How to wash second-hand baby clothes

Are you a parent-to-be who’s just received some useful hand-me-downs? Then, you need to know how to wash used baby clothes. Read on for some essential tips!

Updated 23 August 2019

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Second-hand items are a great way to source the many things you’ll need as a new parent. From cots and toys to books and prams, babies need a lot of stuff, and if there’s a way you can get these items ‘pre-loved’, then it can be kinder both to the planet and your wallet!

While it’s often very easy to get used baby clothes, whether from friends and relatives or buying them from second-hand stores, how should you care for them? What’s the best way to wash second-hand baby clothes? Here are the answers to those important questions and everything else you need to know about cleaning second-hand baby clothes.

To remove any substances that may irritate your baby’s delicate skin, it’s important to wash second-hand baby clothes before use with kind-to-skin laundry products. Persil Non-Bio detergent and Comfort Pure fabric softener are the ideal choice for new parents.

How to wash used baby clothes

It is definitely advisable to wash second-hand baby clothes before putting them on your little one or storing them for future use. This is to make sure they are 100% clean and fresh before wearing. Even if clothes have just been washed by the person giving them to you, it’s important to wash them again with your own detergent to avoid any adverse reactions. Remember to check the label for specific instructions, but most fabrics can simply be popped into your washing machine and put on a normal cycle!

What detergent to use on second-hand baby clothes

As a new parent, you might be wondering which type of laundry detergent is best to use. Essentially, the same advice goes whether baby clothes are fresh from the shop or pre-loved: always make sure to use a detergent that will be gentle on delicate baby skin. Generally, this means opting for non-bio and hypoallergenic options, such as Persil Non-Bio or fabric conditioner Comfort Pure.

Should you be washing second-hand baby clothes by hand?

Most second-hand baby clothes don’t need hand-washing – the machine will do just fine (and be much faster!). However, for delicate items with lots of detail or non-cotton fabrics, you might want to consider a hand-wash. To do so, soak in a mixture of warm water and baby-safe detergent (just follow the directions on the label), then be sure to rinse thoroughly. Air dry as you would with machine-washed clothing until completely moisture-free.

Should I dry-clean second-hand baby clothes?

For most baby items, dry cleaning usually isn’t necessary. The only time you might want to consider it is with precious heirlooms (such as baby blankets handed down to each new generation). Just be sure to pick professionals you trust and get their advice on the type of wash required before making a decision.

Those are our top tips on washing second-hand baby clothes. Once they are clean and fresh, hand-me-downs are a great option for little ones!

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Originally published 19 July 2018