So, as I await the coming babe and look at all of his adorable bite-sized garments and precious, pudgy cloth diapers I try to prep myself for the day when these items become functional and in need of a good washing, instead of loitering an empty nursery like a well organized doll wardrobe. Well over a month ago, I made it my mission to hit the health food stores nearby to outfit my baby laundry routine with the most sensitive and eco-friendly products I could find.
I looked in 3 different stores and while I found a couple of brands boasting bio (organic) ingredients, or formulas for sensitive skin, I was disappointed not to find a single one that was unscented (the Italians– even the ones that shop at the health food store, from my experience are big on smelling good). I looked around for the usual brands I know from the US, and other places I have lived abroad ie, Seventh Generation and EcoVer and still nothing. I found dissinfecting dirty-diaper soak, but nothing just for the baby’s wash. Ultimately I resigned to take a huge thing of Bio Presto Sensitivo, which has a milder but still synthetic perfumy smell, little info on what makes it bio, and comes with a promise from an Italian university that it is delicate for even the most sensitive of skins.
I washed everything with the detergent, and then again with just water to remove some of the fragrance, but now as I am getting closer to actually putting these little items against my baby’s delicate skin I am feeling like there has got to be a better way. I don’t know how Italians do it, but I am not interested in putting everything through the wash twice so that baby doesn’t get a rash.
One of my favorite preparing for baby books (it is a beautiful book full of great tips and ideas and available at Amazon.com), Organic Baby by Kimberly Rider, has a brief section on laundry where she suggests using castille soap instead of regular detergent, combined with different amounts baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and essential oil drops to keep things soft, bright, and fresh . Has anyone tried this, or any other DIY baby laundering techniques?? I am going to scout out some castille soap and get started, but I would love to hear how others are keeping their green laundry white. And Italians, too… let me know how you do it!