Caring for Vintage Baby Clothes & Quilts

One of the many wonderful things that happens when a new baby comes into a family is rediscovering items that have been stored for decades in trunks or closets, often presented with stories of which now-grown people once had them (maybe it was you!). But how do you care for these treasured items?

When considering scents, Eucalan Natural (unscented) and Lavender are great choices for baby things.  Not only are both gentle on their delicate skin, but the fragrance of lavender oil promotes relaxation and is very gentle in the Eucalan formula.

Knitted Baby Items

Step 1:

Evaluate the item to determine if there are any small holes, weak spots in the fabric or stains.  Stains that have set over years are often permanent, and should be viewed as part of the history and character of the piece. Small holes could be a sign of moths, particularly in knits. Moth eggs can survive a long time, so to prevent any accidental transfer, put the item in a big ziploc bag, pop it into the freezer and leave it there for one week. take it out to thaw for another week while remaining in the bag, and then put it back in the freezer for one more week. This will kill any eggs or larvae that could be lurking.

Step 2:

Fill your sink or a bowl with cool water and add one capful or one pod of Eucalan in the scent of your choice.  Add as many knitted baby items as will comfortably fit in the sink or bowl, and let soak for about ten minutes, lightly agitating the water.  Then drain the water (no need to rinse with our no-rinse formula!) and gently squeeze out extra moisture. Roll the knits in a towel, and then lay flat to dry away from heat or direct sunlight (which could cause shrinking or discolouration).

Vintage Quilt Care

Step 1:

It’s not uncommon for some treasured quilts to get a little threadbare before any actual holes develop, so it’s worth taking a close look at that baby quilt to see if you should do some mending on any frayed bits before larger problems develop. If you aren’t comfortable with trying to reinforce or repair it yourself, bring it to a quilting shop that will be able to point you in the right direction.  If fabric markers were used (it was very popular in the 1970s to draw designs onto baby quilts!), test a small area with water and a bit of Eucalan to ensure colourfastness before washing.

Step 2:

If the baby quilt can fit in a sink, fill your sink with cool water and add one capful of Eucalan or one pod to the water. If it is too big, set your washing machine to the delicate cycle, and ensure the temperature setting is on cold and add 2-3 capfuls of Eucalan. Place the quilt gently in the sink or machine.  For the washing machine, let the delicate cycle run its course. For the sink wash, drain away the water and gently squeeze the quilt to remove excess. Roll the quilt in a towel to remove more moisture, and then hang to dry away from heat or direct sunlight. A shower rail might be a good spot for this.

Vintage Fabric Sleepers and Clothes

Step 1:

Check the inside of the clothing carefully to look for any loose threads that could catch on baby’s delicate fingers or toes. If you find any threads, snip them off. If you find any holes along the seams, it’s worth mending them before washing, to reduce the chances of the holes getting bigger.

Step 2:

For hand washing, fill your sink with cool water and add one capful or one pod of Eucalan in the scent of your choice. Add as many baby clothes, hats, or sleepers as will comfortably fit in the sink or bowl, and let soak for about ten minutes, lightly agitating the water. Then drain the water (no need to rinse with our no-rinse formula!) and gently squeeze out extra moisture. Roll the clothes in a towel, and then lay flat to dry away from heat or light (which, depending on the fabric of the clothes, could cause shrinking or discolouration). For the washing machine, set the machine to the delicate cycle and the cold temperature. Add 2-3 capfuls of Eucalan to the water, and add the baby clothes. Allow the cycle to run through, and then lay the clothes flat to dry, also away from heat and sunlight.

When the time comes to put these precious clothes and quilts away, be sure to wash them again before storing, and make sure they are completely dry.  For extra insurance, wrap each item in white tissue paper to prevent potential moisture issues that can happen in basements. One day, you will get to bestow upon a new baby these treasures that will remind you of when your own children were babies, and of the loving friends and family who made them.

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Guest Post: Baby Care with Mari Knits

This week on the blog, we talked with knitwear designer Mari Chiba of Mari Knits. Mari is a blogger, social media maven, and new mother. Combining all these roles together, we wanted to find out why she prefers Eucalan not just for her handknits, but also to care for her new little one. Find out her thoughts and maybe learn a new way you can use Eucalan, too!

