March 2013 Moms

washing baby's clothes

I just received two huge garbage bags full of baby clothes - at least one of the parents that gave them to us smoke.  I have not opened the bags to check how smokey they are and I don't know if they smoke in the house -- and the house wasn't smokey when we were there.

I haven't bought any baby detergent yet since I haven't decided which one I want to use -- in the mean time, I don't want to leave them sitting around.  Would you wash them a time or two using regular detergent and then again with the baby detergent or would you wait and just wash in the baby detergent?  I'm leaning toward washing now with regular detergent since it's cheaper and so I don't have the smell in the house.

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Re: washing baby's clothes

  • I don't plan on buying ANY baby detergent so my vote is regular detergent (free and clear which is all we ever buy for ourselves anyway).
  • I would probably trash them if they smell like smoke. It's hard to get the smell out.
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  • I definitely wouldn't throw out perfectly good clothes. If you are concerned wash them now and then again with a free & clear detergent if you feel concerned about baby's sensitive skin. I would not recommend Dreft which is labeled as a baby detergent but has a super strong fragrance. FWIW neither of our kids have had any problem with our regular detergent and we don't even use a free and clear kind. 
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  • Babies r us's brand of baby detergent is on sale right now for 5 off the 96 load jug. Otherwise I'd just go with regular detergent then rewash in free and clear. I wouldn't throw them out either. If you decide they gross you out pass them along to a friend or to the Salvation Army.
  • I would wash them first in regular detergent and then again in a baby detergent.
  • image Annelea:
    I would wash them first in regular detergent and then again in a baby detergent.

    this. if the clothes still smell smoky after reg detergent toss them. If they seem fine aftervthen I would still rewash with baby detergent. 

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  • Is there reason why you haven't opened the bag to smell them??? Maybe they don't even smell like smoke.
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  • If the smell wasn't too horrific I would wash them once to see how they smelled after a normal wash (with my All Free and Clear). After that if there was still a smell I would get out a Rubbermaid plastic tote/bin and fill it with enough water to cover the clothes along with OxyClean and would let them soak. After washing them post soaking if they still smelled I would probably post them for free on Craigslist or donate them. 
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  • I would go through them and figure out if they smell or are overly stained.  Pick out what you need/want and then wash the clothes in a free and clear detergent.
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  • image Mrs MoJoRisin:
    Is there reason why you haven't opened the bag to smell them??? Maybe they don't even smell like smoke.

    Only that we brought them home with us today and after being on the road for 4 hours (1.5 hours each way + lunch stop) my back was killing me so I went to lay down and haven't gone to the basement laundry area where dh had ds1 take them to. 

    Checked out the box of toys they gave us -- the couple soft toys have a very mild smoke smell so I'm hopeful that the clothes are fine.

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  • image Mrs MoJoRisin:
    Is there reason why you haven't opened the bag to smell them??? Maybe they don't even smell like smoke.

    ditto - check out if they smell. Even if they don't, I'd still wash them (just because what if they didn't before they gave them to you...you never know). 

    If they're smokey, I'd trash them instead of waste the detergent. 


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  • There isnt anything wrong with regular detergent. I have never used a "special" baby detergent. I say wash them a few times with the regular, and then before baby gets here, do one more with the baby detergent if you want :)
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  • Well, if they smell smokey wash them atleast one time in baking soda and vinegar with your laundry deterget.
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  • I wouldn't trash them because they smell like smoke.  Try washing them with your regular detergent and add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.  This should get rid of the smell.  Any residual vinegar smell will disappear when you put the clothes in the dryer.
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  • Ooops...didn't see the same post right above mine.

     

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  • image Virginia&Joshua11052011:
    Well, if they smell smokey wash them atleast one time in baking soda and vinegar with your laundry deterget.

    yes to this!! vinegar really helps brighten clothes and take any odors out. I use it on my husband's undershirts. works like a charm. 

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  • image wittyschaffy:
    I don't plan on buying ANY baby detergent so my vote is regular detergent (free and clear which is all we ever buy for ourselves anyway).

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  • UPDATE:

    I finally had a chance to check out some of the clothes.  The ones on top of the bag had a very faint odor but most of them smell like they were laundered and then put in the bag. Big Smile  They must not smoke around the kids/in the house -- good thing.

    Most of the clothes I checked so far (part of one bag) have been in the 9-18 month sizes which is after I started washing baby clothes with regular detergent with my first two so a wash with reg detergent should be all that's needed for those.

    I only purchase a baby detergent to wash the clothes in for the first month or so and then gradually start introducing clothes washed with regular detergent just in case the LO did have a sensitivity to detergent.

    Now, I'm just waiting for a chance to get up again after having frequent bh contractions again to go check out the rest of the clothes.

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  • I use Purex Free and Clear for all my clothes. Until I get up the nerve to make my own detergent (I also still have a big ol' bottle), I'll use that for baby's clothes, too. I don't see the point in washing baby's clothes in fancy detergent and then washing my clothes in something else. Baby's gonna be exposed to whatever my clothes were exposed to, anyway. May as well make it "free and clear" for the both of us :)  
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  • ALL free and clear is safe for babies.  A friend of mine's little girl was allergic to detergent and she had to switch to ALL.  It typically is less expensive than the baby detergents and safe for little ones with sensive skin since it has no dyes or perfumes.
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