Bacteria could be building up in your swaddle blanket as you read this article! The microbes will be there because babies will be babies and they will wet, stool, drool, and make a mess of their clothing. Of all the mess, the fecal matter is the biggest concern for bacteria growth. When babies come into the world bacteria free because they’ve been encapsulated in the womb until they are delivered. As babies feed on breast milk or baby formula, bacteria will begin to colonize the intestine linings. The stool color will change dramatically during these early days and as bacteria grows, the odorless stool starts to build the familiar smell. Then soiled swaddle blankets becomes the hot spot for bacteria growth. As parents, you need to prepare yourself on how to clean your swaddle blankets.
I recommend washing soiled clothing separately from not soiled. You don’t want to cross contaminate cleaner clothing with dirtier clothing. Read the instruction labels sewn into the side of the blanket, so you won’t ruin the swaddle blanket. Wash in warm water is preferred to cold water because it will help remove more oily components that stick to the swaddle blankets. The warm water will not kill bacteria as you need go as high as 140 degrees Celsius.
Use Dreft as the detergent for cleaning swaddle blankets and baby clothes. Dreft is a synthetic detergent without any harsh chemicals or bleach. With no harsh chemicals, there is less to worry about babies developing rashes or getting skin irritation when wrapped in the swaddle blankets.
After washing soiled blankets, the washing machine is contaminated from bacteria. Add some bleach detergent into the washer and run an empty cycle. Bleach is known disinfectant of bacteria and should clean your washing machine when done. Another option is to use Clorox 2 that has a peroxide containing disinfecting agent. Perform a washing machine cleaning at least once a week.
Do not use fabric softener to dry the swaddle blanket. Most fabric softeners have chemicals to create the nice fresh smell on top of the chemicals used to soften the fabrics that are potentially harmful to babies. Hang dry the swaddle blankets in the sun, otherwise machine dry them immediately after washing. The UV (ultra-violet) light from the sun will help kill bacteria on the swaddle blankets. Do not leave wash blankets out as wet blankets is another hot bed for bacteria growth. Keep swaddle blankets in a dry storage place until you are ready for to use.