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How To Wash Baby Clothes By Hand

The responsibility of caring for a newborn can be daunting. As a new parent, everything can feel overwhelming and unfamiliar. There is much to learn, from feeding to changing diapers to sleep schedules and developmental milestones. Most first-time parents have never changed a diaper or know how to wash baby clothes by hand or other parental duties. 

However, it is important to remember that every parent goes through this experience, and you are not alone. By connecting with other parents and engaging in activities, you can experience the joy of watching your little one grow and learn new things every day.

It is good to know that you are not expected to know everything right away. Especially about washing your baby’s clothes, due to the risk of skin irritation. We are here to help you and guide you on how to wash your baby’s clothes.

Dressing Up Your Baby Parental Preferences and Trends

Source: / Photo Contributor: White bear studio

Dressing Up Your Baby: Parental Preferences and Trends 

Dressing up babies can be a fun and exciting experience for a parent. Many parents choose to dress their baby, especially their baby girl, in cute and colorful outfits, often featuring bows and headbands to add a touch to femininity. 

Pastel colors, floral patterns and ruffles are also popular choices for baby girl clothing. Parents often want their baby to look adorable and feel comfortable at the same time, so soft fabrics like cotton and fleece are commonly used.

Whatever the style and preference, dressing up a baby girl can be a wonderful way for parents to express their love and affection for their little ones. You can find the cutest pieces with high-quality fabric in our newborn girls clothing boutique.

How to Wash Baby Clothes by Hand 

When it comes to washing baby clothes, many parents prefer to do it by hand rather than using a washing machine. This can be a gentle and effective way to clean your little one’s delicate garments without risking any damage from rough machine cycles or harsh detergents.

Plus, hand washing can be a great way to give your baby’s clothes a little extra TLC (tender loving care), ensuring that the baby stays soft, comfortable, and free of any lingering dirt or stains. 

It’s important to know that baby clothes should be washed before the babies wear them because at the boutique and on the way home, those clothes are exposed to harmful bacteria that you wouldn't want on your baby’s skin.

  1. Prepare water temperature
  2. Sort your baby’s clothes
  3. Use non-chemical detergent
  4. Soak clothes in water
  5. Drain the clothes
  6. Dry the clothes

How to Wash Baby Clothes by Hand

Source: / Photo Contributor: Margosha Medvedeva

Prepare water temperature

It is essential for baby clothes to be washed with lukewarm water and avoid using hot water to maintain the quality of the piece of clothing and not cause any rips and tears.

Fill a basin or a clean sink with lukewarm water. Add a small amount of baby-safe detergent and mix until it’s evenly distributed.



Sort your baby’s clothes

Next, you should sort your baby’s clothes by color and fabric type. Be sure to read any care labels and separate items that require special treatment. 

This will help prevent colors from bleeding and keep delicate fabrics from getting damaged.

Use non-chemical detergent

When it comes to washing your baby's clothes, it’s important to choose a detergent that is safe and gentle for your little one’s delicate skin. 

Look for a detergent that is labeled as “baby-safe” or “hypoallergenic”. Avoid detergents that contain fragrances, dyes, and other additives. These can be irritating to your baby’s skin and may cause rashes or other allergic reactions.

Soak clothes in water 

To ensure that the clothes are free of bacteria, you should put the clothes in hot water for about 25 minutes, so it can destroy most of the bacteria. This will give time for the detergent to work its magic and break down any dirt or stains.

After soaking in hot water for a specified time, wash the clothes gently using your hands and move them around to remove any left bacteria or stains. 

Empty the sink or basin, and refill it with clean and lukewarm water. Submerge the clothes in clean water. Move them around and squeeze them gently several times.

Rinse the clothes

When it comes to rinsing baby clothes, it’s important to be gentle and avoid squeezing too hard. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the clothes, taking care not to wring them, which can damage the fabric.

