Thursday, February 06, 2014

Posted On 2/06/2014 by Team iCynosure.

Washing childrens' clothes can be a little confusing! There is advice out there from parents in similar situations and from your own relatives and they all seem to contradict each other. In truth, you can typically treat kids clothes in much the same way as you would adult clothes. That is, remove any stains as soon as possible and then use a washing machine to get the garment clean. However, there are a few things to take into consideration when washing your little one's outfits – mainly the type of material, the type of detergent, and the level of soiling. Here's all you need to know to get your kids' clothes looking like new.

General Advice for Washing Baby Clothes:
Childrens' clothes are often made from soft, non-itchy fabrics that won't irritate their skin. Fabrics such as cotton (preferably organic) and fleecy materials are great for providing warmth and comfort to little ones, but they do need some special care when being washed. When exposed to heat for the first time, cotton can shrink by around 10 percent, so try to keep the water temperature a little cooler than normal – around 30 degrees celsius should be the maximum, even for heavily soiled clothes (it's not the heat that removes stains, as we'll discuss later). Also be sure to use a gentle laundry detergent, and the right amount of it! If you use more than the box says, residue can cling to the clothing, causing your child to itch.

Removing Stubborn Stains from newborn babies right through to when they're leaving for university, kids are experts at creating a mess, particularly on their clothes – but don't panic! Whatever they spill, pour, or spit up, you can handle it! You just need the knowhow!

Every parent experiences that heart-stopping moment when their child arrives home from school covered head to toe in mud, but mud is actually one of the easiest stains to get rid of! The golden rule here is NOT to wipe it. Wiping will spread the mud around, and cement it into the fibres (and then it's really a problem!). Instead, let the mud dry and then use an object such as a spoon to gently scrape off as much excess as possible. Rub a little liquid detergent in, and massage it until the dried mud loosens up a little. Pop the clothes in the machine and you're all done!

Babies have a habit of spitting their milk up, creating horrible white marks on their clothing which slowly turn disgusting and yellow if you don't treat the stains. Don't let that happen! If your baby is wearing something washable, simply soak the garment in a basin with cold water (not hot – it will set the stain) and a squirt of liquid detergent. Soak for an hour or two to soften the stain, and then wash as normal. It's unlikely, but if your baby is wearing something non-washable (such as an old family heirloom, for example), dab the stain with a damp cloth and allow to dry, then use a good stain removal product to remove any remaining discoloration.

Solid Food
Kids love home cooked comfort foods, but unfortunately all their favorites tend to involve messy ingredients such as tomato sauce and turmeric, which can leave terrible stains. A good detergent with a built-in stain remover is all you need here, but if you don't have any at home, try squeezing a little lemon juice over the mark to counteract the red and yellow colors of the tomato and turmeric before washing. Remember – always wash in warm water rather than hot!

Don't be Afraid to Use Your Washing Machine!
It's only really in recent years that washing machines have become common place in India, so you may get some strange looks from your elder relatives when you say you'll be using a machine to wash your baby's clothes. Your mother and grandmother for example, may tell you it's better to wash children's clothes by hand due to their delicate nature, but in truth a washing machine will do just as good a job and without the hassle! Newer models even boast hand-wash options or gentle spin cycles that won't damage the fabric, so don't be afraid to pop your kids' clothes in the washing machine and grab a cup of tea!


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