If you’re a pregnant mum that lives in the UK, you’ve probably already got a million things on your list of things to do. From trying to make it to constant doctor’s appointments to obsessing over your baby items list, it may seem maddening to add yet another thing to your already full schedule. After receiving or purchasing tons of baby clothes, you may wonder, “Do I need to wash new baby clothes?” After all, they should be pretty clean already, especially if you’ve purchased them brand new, right? We’ll answer that and more in this article especially devoted to helping you get your baby clothed in clean and comfortable attire for his or her first year of life.

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Do You Need to Wash New Baby Clothes?

Many parents must be wondering: Do Baby Clothes Need to be Washed Before Use?

Washing your baby clothes in the UK isn’t necessary in the sense that it is something that you must do or else it will have an extremely adverse affect on your little one’s health.

On the flip side, there are many advantages to washing your baby’s clothes that you may want to harken to before making the decision to leave your baby’s clothes unwashed.

So, do I need to wash new baby clothes? It depends.

Do You Have to Wash Baby Clothes Before Wearing Them?

Do you have to wash baby clothes before use?

You don’t have to, but we recommend that you do.

The reason behind washing your baby’s clothes before wearing them comes down to a matter of the sensitivity of your baby’s newborn skin.

If you are a first time mum, or even a mum of many little ones, it may surprise you how delicate and fragile newborn skin can be. Babies are particularly susceptible to have skin reactions to chemicals and additives, and can even react to seemingly benign substances like dust.

Should You Wash Baby Clothes Before Use?

So, should you wash new baby clothes?


Because many fabrics are sprayed with formaldehyde to keep them looking neat and fresh upon receiving, it goes without saying that you are exposing your little one to these harmful chemicals if you aren’t laundering your baby’s clothes before use. Though it may seem like another task to have to take on, you will thank yourself down the road when you aren’t dealing with unsavoury skin conditions like baby eczema and other rash types when your baby is only a few days or weeks old. You baby will thank you, too!

Do You Need to Wash New Baby Clothes?

Should I wash new baby clothes in the UK?

In our opinion? Yes!

Just like you’d likely sanitise your baby’s rattles and teethers right away, you may need to go ahead and do a couple of loads of laundry to ensure that all of your baby’s clothing is void of dust, dander and chemicals that may be lurking around.

Not to mention, many baby clothes have been stored in boxes that may have had roaches, mice or other rodents crawling all over them, even if they are “brand new”.

Also, it is als impossible to know what conditions were like for clothes that are hand me downs from well-meaning friends, family and garage sales. Imagine dressing your freshly born baby in those! Wash your baby’s laundry first, to be safe.

So, to answer the question of “do i need to wash new baby clothes ?” the answer in our opinion is yes…and yes!

How to Wash Baby Clothes

How do you wash newborn clothes for the first time? Here are some basic steps to follow to start with:

  1. The first time you wash your newborns clothes, you’ll want to inspect the clothing and read the tags. Follow the directions as stated on the tags and be sure NOT to put any items that specify hand washing in your washing machine.
  1. Place all delicate items, like socks, booties, lacy items and the like into a delicates bag. Not only will this bag keep your baby’s clothes from tearing up, but it can also keep you from losing tiny pieces of your little one’s wardrobe.
  1. Sort items according to colour. A tip? If possible, try to buy everything in one general colour scheme, like pastels for example, so that you can group everything together in one wash. Got other clothing to wash as well? You can choose to throw other family members clothes in the mix or wash baby items separately. It will honestly depend on how soiled the other garments are and what you are comfortable with.
  1. Toss your baby’s clothes into the wash and adjust the temperature. Generally speaking, baby clothes should be washed around 30-40 degrees Celsius in the UK. Next, add detergent. This part is important. You should only use a detergent that is non-biological as biological types of detergents contain powerful stain fighting agents that may cause damage to your baby’s skin. Instead, use a detergent made specifically for babies like Dzidzius Baby Wash or another fragrance free wash suitable for baby skin. Worried about ingredients in other baby products on your baby’s skin? You probably should be. Check out Green People’s article on ingredients to avoid in baby products to get a leg up on the ingredients to avoid in everyday baby products.
  1. Lastly, some find it necessary to use a fragrance free fabric softener on baby clothes to keep them from becoming scratchy. If this is your preference, you may add it at the appropriate time according to your washing machine’s cycle. You may also want to skip the fabric softener if you are using cloth nappies as many will lose absorbency when exposed to fabric softener in the wash. For more information about different kinds of cloth nappies, read more on our blog!

How Long Do You Have to Wash Baby Clothes Before Wearing?

Running your baby’s clothes on a regular cycle is perfectly fine for washing your newborn’s clothes. Washing them multiple times may cause them to wear sooner and may cause them to become scratchy. Some mums and dads do prefer to wash their baby’s clothes and then rinse them twice instead of once to get rid of any leftover product. You may consider doing this as well as an added precaution.