Dry the clothes

Lay them flat on a clean, dry towel and roll the towel to remove the remaining water, or hang the clothes on a drying rack. Place it somewhere without direct sunlight, because it may damage the piece of clothing, on a surface where there’s good circulation of air.

Precautions to Take Before Washing Your Baby’s Clothes

Source: / Photo Contributor: Africa Studio

Precautions to Take Before Washing Your Baby’s Clothes

Learning how to wash baby clothes by hand can seem like a simple task to do, but there are a few important precautions to take to ensure your child’s health and safety. 

First, use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent that is specifically designed for babies. This will help prevent and avoid any potential allergic reaction or skin irritation. 

Second, always wash your baby’s clothes separately from your clothes and the rest of the household laundry to avoid cross-contamination with other laundry clothes. 

Additionally, avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can leave a residue that may irritate your child’s skin.

Lastly, be sure to read and follow care instructions on the clothing labels to avoid shrinking, fading, and damaging the fabric. It is also good to wash new baby clothes before your baby wears them.

Is It Safe to Use Fabric Softeners?

Using fabric softeners on baby clothes is generally not recommended, especially for infants under six months. This is because fabric softeners contain chemicals that may irritate the baby’s sensitive skin or cause an allergic reaction.

When washing clothes by hand, you may not need to use fabric softeners at all, as the clothes will not be subjected to the harsh agitation of the washing machine.

You can still use gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergent to clean your baby’s clothes and then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining detergent. This will help keep the softness and cleanliness of the baby’s clothes.

How to Disinfect Baby Clothes

When it comes to disinfecting those precious baby clothes, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to start with clean clothes that have been washed with detergent and water. From here, you can take additional steps to disinfect the clothes further.

How to Disinfect Baby Clothes

Source: / Photo Contributor: New Africa

Remove bacteria

When disinfecting your baby’s clothes, you want to make sure to remove any bacteria that might be present. One effective way to do this is by using a hot water cycle if your baby’s clothes can tolerate it. Hot water can help kill bacteria and germs that may be living on the fabric. 

If hot water is not an option, you can try using a laundry sanitizer or disinfectant laundry additive, which will work to remove bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms.

Home tricks you can use to remove bacteria

  • Vinegar
  • Tea tree oil
  • Hydrogen peroxide 


There are a few home tricks that you can use to disinfect a baby’s clothes. One is to add a cup of white vinegar to your wash cycle. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help kill bacteria and viruses. 

Tea tree oil

Another option is to use tea tree oil, which has natural antibacterial properties. To use tea tree oil, add a few drops to your wash cycle or mix it with water to create a spray you can use on your baby’s clothes.

Hydrogen peroxide

If you’re looking for a more natural alternative to bleach, you can also try using hydrogen peroxide. This can be added to your washing cycle or used as a pre-treatment for really stubborn stains.

Just make sure to always follow manufacturer instructions and to do a test patch on a small area or another piece of clothing before you try any new disinfecting methods.

Washing baby clothes by hand

Source: / Photo Contributor: Tatevosian Yana


Washing baby clothes by hand is a great way to ensure your little one’s clothing is clean and free from any harmful chemicals or irritants. By using gentle detergents and warm water, you can help preserve the quality and softness of the fabric while also removing any stains or dirt. 

Additionally, knowing how to wash baby clothes by hand can be a great bonding experience for parents and caregivers, allowing them to take a moment to focus on caring for their child’s needs. Overall, washing baby clothes by hand is a simple and effective way to keep your little one’s clothing clean, comfortable, and safe.

Sam Milam

Sam Milam, author

Sam Milam is a freelance writer, photographer, and yoga teacher. She is passionate about educating herself and others about attachment parenting, social justice, and living an authentic, empowered life. When she isn't working, she can be found exploring the Pacific Northwest with her two kids. Sam is a regular contributor for Washington Post, POPSUGAR, USA Today, Parent Map, and Gronk Nation.

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