What Detergent Should I Use?

When you’re expecting a baby, everyone tells you the old standby advice of parenthood: “enjoy it because they grow up so fast,” “sleep when the baby sleeps…” But one thing no one really preps you for? Your new life will be consumed with doing massive amounts of laundry for at least the next 18 years!

When your children are young—and especially if they have extra-sensitive skin—certain chemicals and fragrances in laundry detergents may be too harsh and can cause irritating rashes. There are many “clear” and “free” detergents on store shelves — here’s how to pick one out.

• Use liquid. Powders can leave flakes, which can irritate the skin and strip away flame-retardant protections, according to American Academy of Pediatrics.

• Avoid detergents with fragrances, phosphates or dyes. Look for plant-based, natural oils and hypoallergenic formulas. It should be gentle yet tough enough to get out urine, dirt and spit-up stains.

• Test any new detergent out on a few articles of clothing first before washing your family’s entire wardrobe. If anyone has a reaction to it, it could be a real hassle if you forget which clothes were washed in it!

 

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