Can You Bleach Baby Clothes?

Wondering can you bleach baby clothes? Then let us answer your question and more!

When it comes to babies and what touches their skin, safety should always remain number one.

Whether that is testing the temperature of bath water with your elbow or not cleaning and smoking around them, sometimes erring on the side of caution can be the best strategy. 

Bleach on clothes can cause irritation even to our mature skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, so it’s safe to assume bleach can be potentially dangerous.

Yet, babies are also seriously messy.

The likelihood of the baby getting a little throw up or food on their bibs, clothes, and practically any other material, is extremely likely. Just ask your own parents!

So don’t feel stupid for asking if bleaching babies clothes is safe, sometimes as a first time parent you just want a clear and simple answer to your questions, we hope to provide you one with this guide to bleach and babies.

Let’s explore this topic together.

And if you love this guide on can you use bleach on baby clothes, make sure to check out our guides on when to wash baby clothes, best baby fabric softener and how to wash baby clothes without shrinking them.

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Is It Safe To Bleach Baby Clothes

Different sources may give you different answers to this question, from bleach manufacturers themselves to concerned parents.

Annoyingly, bleach is probably your best tool to get out the protein based stains babies create, mainly poo and food, but its safety is debated.

Clorox’ official answer to this question is that you can use their bleach. They suggest that ¾ cup of Clorox Regular Bleach will adequately get stains out of your baby clothes.

They suggest harsher stains should be thrown into an extra rinse cycle rather than adding more bleach.

If we were being scientific, the likelihood of this small amount of bleach affecting your baby, if done correctly, is fairly low.

Although there are some potential risks of using bleach to be aware of. 

Potential Risks Of Using Bleach

One risk when using bleach is known as chlorine build up, this could be dangerous or in the best case a little annoying for your newborn. 

This is when the bleach saturates in one area and causes a chlorine build up.

This can smell strongly of bleach and make your baby uncomfortable, if this has happened already you can get it out with vinegar but then the garment is likely ruined.

Moreover, if you are using bleach or even mixing it with other products there is a risk of fume inhalation if they remain close by.

Baby lungs are way smaller than ours so they are at more risk of fume inhalation than we are, we don’t smoke around babies for the same reason.

When your baby is a child, they may have respiratory issues that aren’t clear and obvious yet.

For instance, you may not know your baby has asthma yet, so something like bleach is good to avoid on a purely cautionary level. 

In almost all these cases, you really wouldn’t want to take the risk.

Newborns are so precious and delicate that it’s always best to be overly cautious as there are often factors outside our control, no matter how careful you are. 

Keep reading to learn about some great alternatives to bleach that are organic, natural, and baby friendly.

Natural Alternatives To Bleach

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is something you probably already have in your house, although you can buy it here. 

If you have a stubborn stain that won’t come out with normal washing, create a thick paste of 1 part water to two parts baking soda, lather onto stain, leave for 30 minutes, then throw it in your normal wash.

This should get pesky stains out, cruelty free.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
$11.39 ($0.18 / Ounce)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/27/2023 06:26 am GMT

Distilled Vinegar

Distilled vinegar is a true domestic hero and is another natural ingredient that will probably exist in your cabinets. Just make sure the vinegar is white!

Add half a cup of vinegar in with your detergent to whiten and freshen up those garments. Your stain will be gone and your baby will remain happy.

A pro tip is to throw your towels in there too to make them extra soft and absorbent.

03/27/2023 04:57 am GMT


There is a reason nearly all cleaning products smell and often contain lemon. It’s because lemon juice is a great cleaning product.

We recommend using fresh lemons as they remain the most natural compared to the stuff you can buy at the grocery store.

Create a mixture of 1 part lemon juice and two parts water and rub this into a stain to get the stubborn stains out. Even if you need something stronger to get the stain out, your clothes will smell great.

Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods

There are a whole host of bleach alternative products that don’t use chlorine. As they don’t use chlorine they can quite effectively clean clothes while remaining safe for your baby to use.

They can also have rinse free formulas that ensure no residue is left behind.

Not only are they great for your baby’s skin but they are also great for the environment, protecting the world they will eventually have to do their own laundry in.

These Grab Green pods are a great choice.

Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods
$17.50 $16.00 ($0.27 / Count)
03/27/2023 03:51 pm GMT

Consider Leaving Clothes To Dry Outside

This is a bit of a push, but it’s worth knowing. The UV rays from the sun which aren’t great for your baby are actually relatively good for getting stains out.

If it’s a hot day, consider drying your clothes outside, the UV should help the stain fade out if you have used one of these methods, and just in general.

Final Thoughts on Can You Bleach Baby Clothes

Using bleach to wash your baby’s clothes may well be very safe in good circumstances and with good practices.

However, whether you want to take that risk or not is completely up to you as the child’s parent. 

Bleach can be potentially dangerous in certain situations especially if you accidentally mix it with other products.

Moreover, using bleach on clothes regularly can lead to chlorine build up which will not make your baby very happy.

The good news is that there is a plethora of good and sustainably sourced, natural alternatives to bleach.

While many of these may be things you already have in your pantry or cupboards, going out of your way to buy bleach free detergent may be a more useful and effective option.

And if you’re looking for more great baby guides, then check out these clothing guides on should you hang or fold baby clothes, should you wash new baby clothes, how often do you change baby clothes, and best dryer sheets for babies.

can you use bleach on baby clothes