Baby's Clothes Don't Smell Good

Updated on September 16, 2008
T.A. asks from Arlington, TX
24 answers

My son is 6 months old, so we are still washing his clothes in Dreft, especially since he has sensitive skin. We also use Dreft spray for stains. Anyway, the Dreft detergent itself smells good, but by the time my son's clothes are washed and dried, they don't smell very good at all. Is there something else I can use? Will dry sheets help? If so, what kind do I buy? Thanks!

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with several respondents - All Free & Clear is the way to go. And don't bother to get the All Baby either. They are identical except for the price AND the ALL Baby has a slight fragrance added - I called the mfr and found that out.

2 moms found this helpful
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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

The Dreft is gentle, but may not be really getting out the stains, which is probably why the clothes don't smell good. Before we got a front-loader washer and dryer, we used All Free & Clear with Downy Free & Clear. Now that we have a front-loader washer, we use Tide HE Free & Clear with Downy Free & Clear. Their clothes always come out smelling great (and, believe me, they go in STINK-Y...vomit, poop, pee, you name it!). Also, for bad stains (actually, almost every load :) ), we throw in a scoop of Oxi Clean for Babies.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

My 7 mo old son has very sensitive skin too, and we use All free & clear. It's great and not as expensive as Dreft. The best deal I've found on it is at Walmart. It really doesn't have a smell, but it cleans very well. I prefer Oxy Clean in the spray for stains. I hear the paste is really good. Haven't tried it. I just started using Bounce dryer sheets. They smell good, and don't irritate my boys' skin.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

I don't have a suggestion about the smell, but I do want to make sure you are informed about dryer sheets (and fabric softener in general).

Fabric softener adds chemicals to the fabric that increases flammability. Read the side of the bottle -- it's not recommended for terry cloth, etc. It also takes out any flame retardant that is in clothing -- like in kids' pajamas.

I would check out a natural wash booster, like baking soda.

Do the clothes smell bad, or do they just not smell like the rest of your laundry? I think we get used to having smells in our clothes from the laundry detergent and when we go to something like Dreft (no fragrance), we miss that smell. I have allergies and went totally fragrance free in laundry detergent and started using the dryer balls instead of fabric softener. My husband said one day that he knew why I was doing it, but he was just a little sad because his towels didn't smell like anything.

2 moms found this helpful
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D.N.

answers from Dallas on

funny, I started using Dreft w/my first son and I only lasted a couple of wks b/c of the smell. I use the "April Fresh" or pink downy and Tide w/downy for me and my husband. I just started washing all our clothes together and have had no problems and everyone smells good and the detergent bill isn't sky high. My second son does have very sensitive skin, allergies, and asthma and when I consulted his dr's I was told not to worry about detergents. Soooo, good luck and just use some Oxiclean to soak and use your regular detergent. He is so close to you, laying on you and on your bed and against your skin anyway-don't fret:)

1 mom found this helpful
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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

Dreft actually has stuff in it that leaves build-up on clothes (doesn't rinse clean). Even for a newborn, it's better to use a 'regular' detergent that it free and clear, like ALL free and clear or Tide Free and Clear, etc. If you want a more natural or earth friendly detergent, you can get Allen's Naturally or Charlie's Soap; both are found online or you can find a few places in the metroplex that sell them. To get the build-up out of the clothes, try rinsing them a few extra times in hot or warm water...and it sometimes helps to see if they are completely rinsed by looking inside the machine right after it gets done swishing them around - you can see the reside on the top of the water (kind of looks like oil floating on water). It helps to put the water level on the lowest possible setting that still covers the clothes to see if there is soap residue. The vinegar added in to the rinse cycle that others have suggested helps, too. It helps remove the soap from the clothes, which eliminates the smell!
Dryer sheets aren't very good for our clothes, they also leave residue on them and they have some nasty chemicals in them. We just use vinegar in the rinse cycle to soften our clothes (1/2 cup in the rinse cycle).
Hope that helps!!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

About a cup of vinegar will do the trick and no the clothes will not smell like vinegar either. I've using vinegar for a few months now and cannot believe the difference it makes in our clothes!

Plus, it's very cheap to buy!

1 mom found this helpful
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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,
I haven't been able to read your other advice, so pardon any redundancy. I just use a regular Tide detergent and run an extra rinse cycle for baby loads. Also, from what I understand, you should NOT use dryer sheets on baby clothes, since they leave a residue of chemicals and can hurt the flame retardant nature of those clothes!!

