Using Fabric Conditioner for Washing Baby Clothes - Tips, Do's & Don'ts

Fabric Conditioners for Babies – All You Need to Know

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Arti Sharma (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Your bundle of joy is small, delicate, and absolutely adorable – and the same adjectives can be used to describe her little onesies and dresses! Hence, throwing them in the washing machine with harsh detergents just won’t do, when it comes to laundry time. Infant clothes are just as dainty as their owners, which mean that you have to take special care while washing them.

How to Wash a Baby’s Clothes

The fabrics used in baby clothing are usually cotton, cotton-polyester blends, fleece – and even cashmere, if you’re looking for high-end options. It’s absolutely vital to follow certain basic dos-and-don’ts while washing them.


  1. Follow the instructions that are mentioned on the clothes’ tag.
  2. Ensure you disinfect cloth nappies after they are washed.
  3. Choose a detergent paired with a mild and gentle fabric softener in every wash. Ensure that you run the clothes through the rinse circle twice.


  1. Don’t delay cleaning stains. However busy your baby keeps you, ensure that you soak the stained clothes straight away so that the stains become easier to remove.
  2. Don’t use bleach to clean your baby’s white clothes.
  3. Don’t mix your baby’s clothes in with the rest of your family’s laundry in the washing machine, unless you’ve switched to a mild detergent.
  4. Don’t dress her up in new clothes, unless they’ve been washed first. The clothes would have been stored in boxes for days together, and dust and dirt could easily have settled on it.
  5. Similarly, clothes are sometimes sprayed with chemicals to preserve their freshness, and you don’t want your baby’s skin exposed to such chemicals! Pre-washing clothes becomes essential to avoid this situation.

What Happens if the Baby’s Clothes Are Not Washed Right?

As tiny as your little one is, her clothes may be the ones that pile up fastest in your laundry basket. If your little one’s laundry is not done right, her clothes and her skin will definitely make it visible. Therefore, it’s imperative you make the right choices, whether it’s the way her clothes are washed or what they are washed with.

Using detergents with bleach and chemicals can reflect on your baby’s skin as rashes, which can be severe in some cases. Similarly, washing cloth diapers with the rest of her clothes is not a hygienic or safe option. Itchy and rough textures that arise because of careless washing are a complete no-no because they can irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

Fabric Conditioners for Baby Clothes

A comfortable baby is definitely a happy baby! Soft and gentle textures guarantee your baby the comfort she deserves, which is why using a fabric conditioner for her clothes is important.

How Are Fabric Conditioners Different From Detergents?

Consider shampoo and hair conditioners – shampoo rids the hair of dirt and other impurities, but the softness and shine of your hair can only be maintained by using a conditioner. The same logic applies to these laundry essentials. Detergents clean clothes by removing all the grime and stains that have been accumulated on them (which, in your baby’s case, will be a lot!) and can be bio or non-bio in nature. Non-bio detergents do not contain the presence of enzymes, which is why it is suitable to use on baby clothes, as enzymes can trigger allergies on sensitive skin.

A conditioner, on the other hand, smooths out the fibres of the clothes, making them soft and comfortable – like a cuddly hug!

Why Use Fabric Conditioners?

Using a fabric conditioner for baby clothes keeps the cloth fibres smooth so that clothes feel gentle to the touch. Apart from keeping clothes soft and fuzzy, it presents the following advantages too:

  1. Saves drying time for your wash load: This is because the conditioner’s formulation basically prevents the clothes from holding too much water while washing them.
  1. Reduces wear and tear of clothes: Fabric conditioners can help to tame the movement of fibres in clothes. This means that it reduces the friction within the fabric that happens when the fibres rub against each other, which result in those stray threads and bobbles on your baby’s outfits.
  1. Enhances breathability of clothes: Fabric conditioners prevent the damaging and matting of fibres, which are the causes for moisture getting locked in. Instead, it opens up the fabric structure and lets your baby’s skin breathe freely!
  1. Helps in caring for the colour of clothes: It isn’t just the loss of dye that can make your baby’s bright outfits look dull after a few washes. Damage to fibres or fuzzing of clothes also diminishes the colour and quality of the clothes, which can be prevented by using a conditioner.

How to Use Fabric Conditioners

To get the best use out of your fabric conditioner, follow these simple tips while washing the baby’s clothes:

  1. Wipe off any stains that are clumpy, because these can soak into the fibre and stain clothes permanently.
  2. Rinsing stains immediately in cold water will prevent them from ‘setting’.
  3. If you’re washing clothes in the machine, pour in the detergent and conditioner in their designated compartments. Depending on your washing machine, you can probably add the conditioner right in the beginning (and the machine will release it during the final rinse cycle), or you’ll have to manually add it towards the end of the washing cycle.
  4. Ensure that the conditioner is diluted and use small amounts. If you’re hand-washing the clothes, mix in a small amount of conditioner in a bucket full of water, ensure that it has dissolved well, and rinse the clothes in this solution.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Fabric Conditioner for Baby Clothes

While choosing a product, it’s important to note that it is baby-skin-friendly. Pick a fabric conditioner which is:

  1. Mild and gentle, and can be combined with a non-bio detergent.
  2. Dermatologically tested and approved.
  3. Suited for the baby’s sensitive skin.
  4. Very lightly fragrant.
  5. A non-dye formula.

Your little one deserves nothing but love and happiness, especially in her early stages. Ensure that she remains comfortable wherever she goes and whatever she does!

Also Read:

Best Baby Laundry Tips for Parents
Washing Your Baby’s Clothes Correctly

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