Top tips from Hippychick's laundry expert

Weaning can be an extremely messy process. All the experts advise introducing flavour, colour and texture to your child as early as possible to encourage them to open their mouths, hearts and minds to a variety of different foods.  But be prepared, most of the food, at least in the early stages, is more than likely to go over them, onto the floor, or into the dog.  But never fear, Hippychick’s laundry expert and Sarah Sturgess mother of 2 is here to give you a few top tips to bringing those bibs back to their original, pristine condition. 

Pre wash

Soak the bibs in a bucket of white, distilled vinegar

For more stubborn stains, create a paste with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda (yes, the one you have in your store cupboard), Rub the paste directly onto the stain and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before washing. 

Soak the bibs in a bucket of regular sea salt – though you do need to have enough bibs as you really need to soak for at least 48 hours.  The salt will also soften and deodorise the material. 

If you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the medicine cabinet, this is a sure fire and safe way to remove stains, without the need for harsh, chlorine bleach.

Alternatively, and it’s worth it in the long run, invest in some sodium Percarbonate, a combination of bicarbonate and hydrogen Peroxide. It’s an oxydising agent which can be found in a number of expensive, branded stain removal products but it is much cheaper to buy it in its original form. It works by attacking proteins which is the basis for stains and dirt in laundry. 

General washing tips

Add bicarbonate of soda, or sodium percarbonate to your wash. 

Don’t use too much detergent.  According to experts, excessive detergent can actually be the root cause of whites looking dingy and grey.  A tablespoon is about the right amount, as a guide. 

Do follow the recommended washing temperature as advised by the manufacturer.  30 degrees is a good norm and will also prolong the life of your laundry. 

Avoid using fabric softeners as they work by coating the fabric in a film which will make them feel soft but also create a barrier which will make it more difficult for you to remove stains down the line.   

Most fabric conditioners contain chemicals which you may wish to avoid.  As an alternative, why not make your own natural fabric softener?

Here’s how:

200g bicarbonate of soda

2.5 litres of water

1.7 litres of white vinegar

Good quality essential oils (must be therapeutic) if you want to add a fragrance. 

Directions:

Mix the bicarbonate of soda with 250ml water.

Add the white vinegar which will create a normal chemical reaction.

Once the mixture has stopped fizzing, add 1.7 litres of water and give the solution a good stir.

Add 10 drops or so of essential oils to add fragrance.  Tea tree is a good choice if you’re looking for a natural disinfectant.  

Drying tips

Did you know that adding a good old fashioned tennis ball to the dryer helps to dry clothes more quickly, thus using less energy and prolonging the life of your dryer?

Remove items straight away, as soon as the dryer has finished its cycle, to avoid ironing!

Better still, hang the on a line outside.  Adding vinegar to the wash cycle will prevent them from feeling crispy. 

Give your laundry a good shake before hanging and after removing them from the line.  This will help to naturally remove creases. 

Why not take part in our messiest bibs competition to win a bundle of Bumkins Weaning Ware worth £46.50.  Click here to go through to the competition page.  

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