How to Wash New-born Clothes

Washing a newborn's clothes can get a bit tricky and requires a bit more attention

Updated 27 September 2023


Author By Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time 5 minutes

Baby clothes hanging on a rack next to a stack of diapers, baby blankets, a bottle, and baby shoes. Clothing Care

How to Wash New-born Clothes

All new moms-to-be are constantly reminded by well-meaning relatives (and sometimes even the lady standing in front of you in a queue) how important it is to hand-wash all baby clothes using a specialist baby detergent. Follow our baby laundry tips to save you some time! However, there is really no reason why you can’t machine-wash baby clothes using a regular, mild laundry detergent. It is true that most babies do have extra sensitive skin, and some are prone to skin conditions – like eczema- which can be aggravated by harsh detergents. However, as long as you use a mild detergent that has been formulated using only the gentlest of ingredients, not only is your little one sure to be fine, but your life as a new parent will definitely be a whole lot easier too!

Protect your Baby and their Clothing

Your new baby will go through several changes of clothing and underclothes a day and, when you do decide to machine-wash your baby’s clothes, you will need to give the items a bit of special care (not only for your baby’s sake, but also to ensure that you are protecting the clothes themselves). You will want to make your baby’s clothing last as long as possible - especially considering the prices of baby clothes these days! Here are some baby laundry tips regarding how to wash your baby’s clothes in the machine without it resulting in any skin irritations or causing any damage to the clothing in the process:


You can use a very mild soap for washing baby clothes - not necessarily a specialist baby laundry detergent. Use the laundry detergent that you would use to wash all of your delicate clothing. Other things to watch out for are detergents that have added bleach, fabric softeners, or perfumes. Rather choose one that is as organic as possible.


Some stains will require pre-treatment due to bright-coloured baby food, juices, and – dare we say it – poop! Some stains do not always respond to a simple laundry detergent. Most store-bought stain removers contain bleaching agents that can harm your baby’s skin, so rather rub a little baby bubble bath into the stain before putting it in the machine.

Size of Load

Another way to protect the clothes themselves is by not overloading the machine (easier said than done!). If you have a whole basket full of clothes, try splitting over smaller loads than doing one large one. If your machine is overloaded and there is very little room for the clothes to move about, they might get tangled and may well get damaged. You can be guaranteed that this will result in clothes that are less clean at the end of the cycle.

Selecting Correct Cycle

You can help to protect your baby’s clothes by selecting a gentle spin cycle, or even the “hand-wash” setting (if your washing machine offers it). By selecting a “gentler” cycle, the spin cycle on your machine will be a lot gentler on the clothes, reducing the risk of snagging. The fabric and weave used to make your baby’s clothing is a lot looser and more delicate so that your baby does not overheat under all of the layers. However, this means that the items require extra care to ensure that they are properly looked after.

Don’t be Afraid of your Machine!

As long as you are using a mild detergent and selecting the correct spin cycle on your machine, you can rest assured that using a washing machine to wash your baby’s clothes is perfectly fine and it definitely does not make you a bad parent! You are not harming your baby, or their outfits, in any way. More laundry tips.

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