One of the reasons people purchase organic baby clothing is because it’s gentler and softer on a baby’s skin and is free from the chemicals and irritants that can potentially harm their physical development. When it’s time to launder these garments, it’s important to exercise care in how you clean and dry them to preserve their gentleness and eco-friendly characteristics. The following is a short list of tips to keep in mind when laundering baby clothing made from organic fabrics.
Dry using the air only cycle or low heat settings. Organic cotton clothing is usually made from 100% cotton, so there is a natural tendency for a garment to shrink in the dryer when dried at higher heat settings. Better yet, hang dry clothing outdoors on a clothesline. Hanging clothing out to dry conserves the energy that would have been expended using the dryer. Drying clothing outside brings a natural freshness to the fabric as well.
Wash with environmentally-friendly products. Look for detergents and soaps that are phosphate- , fragrance- and dye-free, if possible.
Soften and control static with natural materials. Many fabric softener sheets used in the dryer can contain harsh chemicals. Instead, shape tin foil into a ball shape and put it in your dryer load to cut down on static cling. Also, some companies market PVC-free dryer balls that gently separate and fluff clothes. You can insert a soy-based wax or essential oil paper fragrance stick into these products if you want the addition of a light scent.
Make your own eco-friendly detergent. Using rose water, lavender water or lemon juice in the tub or washing machine, you can create an effective organically-based wash for clothes. Because it can act as a helpful bleaching and stain removal agent, lemon juice is a good choice for light and white clothes.