Laundry expert warns parents not to use fabric softener on baby clothes for this scary reason

Babygros on a washing line
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An expert has issued a warning to parents to not use fabric softener on baby and children's clothes as it can cause irritation and compromise the fabric's fire resistant qualities.

Being a parent comes with endless joys but also a lot of worries, like things you would never have thought of as harmful posing a risk to your children. Whether it’s small Easter eggs (opens in new tab) that could be a choking hazard or mouldy bath toys (opens in new tab).

We already know not to wash our towels and tea towels (opens in new tab) together, but now a laundry expert has warned about the dangers of fabric softener.

The Mirror reported that Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap has told parents to not use softeners when washing their baby’s clothes. 

As such a normal, everyday cleaning item it might be a surprise to learn that it can actually be harmful. Deyan has said that fabric softener can irritate your baby’s very sensitive skin and drastically reduce the flame resistance of the clothes fabric.

Baby shoes and pregnant woman with baby clothes in baby room

Deyan explained that usually baby clothes are treated with flame-resistant chemicals for safety, in case of any emergency or accident. Fabric softener can affect its effectiveness and make the fabric more vulnerable to flames. So can washing clothes at too high of a temperature. Deyan has said that 50 degrees and more is too high and will also affect the flame resistance.

He said, ‘For this reason, avoid using fabric softener on your baby and children’s clothing and sleepwear, or fabrics such as velour, chenille, terry cloth, fleece, or any garments that are labeled as flame resistant.’

He added, ‘If in doubt, check the clothing label.’

Deyan has also shared some advice on a softener alternative, he said to put the clothes on a very gentle cycle, for delicates and wool for example. Wash them at a low temperature, with a mild non-bio detergent, and let the clothes try naturally. That should help the clothes stay soft without the use of a fabric softener.

If in doubt, always check the label to see if the clothes have been treated with flame-resistant chemicals. If yes, don’t use a fabric softener or a hot wash over 50 degrees.

Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life.