Laundry expert reveals you should NEVER use fabric softener on baby’s clothes

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FOR true cleaning fans, fabric softener is a key part of our washing routines – after all, how could we achieve soft, scented clothes?

But laundry expert and Laundryheap CEO Deyan Dimitrov believes it should never be used on baby clothes and reveals what to use instead.

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Laundryheap CEO Deyan Dimitrov said fabric softener should never be used on baby’s clothesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

According to the laundry expert, there are certain fabrics that you should never apply fabric softener to because it will drastically reduce the flame resistance of the clothes you wash.

This means increasing the risk of your clothes catching fire, which should always be avoided.

The Flammable Fabrics Act of 1953 states that fabric softener can reduce the flame resistance of textiles due to the build-up of chemicals present.

That’s because fabric softeners contain emulsifiers and alcohol ethoxylates, Deyan said, both of which are flammable.

It can irritate baby's sensitive skin and can also make clothes more flammable

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It can irritate baby’s sensitive skin and can also make clothes more flammableCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Baby clothes in particular are usually treated with flame retardant chemicals for safety reasons, meaning that using fabric softener on flame retardant clothes can reduce their effectiveness.

Thus, if the clothing in question came in contact with high levels of heat or flame, the clothing could be more likely to catch fire.

For this reason, Deyan said to avoid using fabric softener on your baby’s and children’s clothes and sleepwear, or on fabrics such as velor, chenille, terrycloth, fleece.

Plus, the fabric softener can sometimes irritate your baby’s sensitive skin – so it’s best to avoid it altogether.

But don’t worry because you can still get super soft clothes without using fabric softener.

How to take care of flame retardant clothing

Deyan Dimitrov said you can tell if your clothes have been treated with flame retardant chemicals by checking the label, so try to do this before your first wash. To properly maintain flame retardant clothing:

  • Never wash your flame retardant clothes at high temperature, 50 degrees or more is too hot.
  • Avoid soaking clothes as this can cause flame retardant chemicals to decompose.
  • Never use bleach on flame retardant clothing, as this will also break down the flame retardant chemicals.

If you are washing clothes that have been treated with flame retardant chemicals, but want to keep them soft, there are a few simple steps you can take.

First off, Deyan said it’s best to use a delicate or woolen setting on the washing machine because the spin setting is less vigorous and it won’t completely dry out your clothes.

This means you won’t end up with rough materials.

Second, wash the clothes at a cool temperature with a mild non-organic detergent.

Deyan said the non-bio works well in temperatures as low as 20C, which is great for a cooler wash.

And finally, dry your clothes naturally and avoid using a dryer – this will result in beautiful, soft clothes without the need for additional products.

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