How To Wash Baby Clothes Sustainably – The Complete Guide

Becoming a parent for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least! From learning how to function on minimal sleep to making sure you have all the right baby supplies, there are a million things to learn and seemingly very little time.

To make it that little bit easier for you, we have put together a simple guide to washing your baby clothes sustainably so you can make sure you are looking after both your beautiful newborn baby and our wonderful Earth at the same time. 

Read below to discover how to wash your baby clothes sustainably, including how to get all those stubborn little baby stains out, what to wash your baby’s clothes in, and how to manage the daunting task of laundry with a newborn. 



How do you wash baby clothes sustainably?

Learning how to wash baby clothes sustainably is an essential skill every new parent needs to master. Indeed, it is important to be extra careful about what you put on your baby’s skin as newborn’s skin can be incredibly sensitive to even the most minor of irritants.

 Moreover, creating an environmentally friendly laundry routine can make a real difference to the wellbeing of our planet and help to reduce your carbon footprint. To help you learn how to wash baby clothes sustainably, we have broken the process down into a few simple steps below. 

  • Always read the label. No matter how much of an expert you are at the laundry, it is always best to read the label on each new piece of clothing you purchase – whether for your baby or yourself – as, by washing the item appropriately, you can ensure it lasts for as long as possible and reduce any unnecessary waste. 
  • Treat stains straight away. For such little creatures, babies sure can make a mess! From early days dribble to disastrous toddler dinners, baby’s clothes can easily get stained with all kinds of liquids and foods. To ensure stains don’t become permanent, simply treat them straight away with an eco-friendly stain spray or a mixture of warm water and baking soda. 
  • Use an eco-friendly detergent and fabric conditioner. Most detergents and fabric conditioners contain chemicals that are harmful to both our planet and skin. To sustainably wash your clothes, it is imperative to use an eco-friendly detergent and conditioner – especially for your newborn’s clothes as their skin is much more sensitive than ours. 



  • Do fewer loads - only wash baby clothes when they are dirty. Remember newborn babies don’t sweat! So, really, you only need to wash baby clothes when they are dirty. Not only will this help to reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also make your laundry routine much more manageable and help you save on expensive and ever-increasing electricity bills.
  • Always wash brand new baby clothes. Although brand new baby clothes may both look and feel fresh, they may in fact be harbouring many harmful chemicals and germs. Indeed, we can never really be sure just what happens to our clothes along their journey from the factory to the shop floor, and as your newborn’s skin is especially sensitive to even the slightest of irritations, we always recommend giving them a wash before their first wear. 
  • Hang them outside to dry. As much as we may love the convenience of a dryer, we can’t deny just how expensive and harmful for the environment they are. Despite saving us time, dryers are also known to shrink clothes and make us stare at our electricity bills in horror. All in all, we don’t think it’s unwise advice to avoid using them if you can. So, if you do have access to an outside space, then we highly recommend hanging up your baby clothes to dry in the fresh air to save both the environment and your precious savings!  

What should I wash my newborn baby’s clothes in?

With your baby’s skin being so sensitive, especially in the early days, it is important to wash their clothes with care. Moreover, if you also wish to protect the environment, it is best to carefully consider which detergent, fabric conditioner, and stain remover you use. 

To help protect both the planet and your baby’s sensitive skin, we would always recommend using a fragrance-free, eco-friendly detergent and fabric conditioner. As for those pesky stains, simply give them a quick spritz with an eco-friendly stain spray or pre-treat them with a basic mixture of warm water and baking soda to ensure they don’t become forever stains. 

Indeed, once you have run your baby’s clothes through your washing machine, leave them outside to dry in the fresh air or if you have limited access to an outside space, chuck them in your dryer for a few minutes on a low-heat setting. 

Finally, always be sure to follow the washing instructions on the garment to ensure it is properly cared for and lasts for as long as possible. 



Is it OK not to wash newborn clothes? 

As newborn baby’s skin is so much more sensitive than our own, we highly recommend washing all newborn baby clothes – even brand-new ones! Indeed, you never know what chemicals, dirt, and dust they may have been exposed to on their journey from the factory to shop floor. So, it is always best to give them a quick run through the machine before dressing your baby in them. 

However, as newborn babies don’t sweat, you can wash their clothes only when stained. This will keep them fresher for longer and also ensure your laundry routine is as sustainable as possible. Just pop them in the wash with a gentle, eco-friendly detergent and fabric conditioner and away you go! 


How do you manage laundry with a newborn?

With a newborn at home, not only do you quite literally have your hands full, but you also have all the regular pressures of everyday life to contend with. Whether it’s doing the weekly shop, taking out the trash, or simply showering, tasks that were once mindless, suddenly feel a whole lot stressful – including the laundry. 

However, we have some tricks to help you make the laundry, at the very least, a whole lot more manageable. First off, do fewer loads. Not only is this one of the easiest ways to develop a sustainably laundry routine AND save you stress, but you will also be saving on your electricity bill.

We also recommend immediately treating any pesky stains, so they don’t become even bigger problems further down the line and separating out the lights from darks and the bibs from the blankets before putting them in the wash to further help you get that laundry done as quickly as possible and give you more time to enjoy those cute, early days cuddles with your baby. 

Finally, to really help you get on top of laundry with a newborn, avoid buying too much stuff! By limiting the amount of baby clothes you buy and only investing in a few high-quality, sustainable items, not only will you reduce your laundry but you will also be helping out our planet massively too. 

With so much on your plate as a new parent, we truly hope these tips on washing newborn clothes sustainably help to lighten the load! To shop sustainably, browse our collection of soft, organic newborn clothing designed with love for their very first, precious early days of life.