What Temperature to Wash Baby Clothes

Generally speaking, you should wash baby clothes between 30-40 degrees Celsius. When a baby is sick or clothing is particularly soiled you may use a hotter temperature to banish lingering germs.

Do You Wash Baby Clothes Inside Out?

You can absolutely wash baby clothes inside out! While not a necessity, it can help your baby’s clothes to prevent from wearing too quickly, fading and can even help to maintain decorations, graphic print or buttons on the clothing. When washing, follow the washing advice given on the tag on onesies, pants and shirts and other baby clothing. Not sure which is which? See our post about identifying baby clothes names for details on specific names of pieces of your little one’s wardrobe.

Can I Wash Newborn Clothes in the Washing Machine?

Yep you sure can, but like anything else, you’ll want to read the print on the label before doing so.

Some baby clothes are rather delicate and may require handwashing, so if you aren’t into washing your little one’s duds by hand, you may want to avoid this dainty type of clothing.

What Do You Wash Newborn Clothes With?

Newborn clothes can, technically, be washed with anything but we do NOT recommend it.

Remember, there are many fragrances and dyes in detergent. Trust us, if you are a first time parent you will likely kick yourself for using a regular wash.

Opt instead for a baby detergent made specifically for babies. That, or utilise a detergent that is marketed as being “free” from fragrances and dyes.

In a jam and will need to use regular wash? Do so with caution. After your newborn wears the clothes, check him or her closely for signs of rash anywhere on his or her body. If a rash is present, rinse the clothes you washed in this detergent and try a new kind. Never continue to use detergent or any product that irritates your baby’s skin.

What to Wash Baby Clothes With?

A specially formulated baby wash or any dye and fragrance free detergent will work, especially those formulated specifically for baby or sensitive skin.

What to Wash Baby Clothes In?

You can wash baby clothes any place you’d normally wash your clothes, provided it is sanitary. Just be sure to read the tag directions so that you don’t inadvertently ruin your little one’s clothes.

How to Wash Newborn Clothes

All in all, how you wash your newborn’s clothes is up to you.

Refer to the above methodology for details. Or throw your baby’s clothes in with like colours the next time you do laundry. Throw in there a fragrance and dye free wash. After that, then dry your baby’s clothes by hanging or drying in a dryer on low, and that’s it!

Can I Put Baby Clothes In Dryer?

While it won’t hurt to put baby clothes in the dryer, you may risk the clothing shrinking a size or two if you do.

Tumble dry on low to be safe. Or skip the process all together and hang your baby’s clothes to dry instead.

When to Start Washing Baby Clothes

Is 30 Weeks Too Early to Wash Baby Clothes?

While it is a good idaea to wash your baby’s clothes, try to do so closer to the time you are due. Doing it too early may give time for mildew, dust and dander to recollect on the clothes before you are ready to put them on the baby.

When Should You Wash Clothes For Newborn?

Generally speaking, you should wash baby clothes closer to your due date. If, however, you are showing signs of labour early, or you are having a preterm delivery, you’ll want to wash them sooner. Bear in mind though that you may wait and wash your baby’s clothes anytime before they wear them. So if it is clothing that you know that your baby won’t wear for a while, there is no need to rush to wash them.

What Happens If You Don’t Wash New Baby Clothes?

The worst thing that generally happens if you don’t wash newborns clothes in the UK is that your little one can develop a rash. And while this may seem like a small threat to us, the truth is that it has the potential to make your little one very uncomfortable. And since your little one can’t talk, they will be very limited in the way that they can express themselves. Instead of taking the risk, we recommend you always wash baby clothes to be safe.

What Needs To Be Washed Before the Baby Arrives?

What Other Things Should Be Washed Before a Baby Uses It?

Before your baby arrives, you may consider washing anything that will potentially touch your baby’s skin. This includes blankets, hats, mittens, headbands, cloth diapers, diaper inserts and more.

While the task may seem daunting, you will likely eliminate much of the possibility of rashes. Nevertheless, if this task seems too daunting or overwhelming, you may pick and choose what you’d prefer to wash instead.

While Recommended It Isn’t Always Necessary

So, do we recommend you wash your new baby clothes in the UK?

Yes. But when it comes to the question, “Do I need to wash new baby clothes?” the truth is that the answer is completely up to you.

While we would advise that you do, it is ultimately up to you to decide what you have time for. Just remember that neglecting to do so may expose your baby to unwanted and harmful chemicals before his or her immune system and brand new skin is able to handle it. So, it may just be better to play it safe.

For even more information about washing newborn clothes, check out How to Wash Your Newborn’s Clothes For the First Time.