Guide to Washing and Caring for Bamboo Baby Clothing

Best Way to Wash Bamboo Baby Clothing like Kyte, Little Sleepies, Posh Peanut, and More

You may be wondering how best to care for your ultra-soft bamboo baby clothing. It’s important to protect your investment and ultimately nice to keep your Kyte BABY, Little Sleepies, and more looking brand new! We’re here with tips on washing your bamboo clothing, removing stains from bamboo clothing, and other tips and tricks for keeping them in tip-top shape!

Best Laundry Detergent for Bamboo Baby Clothes

If you’ve been around any of the bamboo groups on facebook, you’ll see natural laundry detergents recommended quite a bit. Kyte even recommends natural detergents on their website. All-natural detergents can include chemicals that are less harsh which will help reduce the wear and tear on the fibers of your clothing, reduce color fading, and ultimately keep your clothes looking newer, longer.

Besides being good for bamboo clothing, natural detergents can also be better for your children’s skin! Especially if your child suffers from skin allergies or eczema, choosing a natural detergent that is dye-free and scent-free is important. We often use the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to assess ingredient-safety in products we use personally and products we carry.

Some of the brands we recommend include:

  • Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Laundry Detergent (EWG Grade A)
  • Better Life Laundry Detergent Unscented (EWG Grade A)
  • Dapple Baby Laundry Detergent, Fragrance-Free (EWG Grade A)
  • biokleen Free & Clear Laundry (EWG Grade B)
  • Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear (EWG Grade A)

How to Wash Bamboo Clothing?

What steps do you actually take to wash bamboo clothing?

  1. Follow the guidelines on your laundry detergent for determining how much to use.
  2. Set your washing machine to cold/cold when washing bamboo. Reserve warm/hot water if you’re fighting tough stains (see Stain Fighting below).
  3. If your washer is equipped with such, try a gentle or delicates cycle – this can be less agitating to the delicate fibers of the bamboo, and especially in the case of certain front loaders, keep it from “spin drying” to remove extra moisture.
  4. Hang to dry. Sure, you’re okay to put in the dryer in a pinch, but your bamboo will definitely be better for it in the long run if you consistently hang dry. You can use a drying rack and fold the clothing over rungs, or hang over the bottom part of a clothing hanger rather than slipping the hanger into the clothing. This will prevent shape warping or any burs or sharp edges on hangers from catching on the clothing.
  5. If you absolutely must put in the dryer, use the lowest setting possible and try not to overcook them.

Precautions to Take with Bamboo Clothing

  • DO NOT leave bamboo clothing in a laundry basket if they are WET – this can lead to mold/mildew staining which is incredibly hard to remove (and kinda gross too).
  • DO NOT wash with items that contain velcro or unzipped zippers – these can easily snag bamboo.
  • Wash inside out! If your bamboo is going to take a “beating” inside of washing machine it might as well be the inside of your items.

Stain Fighting and Bamboo

Let’s be real, stains are going to happen because your kids are…well, kids. The best defense is a quick defense. TAKE CARE OF STAINS RIGHT AWAY. As with stains on any clothing, the sooner you get to it, the easier it is to get out. But, we’re all busy and this isn’t always a reality.

That being said – most stains are able to come out – even if it can take a couple of washes.

Recommended natural Stain Removers include:

  • Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Baby Laundry Stain Remover (EWG Grade A)
  • biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover (EWG Grade B)
  • Ecos Stain Remover, Lemon (EWG Grade A)
  • Dapple Baby Stain Remover, Fragrance-Free (EWG Grade B)

Other popular stain removers include:

  • Puracy Natural Stain Remover (EWG Grade D)
  • Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Stain Remover (no EWG rating)
  • Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap – beware this is heavily scented! (EWG Grade C)
  • Dawn Dish Soap (EWG Grade D)

Some internet-wisdom memes state you should use hydrogen peroxide, but we would definitely advise caution as peroxide can bleach clothing.

Light Stains

Spray or apply a stain remover and throw it in the wash. Inspect when you remove it and re-apply and re-wash if the stain persists

Tougher Stains

Pasta sauce, grass, ink/marker/food coloring, poo – can be a little tougher. Apply your stain remover and gently rub it into the material. I personally like using an ultra-soft toothbrush rather than rubbing the fabric on itself or using anything rougher. Leave for as long as you can, 8 hours to overnight. Try washing on your regular setting using cold water. Inspect the stain when your wash cycle is done and repeat if it’s improved but still there. If it hasn’t changed, you can try a different stain remover, or try repeating the steps and re-washing with warm water.

Certain stains do well if you apply stain remover and then set it in the sun for the afternoon.

TIP: Run an extra rinse cycle if your washer is capable as the stain remover + laundry detergent can cause excess detergent.

Grease Stains

Grease stains can be an all-to-common annoyance, especially if you’re using petroleum-based products on your babies skin like Aquaphor and Vaseline. For grease, try baking soda on the stain first. Rub it gently into the grease area to let it absorb using your finger or your ultra-soft toothbrush. Let is sit as long as you can. Wipe away the baking soda and apply a gentle stain remover then try washing as normal.

Set Stains

Sometimes you go to pull out your favorite bamboo clothes for your kids and see a stain you completely missed! Set stains definitely pose a challenge. Leave your stain remover on the affected areas as long as possible. Use your little brush on the fabric and place in the sunshine to try to break down the stain. For stain removers, we recommend natural removers first, but tough or set stains you may have to switch to conventional stain removers like Shout and Oxy-Clean. Following their instructions, you may end up washing these on warm/hot water for the best chance of removing the stains.

Pro Laundry Tips for Bamboo

  • Always run an extra rinse, especially when doing small loads! This can help completely remove detergent from your clothes ensuring they don’t get crunchy or irritate your babies’ skin. Some machines can achieve this with the push of a single button, others you may have to check the manual.
  • Take care of your washing machine! Leave the door and detergent tray open to completely air out your washer between cycles. Especially with front loaders, a damp environment can invite mold and mildew which can affect your clothing (and your health), and can make freshly clean clothes smell musty. Some washing machines come with drain ports, try to use these regularly if not after every wash.
  • If your washer is smelling a little funky or clothes are coming out with an odor, run a bleach cycle and a few rinse cycles to make sure you get it all out. Pull out your detergent tray and clean out any build-up and gunk. Take a wash cloth and wipe around the door seals as well.

While it may seem like washing bamboo can be quite a fuss, once you get into a routine you can still use gentle washing techniques on your bamboo clothing without going all out, and still keep it in great shape. A lot of bamboo clothing such as Kyte BABY and Little Sleepies are generously sized and can last a while, so keeping them in great shape can help you save them as a hand-me-down, or resell them on the numerous facebook pages or baby clothing sites.


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