I hope this helps you!
D.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Don't ever use any kind of fabric softener on flame-retardent PJ's--it removes the flame-retardent coating. Now, with that said, follow the instructions for laundry use on a box of Arm and Hammer baking soda. Don't use the Arm & Hammer detergent, just use the plain baking soda along with your regular detergent. Baking soda will make your laundry smell fresh and helps your machine stay fresh, too. You might want to run an empty load once a month with vinegar (a cup) in hot water to clean out any smells in the washer tub or hoses.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.T.

answers from Dallas on

If you use dryer sheets or any fabric softener on children's clothes, it removes the flame retardant qualities.
I use 20 mule team borax, it's a laundry booster and not only helps the smell, it also helps with stains. You just add 1/2 to 1 cup to your load with your detergent.
If that doesn't work, Fabreeze makes a laundry odor eliminator that works very well.
Adding vinegar to your wash can set some stains such as ink, kool aid or any stain with a dye in it. I dye yarn and fiber for spinning and vinegar is one of the things we use as a mordant to set the dye.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.J.

answers from Dallas on

Mrs Meyers Dryer Sheets, Shaklee Dryer Sheets (recyclable!), and Method (these aren’t the BEST but are better) are a few.

Line dry when possible - saves energy ($$), and whitens whites like no other
Don’t over dry in the dryer… take stuff out when its slightly damp, or turn down the heat to squelch static cling
Add a shot of white vinegar to the wash cycle or baking soda to the rinse cycle (if you use vinegar, don’t use bleach too - this can be a toxic mixture).
Make your own dryer sheets by adding a few drops of essential oil to a damp washcloth added to the load.

hope this info helps out.

S. jackson..

P.B.

answers from Dallas on

have you tried GET Clean Products by Shaklee
they do not leave a smell on your clothes at all and you can wash all your clothes in them not just your son's
here is the link www.shaklee.net/askforpam
I know that they are great green products too!! because use them. If you have any questions just message me back.

here are so other link to look at about chemicials in you house http://www.shaklee.com/causes_realdirt.shtml
hope this help just let me know
thanks

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I'd recommend soaking them in oxyclean powder. It has worked great for us.

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

You don't have to use dreft. As long as the product is dye/fragrance free, your baby should be fine! And, there are a lot more to choose from now.

Technically, if you think about it, there's nothing you can really do other than switch products to see if it will do the difference.

More than likely, if you add any fragrance, or whatever, you could cause a potential skin irritation.

I realized this after thinking you could place a potpourri sachet under a sheet of wrapping paper in your child's dresser, or wherever they are kept. But, the scent might get onto the clothing.

I guess you could try it. You won't know until you test his boundaries. Right?

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A.

answers from Dallas on

All free & clear works great and is actually easier on sensitive skin than Dreft. (at least for my family)

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son has sensitive skin and we've always used ALL Free Clear. That is what the doctor recommended to us. I've never noticed a bad smell with ALL.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

ALL Free & Clear is great!

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G.S.

answers from Dallas on

We use Shaklee Get Clean Laundry Concentrate and Nature Bright (natural whitner). We love these...so mild to the skin, but hard working on dirt. It is non-toxic & biodegradable & made with corn & coconut surfactants. I also do use a little vinegar at times in the water when washing b/c it is a softner & a natural antibacterial! You can wash the whole families clothes at 1 time. I have a basket that I check out for a few days so that people can even try the products. Once you do you will love them! Email me at [email protected]____.com if you would like to check out the basket or find out how to order. Or you can go to www.shaklee.net/grapevineschmidts

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

We also use ALL Free & Clear. My youngest had really sensitive skin and it was suggested to us and has worked great, without bothering his skin. If he's still having problems, the doc said it could help to double rinse clothes. Good Luck.

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N.R.

answers from Dallas on

We just use a regular detergent and wash all of our clothes together. My son has never had an allergy to the Tide we are using.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Try using the Oxi-Clean Fabric Freshiner. If you are using dryer sheets it could be the dryer sheets you are using. ALL has a baby detergent as well. But the Oxi-Clean, may help.

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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

You don't want it use dryer sheets especially if he has sensitive skin. Do you leave them in the washer too long? Try putting them in the dryer as soon as they're done washing. Other than that I really don't know. They do make softner for sensitive skin that you could try out but it's the liquid not the sheets. That's what I used for both of my boys clothes when they were babies. Hope this helps.

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

Try Downey, either the liquid or dryer sheets. They smell real good and it makes the clothes sooo soft.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

A little vinegar in the rinse cycle usually does the trick for me. Don't worry, the clothes won't smell like pickles, and it's works as a softener as well, so you can ditch the dryer sheets.

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