Eco-Friendly Parenting: Keeping Your Laundry Clean and Bright with Natural Solutions

If you've been following Bambino on Instagram, you might've seen our Baby Laundry Tips series, which teaches you how to remove all kinds of common stains your little one might cause! If you found that series helpful, we have something just for you.

In today's article, we're providing a guide on some common household products that can help keep your laundry clean and bright in a natural manner. While these methods may not always be as effective as commercial products, you can use them without having to worry about lingering fragrances and stronger chemicals interacting with your child's sensitive skin.

Lemon Juice

A bunch of lemons, some whole and some sliced

What does lemon juice do for your child's clothing?

  • Citric acid in the juice acts as natural "bleach" for white laundry
  • Reduces odours
  • Leaves gentle lemon scent

How to use lemon juice with your laundry:

  • Squeeze 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • Add to 4 litres of hot water
  • Soak your white laundry in the mixture for about 30 minutes
  • Load soaked clothing into the washing machine and wash as per usual

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Use this method only for white laundry; doing so with coloured laundry may cause fading

Baking Soda

White powder in a jar labelled baking soda and a wooden spoon of powder in front of it

What does baking soda do for your child's clothing?

  • Brightens clothing: whites will look "whiter", while colours will look brighter
  • Reduces odours
  • Neutralises acidic stains such as urine and vomit
  • Absorbs excess liquid, e.g. urine, from upholstery

How to use baking soda with your laundry:

To Brighten Clothing and Reduce Odours

  • Load your regular laundry cycle into the washing machine (including detergent)
  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda

Yes, that's all you need to do!

If your clothing's odours come from sweat stains that are hard to remove, see below.

To Neutralise Acidic Stains

  • Add 1/2 cup water to 1 cup baking soda to make a paste
  • Rub the stained area(s) with the paste using a brush
  • Let it sit for 1 hour
  • Brush off the dried baking soda
  • Load clothing into the washing machine and wash as per usual

If you don't have a lot of stained clothing, you don't have to make 1 cup worth of paste at once. Just make sure to keep the ratio right! Go with 1 tablespoon of water to 2 tablespoons of baking soda, for example.

To Absorb Excess Liquid

  • Use towels to soak up liquid on the surface
  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the wet area
  • Wait 8-10 hours
  • Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda

This method also works for mattresses, so you know what you can do if your little one wets the bed. The baking soda will also remove any unwanted odours.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • In concentrated form, baking soda may cause skin irritation, so avoid touching baking soda paste with your bare hands
  • If leaving the baking soda to sit, make sure to keep the items out of reach of your children as the powder may cause irritation if inhaled directly or if it comes into contact with the eyes

Vinegar

A stoppered flask of colourless liquid with a hand in a yellow glove reaching out to the handle and cleaning supplies on the other side

What does vinegar do for your child's clothing?

  • Has the same benefits as baking soda (except for the ability to absorb liquids, of course!)
  • Dissolves soap residue, keeping clothing streak-free
  • Reduces lint and removes pet hair

How to use vinegar with your laundry:

  • Make sure you use distilled, white vinegar
  • EITHER add 1/2 cup vinegar to the detergent compartment of your washing machine OR dilute 1/2 cup vinegar with 1 cup water before add it directly to your clothes
  • Laundry can be done with or without detergent

Although vinegar may smell strong in the bottle, when diluted in the wash, it will not leave any scent.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Do not use other coloured vinegars as a substitute as they will stain your clothing

Some of the products may have similar effects on your clothing, but we've listed them to give you a variety of options to choose from! We understand that different households cook differently and may have one item handy, but not another. If this is your first time, in line with sustainable practices, we highly recommend that you try the above methods with what you already have, instead of going out to purchase something new.

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At Bambino, we are committed to helping parents with their sustainable practices. Sign up for a baby clothing subscription box today to help reduce textile waste in our environment!


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