The whole idea for this post came to me when I received these Smart Sheep Dryer Balls and I LOVED them. I thought, “there really needs to be a post on all the great laundry tricks, hacks and gear for baby clothes.” Lord knows those little monkeys generate a ton of laundry and I’m going to hazard a guess that about 20% of it is a shit show – literally and figuratively.
So I asked you guys for your tips and, man, did you have some great ones.
Right off the top I’ve got to talk about these dryer balls from Smart Sheep. I stopped using dryer sheets when I found out a few of them used animal fat as the ‘softener’ because that just seemed gross to me. So I got those plastic bristle ball things and they were okay but made a lot of noise in the dryer, plus, they were plastic. So when these wool balls showed up on my doorstep I was pretty jazzed. Not only are they organic and make your clothes nice and soft, they help dry everything faster too. You could probably add some essential oils to them if you were feeling sassy – I know that’s all the rage right now, but I don’t know enough about it to weigh in.
Anyway, I thought these things were awesome and do an amazing job in the dryer. My only challenge with them is that the boys like to get a hold of them and play with them. I can’t blame them though – they are perfect snowball size. A pack of 6 will run you around $19 on Amazon.
Next up are laundry bags. These are fantabulous for holding baby socks, bibs, mittens, and other small things that tend to wander in the wash. One reader even clips hers to the laundry hamper for easy access. These InsideSmarts bags get incredible ratings and are about $20 for a set of four.
Many moms who purchased a diaper sprayer for their cloth diapers said that they use it just as often for clothes. So even if you aren’t going to cloth diaper it may be worth looking at. If you are going to cloth diaper then for the love of Pete get one! They run around $40.
I kept seeing this Dawn concoction on Pinterest and wondered what all the hub bub was about. It’s magic. This stuff is the shitz. I’ve used it on every stain imaginable and it worked like a charm. It works best on fresh stains but I think that applies to most stain removers. The formula is 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part Dawn dish soap. Some people add 1 part baking soda in there too but I’ve never tried that. Oxiclean also got really high marks for stain removal and whitening in general.
Another great stain remover is the good old sun. It’s tried and true and works really well to bleach out stains and stink. A retractable clothesline works really well and tucks away when you’re not using it, or you can use a rack if you’re working with a balcony or less space. This wouldn’t work for me in Toronto from November to April, but you know, make hay while the sun shines.
As for detergents, most of you opted for a Free & Clear brand like Tide, All, Rockin’ Green or Seventh Generation over the often recommended but pricey Deft. It also looks like DIY detergent isn’t what everyone (me included) is what we all thought it was cracked up to be.
Babies tend to have sensitive skin, but what may irritate one kid’s skin will be the only thing that doesn’t on another kiddo. If you switch detergents just keep that in the back of your mind if you notice a rash or irritation. Also, if you go the laundry pod route, be super careful that those suckers are out of reach. Thousands of kids accidentally ingest them every year and it ain’t pretty if you eat one.
My mom bought me one of these little gadgets a long time ago and I use it all the time on shoes, coats, bibs, stroller and anything else where Velcro gets gross. If you know where to find them, let me know. (update: I found these wire brushes on Amazon and they work even better!)
As for just straight up tricks, I love these:
- Wash everything in one load with Shout Color Catcher so you don’t have to separate lights from darks.
- Pre rinsing in vinegar and adding baking soda to the first wash cycle to take out perma-urine stench. Works for steam cleaners too.
- Velcro bibs together before putting in the wash so they don’t snag your nice clothes.
- Clothes stained at dinner get chucked in the old bath water while you put little one to bed
Do you get as excited as I do about these tips and hacks? I swear there’s nothing I find more satisfying than pulling a pristine white onesie out of the dryer that was a previous ‘poosplosion’ nightmare. It’s the little things for me I guess.
I think some of these would make an incredible shower gift too. Maybe get a pretty basket and arrange it all in there? I dunno. I’m getting a little Pinteresty there. I’m sure a few of you are mad creative so snap me a picture if you do put a gift together.
What other tricks or tips would you add?
A special thanks to the folks from Smart Sheep Dryer Balls for inspiring this post and agreeing to sponsor it. I’m a big fan of you and your balls! Pardon?