able to keep your baby’s clothes clean, soft, and looking great!  So take the time to properly care for your baby’s clothes — it will pay off in the long run. 

Cynthia Harper

I’m Cynthia Harper, along with my two wonderful kids, Gian and Nellie, we’re living our best life here at the Evergreen State of Washington! And together, we are Health Fit Advice! I’ve dedicated myself to giving my kids the best life, and through that dedication, I learned about everything health under the sun!

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