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Cleaning baby clothes naturally – the ultimate Special Little Shop Guide!

Posted by Becky (Special Little Shop) on

Cleaning clothes naturally is ideal if you’re choosing natural clothes for your babies and children. Natural fabrics such as organic merino wool, cotton and silk, all need to be cared for with natural cleaning products in order to make them last. Many of the more natural ways to clean clothes today, are actually forgotten ways of doing the laundry from yesteryear - before the advent of washing machines, tumble dryers and detergents containing synthetic chemicals and fragrances.

Using everyday household items such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar will not only save you money, they’re kinder to your baby’s delicate skin and they’ll help to save the planet too. Clothes can still be perfectly clean by avoiding expensive synthetic washing powders and artificially scented fabric conditioners that can harm the environment. And with some clever organisation and our tips on cleaning baby clothes naturally, doing the laundry won’t seem half as bad!

Natural cleaning for organic cotton

Firstly, never overheat organic cotton, especially during its first wash. Non-organic cotton is treated with chemicals to prevent it from shrinking (and even wrinkling) but organic cotton isn’t. It can shrink by up to 10% so washing at 30°C is best.

Baking soda is a godsend for cleaning clothes naturally. It has no impact on ecosystems when its flushed down the drain, and is alkaline, meaning that’s it’s great for dissolving dirt and oily stains. We love this product: Bicarbonate of Soda (food grade, aluminium free)available from Amazon.

Always use eco-friendly washing powders and liquids, and add half a cup of baking soda to your wash. It’ll help lift stains and it’s a natural brightener, helping to keep whites, white. It also helps boost the rinse cycle, making sure that clothes are fully free from soap suds.

Distilled white vinegar is an excellent stain remover. Always have a spray bottle of half vinegar, half water to hand and spray onto stains as soon they happen. Then wash as normal with half a cup of vinegar added to the detergent drawer. It’ll also help to eliminate soap suds from the clothes as they rinse. And it eliminates static and stiffness caused by hard water, replacing the need for fabric conditioners.

Lemon juice really helps brighten clothes, it’s like a natural bleach. Soak stains in pure lemon juice mixed with hot water before washing as normal. Then add the mixture to the fabric softener drawer of your machine during the rinse cycle. It’ll not only make everything brighter (think of it as sunshine for your washing), it’ll make everything smell fresh and zesty.

Natural cleaning for organic merino wool

First off, make sure it’s machine washable! If it’s not, then a gentle hand wash in warm water with some wool shampoo is perfect. Wool shampoo can also be used in the washing machine to gently and effectively clean woollen items. Add some lavender oil during the rinse cycle for gorgeously smelling clothes, or tea tree as a natural antiseptic if you’re cleaning merino wool reusable nappies. 

Merino wool nappies come with a protective layer of lanolin within them. This helps make them waterproof. Adding a drop of Disana lanolin treatment wool care to some water and soaking them in it after washing will help replenish the lanolin.

If you have some heavy staining on wool or silk clothing, then Disana wool ox-gall soap should help. This ancient remedy for cleaning clothes naturally is ideal for when wool shampoo alone isn’t enough. You should only need a few drops.

Organic merino wool naturally repels moisture and odours so never underestimate the power of airing merino wool clothes outside. This will refresh and revive without a wash and goes for cottons and silks too. Probably the perfect way to launder!


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