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Raising The New Generation In A More Sustainable World

Washing Baby Clothing: a How-To Guide

Tips to remove stains and keep baby clothes in good condition

Washed baby clothing

Keeping baby clothes in good condition depends on three things:

  1. The quality and type of clothes: our job.

  2. How babies behave: their job.

  3. How we take care of clothes: your job.

Babies are gonna be babies. This leaves the two of us! 🤗

Why It Matters

We designed a program to get you the softest and most adorable clothes at a fraction of the cost and effort.

⁠Keeping items in good condition so the next family can use them is an important part of what makes this model work. The good news is in most cases, it's not that hard. We know it because we see so many UpChoose parents doing it.

Please remember: as with everything we do, the goal is not to be perfect, but to do our best and be significantly better. We're here to help along the way!

UpChoose Parents' Secrets

We asked some of our UpChoose parents who have consistently returned items in great condition to share their tips and secrets. 

We grouped them in three categories: Keep it gentle, wash and dry carefully, and use the right products.

Keep it Gentle

  • Try to move slowly when putting clothes on or taking them off.

  • Try not to put extra pressure on the fabric when using snaps. They are nice and easy but can cause tears.

  • Bibs are your best friends. Use them as much as you can!

Wash baby clothing

"We almost always have some sort of bib on Cora" Elysse S., California

"I always pull right at the snap to ensure I’m not creating any extra pull on the fabric that could result in a tear over time" — Ashton G., California

"Take baby's clothes off while eating!" Brittany B., Colorado

When to Wash & What Temperature to Use

  • Don’t overwash. Only wash clothes when they are actually dirty.

  • Don't let stains sit for too long. Pretreat stains by soaking them in warm water right away.

  • Choose the warm setting on your washing machine, and sort like colors together.

  • Tumble dry low. Air dry when you can. Lay clothes out in the sunshine to naturally get stains out.

  • Do not wash dark and light colors together. Organic fibers should never be bleached. Turn patterned clothes inside out.

UpChoose clothing

  • "I wash them in cold water with a fragrance free detergent. I dry them on low heat for a few min to remove wrinkles and for the softness." — Corrina V., Pennsylvania

  • "I pretreat stains with hot water, but wash on cold. It uses less energy and is gentler on your clothes." — Ashton G., California

  • "I use warm for white clothes and colder for dark clothes. We use dryer, usually the delicate setting" — Jolana I., California

    What Soaps or Detergents to Use

  • Try to avoid ordinary, fragranced laundry detergents. Many of them contain undesirable ingredients.

  • Use natural, fragrance, and phosphate-free cleansers. One brand we recommend is Biokleen which has an "A" rating by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). You can check the rating of the product you use on the EWG website. Here's a good post on how to pick a safe laundry detergent.

  • You can also test soap nuts for an even more sustainable way to do your laundry.


"The biggest recommendation I have is Baking soda. It’s my best friend when talking about cleaning and laundry. It’s great for not only stain removal like mentioned, but it’s great to put in your load to help with smells and freshness as well!" — Corrina V., Pennsylvania

"I use the Method stain stick for pretreating any stains. It has a cap with bristles that are great for stains. You can also use baking soda to lift the stain, especially with anything oily. And an old toothbrush is your best friend for getting in there and scrubbing those stains out." — Ashton G., California

"We use Molly's suds detergent, warm cycle in the wash. Dryer balls in the dryer." — Brittany B., Colorado

Real Parents’ Top Laundry Care Tips for Keeping Baby Clothes in Great Condition

From Jolana I., California

  1. We take care of UpChoose clothes as if it was ours. No difference between ours & rented.

  2. We don’t wash clothes after every use, only if they’re dirty! 'Cause babies don’t sweat :)

  3. Light colors = sleeping / Dark colors = daily use. 

From Brittany B, Colorado

  1. Wash often. Don't let stains sit for too long.

  2. Take baby's clothes off while eating!

  3. Lay clothes out in the sunshine to naturally get stains out.

From Corrina V, Pennsylvania

  1. To spot remove them as quickly as possible

  2. To dry them for a small amount of time on low heat so they are soft.

  3. To wash them with similar colors

From Elysse S, California

  1. We almost always have some sort of bib on Cora.

  2. If she does get a stain we soak it in warm water right away.

  3. Try to move slowly even when the baby gets impatient haha. We usually give her a pacifier or a toy so that she’s not too antsy and that so far has avoided tears.

From Ashton G, California

  1. Don’t overwash. Only wash clothes when they are actually dirty. 

  2. Pretreat stains

  3. Tumble dry low. Air dry when you can.

Any questions, comments, or secrets of your own to share? Let us know as we will continuously be updating this page!