To Bio, or Non-Bio

When I was pregnant, I was told that ALL baby clothes HAD to be washed in Non-Bio washing powder to minimise the risk of any skin problems. The person who first told me had years of experience looking after children and knew what they were talking about on lots of other baby related issues, and this advice was then reiterated by just about everyone when the topic of how to wash baby clothes came up.

The problem is that my daughter has always been a bit messy. Its because I’m hapless and not really that good at dealing with the vomit that comes out (to me some mothers are blessed with a clair voyant like ability to know when their child is going to spew, and are gifted enough to be able to avoid all of it coming into contact with their baby and themselves). We went through a period of poop overflowing the nappy like a rising tidal wave of brown sludge which stained everything in its path. So now that we’re onto weaning – well you can imagine the mess. And I genuinely never thought I’d say this but I’d rather deal with poop than with a tomato-sauce based stain.

Because no matter how hard I try I cannot get that tomato based sauce stain to come out unless I use bleach. I’ve tried to scrub it out, soak it out, soak using a variety of stain removers, add stain remover to the washing machine, scrub the stain remover into the stain, rub the detergent into the stain and all combinations of the above. I’ve even tried soaking in Napisan. And whilst I’d tried a variety on non-bio washing powders, and I found that some were better than others (I personally prefer Persil for stain removing ability) – none truly removed the stain.

I have become somewhat skilled at using bleach to remove stains from clothes – too much bleach or leaving it on for too long bleeds the colour from the garment, but not enough time doesn’t remove the stain and you have to repeat the process. But it’s murder on the hands and my skin has become really really dry and no amount of hand cream seems to fix it.

In my quest to solve my washing problems, I looked up which washing powders to use to see if there was one which might be the Holy Grail of baby clothes. After the usual top search results were from each washing detergent brand outlining or marketing why you should use their washing powder, I came across a link to a website called Ask for Evidence. And found this amazing article which has totally rocked my world (I know I’m really sad but there might be one or two other mums who find this webpage to be a revelation – surely?!?!?)

A group of mums asked NHS Choices where the evidence came from that lead them to advise that all baby clothes and nappies should be washed in Non-Bio detergent. And it turned out that they didn’t know, so NHS Choices investigated, concluded that this advice wasn’t based on any evidence at all – and then they changed their advice. So now NHS Choices advises that its perfectly fine to wash baby clothes in Biological washing powders.

So I’ve now switched to Bio washing powder – and although it hasn’t completely solved the tomato-based sauce stain problem it has certainly improved things. And I’ve also saved some money too!


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