Babies are messy, and this means I’m constantly washing or wiping something. Luckily I have a lot of Eucalan – and it comes in super handy!
Eucalan wipes – You can probably guess, but I keep these in my car, in my diaper bag, and in my purse! They are so handy for wiping up baby spit up.

Eucalan Wash – I use this quite a bit, for a lot of different things:
   1. Washing nursing bras. Despite the fact that my little one is 5 months old, I still leak on a regular basis. Other moms will also know that getting spit up on your bra is all too common of an occurrence. The good news is, I get it all out with a quick wash in the sink with a little Eucalan!
   2. Washing baby toys. Over the holidays, we flew to Portland, Oregon and then to San Diego, and finally back home to Raleigh. Airports are gross, and Dash is at the age where he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth, so washing toys was essential. I did this while on-the-go with a few Eucalan single use pods I’d packed – at the airport, I just dampen a paper towel and add a little bit of Eucalan to spot clean; at home, I have the luxury of washing in a small tub or basin with some Eucalan, which also worked wonders at cleaning some adorable sheep slippers that can’t go in the washing machine. With how often his toys hit the floor, I try to wash half his toys at a time about once a week. I prefer to let them dry in the sun, and my drying rack has a net that’s perfect for holding toys!
   3. Did I mention we have a dog? I also have some diluted Eucalan in a spray bottle which I use to spot clean little messes. We have hardwood floors in half the house and carpet in the rest, and I use this on both! It also came in handy in the early days of babyhood when projectile spit-up was a regular occurrence.

webres-5204If you have other ideas for how I could be utilizing Eucalan to clean up the many messes I encounter on a daily basis, let me know!  

Visit the Eucalan website for more free tutorials for cleaning baby items naturally!

Winners & Holiday Gift Guide: Babies & New Parents

GiveawayFirst off, we’d like to reveal the winners for our holiday giveaway announced earlier this week:

We’ll get in touch with you to arrange for the delivery of your prizes. Thanks for entering our contest!

Chances are, you know someone who’s welcomed someone new into their family this year. Eucalan is gentle enough to use on baby items, and it’s especially great for washing nursing bras, diaper covers, and other baby items (click here for more info on our website). In our final installment of the Holiday Gift Guide series, we share some of our top picks for new parents. Enjoy!



This sweet Cuddle Bear is made from 100% Australian sheepskin, which helps calm and nurture babies. It’s sure to delight your little one!

Lulujo Muslin Security Blankets feature adorable animal prints on breathable muslin cotton with a smooth satin edge.

A Eucalan Gift Pack includes 100mL bottles in each of our 5 scents, and it’s a great way to make sure that you always have a bottle of Eucalan at the ready. Eucalan is wonderful for treating wool diapers covers, and it’s also great for spot treating stains, spills, and other messes that invariably pop up.

This stylish necklace also gives teething babies relief! Made from 100% silicone, the Chewbeads Jane Necklace is soft on baby’s gums and emerging teeth. It’s easy to keep clean, and contains no No BPA, phthalates, cadmium, lead, metals.

Keep track of every magical moment with these Milestone™ Baby Cards, which are great for snapping shots for your baby book as well as your Instagram feed.

Every little one needs Sofie the Giraffe, an adorable toy designed specifically to cultivate and nurture baby’s senses (and it never hurts to have a back-up Sofie, we’re told).

Eucalan Stain Treating Towelettes are a great add-on for any gift, and they’re essential for any diaper bag. These pre-moistened wipes will take care of stains while out and about.

Choose a diaper cover with a cute, colourful print for a thoughtful gift you know they’ll use. The clever design of the Omaïki Ö Sleep shown here will keep baby dry all night – even newborns!

A wrap or a sling is a wonderful alternative to strollers, and this gorgeous Sakura Bloom Wrap (shown here in Tulum and Sea Glass) is made in Massachusetts from the finest Indian dupioni silk. The unisex, reversible design is machine washable and easy to use.