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How to whiten knitted baby clothes

There are multiple factors that play a part in why your white knitted baby clothes turn a yellowy tinge over time. Whether it’s moisture, sunlight or the way you store them, they can all have an effect on the discolouration of the clothing. But do not worry! There are plenty of different ways to whiten knitted clothing and make it look brand new again.

Why do knitted baby clothes go yellow?

Knitted baby clothing is most likely only needed during the winter months. It’s common that during the summer months, these items go into storage after being freshly washed – ready for when winter comes around again. However, when you take them out of storage, some have a yellow tinge and others have yellow stains. Why is this?

Although you may have washed the clothes before putting them away, stains can be caused by the protein in formula and breastmilk which turns a yellowy colour over time. The protein sticks to the clothing which makes it very hard to get out, even when washing. This means that if you’ve spilt milk on the clothing during the winter months, washed them, put them away and then got them back out, the protein enzymes will still be active – causing the stain.

If you notice the whole of the clothing item has turned yellow, this can be caused by a chemical reaction between chlorine bleach and the fibres on clothing. The fibres begin to break down overtime which can cause the yellow tinge. This happens in all fabrics, it’s just more obvious to see on lighter fabrics. Enough about why they’ve turned yellow – let’s try and bring them up white again!

knitted baby clothes

Ways to whiten your knitted baby clothes

Knitted baby clothing is no different to any other baby items, they need lots of care. Below are things you can try to help whiten your baby clothing items:

The sun (it’s free!)

A no-cost, effective way of whitening knitted products is to just use the sun! Simply leave the items on a line in the sun and let it do its thing. A con to this solution is it can’t be used throughout the entire year so may not be useful to certain items. There’s no need to worry though – there a plenty of different things you can do when the sun is not out.

Baking soda and vinegar

It might not be the nicest smelling solution, but when you mix baking soda and white vinegar together – an amazing whitening mixture is made. You only have to leave the knitted items in the mix overnight and then wash them as normal. We can assure you that your baby’s clothes will not be left smelling like vinegar!

Borax Substitutes

Borax Substitutes are another great way to whiten your baby’s knitted clothes. It’s super easy, just add a small amount to your white laundry and watch the magic happen. When you take them out of the washing machine they will look as bright and new as ever.

knitted baby clothes

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Hydrogen Peroxide has multiple benefits and one of them are whitening clothing. This has been a known effective solution to whitening knitted baby clothes. As a tip, make some solution up in a spray bottle and have it ready to use whenever you need it! This is a great time saver – perfect for when you have a baby to look after.

How can I prevent yellowing?

We’ve spoken about what to do to get rid of the discolouration, but how do you avoid it in the first place? First of all, never use products with bleach in on your knitted baby clothes, this will create the reaction we spoke about earlier and will leave the whole item looking discoloured.

Secondly, if you live in an area with hard water, consider getting a water softener. Hard water can sometimes be the cause of yellow staining on clothing.

We hope we’ve given you some great tips on how to whiten your knitted baby clothes. You can now look forward to making your baby’s clothes look brand new!

Remember, if you no longer need your knitted baby clothes, there are lots or organisations and charities willing to take them from you. Find out where to send your knitted baby clothes.

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