So there are a few things we know about babies, especially newborn babies. First, they’re amazing, and they smell awesome. Second, they are tiny and precious and oh-so-fragile looking, and it often feels like everything around them is a death trap. Third, they are capable of single-handedly tripling your laundry, even if you don’t cloth-diaper. So how do we deal with all the laundry and keep baby smelling awesome?
When I was pregnant, I learned that it was ill-advised to keep using the scented detergent that we were used to once our daughter arrived. Not only are fragrances irritating to baby’s skin, but many detergents contain ingredients, such as ethanolamine and sodium bisulfite, that related to respiratory distress and allergies -- as if new parents didn’t have enough of a reason to be paranoid! Additionally, all those extra loads of laundry mean more and more potential for water contamination, so now you have to save the world and get zucchini-avocado-chia blend out of bamboo fabric.
So super-mom, we’ve rounded up 6 eco-friendly laundry products & brands that are good for baby and the earth. Oh, and they smell pretty good too.
1. DETERGENT: dapple. These baby laundry detergent strips are an easy way to measure and “pour” laundry detergent. One strip for lightly soiled, two for especially dirty loads. Simple, right? Dapple's strips are plant-based, non-toxic, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. They’re also easy to travel or fly with (and if you think that flying with your own baby detergent is something you’d never need to do, give it time. I thought the same thing). Buy them here, $9.99 for 32 strips.
2. LINT: Flint. This lint roller is retractable, refillable and adorable. In a case that looks like it was designed for cosmetics, not laundry, it whisks away sweater pills, pet hair and crumbs. Now that I have a toddler who takes pride in feeding herself, it makes me crazy to have her in messy clothes. Flint picks up neatly and painlessly the crushed dust of cheddar bunnies and puffs alike. Plus, it fits in a diaper bag without sticking to everything else. Buy it here, $9.99.
3. STATIC: Static Schmatic. Dryer sheets have long been our go-to product for removing static from laundry, but the sheets, which often contain respiratory system-irritating fabric softeners, create more trash as well. Static Schmatic's static remover was created by a mother-daughter team of entrepreneurs that wanted a way to reduce static during an especially cold winter, but would be safe to use around pets and children. Their ingredients include glycerin, salt, plant-based soap and distilled water, and it works if you spritz your clothes with it before or after the drying cycle. Buy it here, $15.98 for 2.
4. STROLLER: BuggyLOVE. Let’s be real. You don’t even know what that stain is. It could be chocolate, blood, or poop, but you haven’t slept in a week, so who knows. Take the guesswork out of it and just use the BuggyLOVE Organic No-Wash Stain Remover. It works on most fabrics—just shake, squirt and rub with a microfiber cloth. Bonus points for SIX of BuggyLOVE’s organic, plant-based products getting an A rating from the Environmental Working Group—not a common feat. Buy it here, $10.65.
5. FABRIC SOFTENER: Attitude. I hesitate to include any fabric softeners because research is indicating that pretty much every fabric softener wants to kill you. But, if you’re like me and you were taught growing up that laundry isn’t done unless you used a fabric softener, then Attitude Little One Softener is the safest possible alternative. It’s one of only two brands that received an A from the EWG, but I prefer this one for having a list of ingredients that I can pronounce. Plus, I love the smell of lavender and mint. Buy it here, $14.27.
6. LAUNDRY BASKET: Land of Nod. So I’m a bit of a germaphobe, and even though we try to be very eco-conscious in my house, we use a lot of plastic bags for dealing with things we’d rather not touch again. Invest instead in a cute, functional hamper made of all-natural materials like the Butterfly Hamper from The Land of Nod. Not only is it easy to clean and much easier on the environment, but the style is simple enough that it’ll transition easily from snap-up onesies to button-down shirts as baby grows up. Buy it here, $39.