Which detergent to choose for baby clothes?

Is it useful to switch to a special baby detergent for his clothes?

Hard to ignore the information. With free maternity samples, advertisements, pure packaging depicting babies, you have been warned: your newborn’s skin, vulnerable and sensitive, deserves custom and quality products to be protected. It is true that baby’s delicate skin can be reactive and suffer redness, irritation and eczema, to which particular attention should be paid. However, should we rush with a special baby laundry detergent without asking any questions? The answer is not so obvious. “It’s not a question I’ve ever asked myself as a dermatologist,” says Dr. Fabienne Keller, dermatologist in Strasbourg. Especially since the price of these detergents should be three times higher than others, while: what matters is in the components washing product and when washing clothes baby, not labeled “baby” gives “. Indeed, although many baby laundry detergents justifiably pride themselves on not including or avoiding irritating products endocrine disruptors, this is also the case with many conventional detergents today. As for the only mention “baby”, it is also not enough to guarantee the purity of a cleaning product.

What are the components to favor or avoid? Which products to wash clothes?

Baby or classic laundry detergent, the most important thing is to look at the components, the ingredients that can be harmful to your baby’s ultra-sensitive skin.

The hypoallergenic label

The mention “hypoallergenic” is important because it ensures that the detergent is subjected to dermatological tests for evaluate the allergenic power of certain components. Beware of language elements, however: “special sensitive skin” or even “dermatologically tested” does not mean that a detergent is “hypoallergenic”. The statement must be written and fully visible. It should also not only concern the perfume, but the wax itself.


For the sensitive skin of babies, it is also better to pay attention to the presence or absence in the ingredients of potentially allergenic preservatives, such as benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (also called MIT) that replace parabens, or even the preservative methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCIT) – banned since 2017 in cosmetic hygiene products that are not on the skin (source 1). In short, for a detergent that is best suited for babies, do without compounds ending in “isothiazolinone” “Still, I think we shouldn’t be naive, the dermatologist exclaims. These preservatives have now been replaced by others that are healthier…until proven otherwise. It’s better to stay informed.”

Towards a more natural detergent

Finally, for a detergent that respects your babies’ delicate skin just like yours, keep it simple: Prefer detergents composed of detergents of natural origin and without perfume of synthesis. But for Dr. Keller, it is not necessary to go to all the outlets in search of the rare pearl: “The best is still to do it as simple as possible, with a detergent that you are happy with, wash at the right temperature and above all rinse well and dry sufficiently to prevent bacteria”.

Should we buy an organic, ecological detergent?

There are many parents today, aware of environmental issues, who also ask themselves whether they are organic, even in the wash. Often more expensive to purchase, ecological or biological detergents have the advantage that limit hazardous substances in their composition, whether for the skin or for their impact on Area† It is by meeting certain required criteria that they obtain: the Ecolabel certified by the European Union, or the label Eco certificate† With fewer petrochemicals and more biodegradability, organic laundry detergent, if it is a hypoallergenic detergent, seems like a good choice for baby clothes.

The dermatologist, who has identified several trends during her career, has one caveat: “ The question of price can also play a role. Yes, we will say that the organic detergents are good for the whole family, but I prefer that we use a classic detergent that rinses well, that we use every day, instead of skimping on washes because the can is good more expensive in ecological version

What about homemade detergents based on Marseille soap or essential oils?

We no longer count the sites and works that now offer homemade laundry recipesfor example, based on Marseille soap flakes, which are becoming increasingly attractive to parents looking for naturalness† Easy to make with just a few ingredients (Marseille soap, baking soda, soda crystals, etc.), these homemade laundry detergents have the advantage of not having no preservatives or disruptors endocrine. This way you know everything in your container. dr. Keller remains cautious, however, and is not very tempted by this option: “These are in fact products that are not non-toxic for a baby† On the other hand, Marseille soap is a special one aggressive and drying, not necessarily suitable for baby, if not rinsed properly. As for essential oils, they are simply contraindicated in small children.”

Which fabric softener to choose for baby?

Fabric softener or fabric softener is not not an essential item wash baby clothes… but you can make your clothes, diapers and so on are towels, much softerX. “We have never shown an allergy to any fabric softener, Dr. Keller himself. On the other hand, baby’s delicate skin can be perfect irritated by poorly rinsed laundry or a towel that is too rough† I am not at all against the use of a fabric softener, and/or the dryer! However, to stick with natural products, you can opt for the white vinegar solution, poured directly into the drum or detergent dispenser of your machine.

Whichever detergent you choose, industrial, organic or homemade, the most important to prevent allergies and irritations, seems to be wash baby clothes well† “Taking care of your baby’s skin is primarily a matter of common sense, that includes effective washing… and lots of clear water the dermatologist recalls. To do this, follow these tips:

  • Wash the new baby clothes before wearing them. A “preventive” wash will have the effect ofremove any color and toxic substance, while giving a fresh scent (or no scent, if you prefer).
  • Choose a long rinse cycleto ensure that, regardless of the detergent, nothing is left in the fibers of the fabric that come into contact with the baby’s skin.
  • Usage the right dose of laundry. To wash better, we often tend to have a little heavy hand. However, this is not necessary.
  • Dry well. Once clean, dry the baby clothes in the dryer to eliminate as many bacteria as possible (under the influence of heat) and to make your laundry extra soft. You can also choose air dryingbut at least store his belongings in a perfectly dry place once.
  • Finally, perform regular maintenance on your machine.

At what temperature should you wash baby clothes?

The washing temperature depends on the clothes to be cleaned. Small shirts or dresses, worn for a few hours and immaculate, can be washed by the whole family at 30°. On the other hand, only for dirty laundry, bodysuits, underwear, etc a detergent at 60° eliminates the bacteria present. Heavily soiled bedding, bibs and towels can also withstand wash at 90°

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