Washing Baby Clothes in Public Laundry | Is It Okay?

Parents have multiple considerations when it comes to safeguarding their infants’ well-being. In instances where purchasing a washer and dryer set may not be a feasible option for some families, is it advisable for them to utilize public laundry facilities for washing their baby’s garments?

Can you wash baby clothes in a public laundry? Laundromats and public laundry facilities are perfectly safe places to wash your baby’s clothes provided that the facilities are cleaned routinely. Experts recommend bringing your own detergent, and just to be on the safe side, run a cup of bleach through the washer first before beginning.

There are several tips to try when washing baby clothes in general and also more specifically in a laundromat.

Washing Baby Clothes at Laundromat – What To Know

Public laundry facilities allow people to potentially do multiple loads at once. As babies come with a lot of dirty clothes, this could be a major selling point for using laundromats.

However, parents are often concerned that the facilities are not clean. Here are some facts and tips that might be helpful. 

Are Public Washing Machines Clean? 

By and large, most public washing machines are very clean. Laundromat owners typically have safety guidelines they must follow to keep their equipment running well and to stay in operation.

Laundromats in large metropolitan areas might be less clean simply because they are used more often due to high population density.

As long as people are operating the machines correctly and laundromats are keeping up their cleaning policies, parents can feel assured that using public facilities is safe. 

How Often Do Laundromats Clean Their Machines?

Laundromat workers and service operators are supposed to clean the inside and outside of their machines every single day.

The presence of an attendant at the laundromat should make parents feel more secure that the facilities are clean. The attendant’s job is to disinfect the machines and all surfaces daily. 

How To Sanitize a Washing Machine

If you are concerned that the machine you are using isn’t clean, simply run a cup of bleach through the machine in a high-heat cycle to sanitize the machine. 

Can You Wash Baby Clothes With Your Clothes? 

You can wash baby clothes with your own clothes or other older kids’ clothes. If the entire family uses the same detergent, you can do this from the start.

However, if you have been using a special detergent just for the baby, you can start trying “normal” detergent around the 6-month mark. Should your baby’s skin react to the detergent, laundry experts recommend contacting your pediatrician. 

Tips for Washing Baby Clothes at a Public Laundry

  • If you fear that the washing machine is not as clean as you’d like it to be, run a cup of bleach through the machine first.
  • Baby clothes should be washed in a cold, gentle cycle without bleach.
  • It can be tempting to wash baby clothes in high-heat settings, but this is not best for delicate fabrics.
  • If your laundromat doesn’t appear the cleanest, refrain from putting your clean, dried clothes on their folding surfaces. 

Should You Wash Baby Clothes Separately? 

It is not necessary to wash baby clothes separately, but most pediatricians do recommend it. 

Baby skin tends to be sensitive. Washing their clothes in a separate cycle with a gentle detergent that leaves less residue is typically regarded as the safest way to wash baby clothes.

A stack of freshly laundered and folded baby clothes and several clothespins.

How To Separate Baby Clothes for Washing

Separate baby clothes by color first. Pretreat any stains before loading them into the washing machine.

Many parents also swear by separating baby clothes not only by color but also by material type as well. This method helps avoid pilling and stretching of the sometimes delicate materials. 

What Temperature To Wash Baby Clothes

While it might be tempting to use the highest heat setting for baby clothes, cold wash, gentle cycles get clothes perfectly clean. These cycles also keep the clothes in better condition.

If you are using public laundry facilities and doubt their cleanliness, run a cup of bleach through the sanitation or deep clean cycle first, and then wash your baby’s clothes. 

Do You Wash Baby Clothes on Delicate?

Baby clothes are usually made of soft and cozy fabrics that might not prove to be the most sturdy. Delicate cycles are the best choice for baby clothes to keep them usable for longer.

Delicate, cold-wash cycles also help clothes to not shrink as much, thus increasing the longevity of wear. 

Can You Wash Baby Clothes With Regular Detergent? 

You can, of course, use the regular detergent that you use for the rest of your family on baby clothes. Families with multiple kids tend to do this to save time and energy.

Some babies will not react well to the detergent, and if that happens, switch to a “clean detergent” or a detergent specifically made for baby clothes. 

At What Age Can You Wash Baby Clothes in Regular Detergent? 

Laundry experts say that you can try regular detergent on baby clothes around the 6-month mark. If your baby reacts badly to it, consult your pediatrician. 

How To Sanitize Baby Clothes

You can sanitize baby clothes by using 2-3 teaspoons of vinegar in a bucket with cold water before running them through the washing machine. Soak the clothes for 30-45 minutes, and then run them through the washer.

You can also soak clean clothes in very hot water after they have been through the washing machine and let them dry in the sun. Never add bleach to babies’ clothes as it is too harsh for sensitive skin. 

Related Questions: 

Is It Better To Hand Wash Baby Clothes? 

A shocking number of websites and experts say that hand washing not only baby clothes but all clothing is the best way to clean clothes.

Natural-living fans say this is the best way to preserve the “integrity” of your garments and protect natural resources.

Hand washing seems to be a very time-consuming method considering the amount of baby clothes babies go through. However, this might be the best route if laundromat cleaning is not appealing to you. 

Can Baby Clothes Go in the Dryer? 

Baby clothes can absolutely go in the dryer. They should be dried on a low-heat setting, like the one for delicates. Low-heat settings help care for the fabric better and also prevent major shrinking.

Be sure to check all care label instructions on the clothes before laundering them in any way. 


Like the idea that “fed is best” when it comes to feeding your baby, “clean is best” is the mantra for washing your baby’s clothes. Proper cleaning and drying procedures help prevent the spread of germs and keep your baby safe.

You can clean your baby’s clothes in any way you have available to you. Laundromats, hand washing, and in-home laundry units are all acceptable ways to clean baby clothes.

Hopefully, with more instruction and tips, you feel better equipped to handle the literal mountains of laundry that comes with having a baby in your home.